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SKY MASTERS by Dale Brown


by Dale Brown

Pub Date: July 17th, 1991
ISBN: 0-399-13705-X
Publisher: Putnam

War erupts almost immediately when America pulls out of the Philippines and China slips in to fill the power vacuum. A few of the characters flying Brown's gadget-filled war planes previously appeared in Day of the Cheetah (1989). Glossary entries (176) and a warm dedication to strategic air power generalissimo Curtis LeMay accurately signal the approach of a superacronymic, high-tech military adventure. The casus belli this time is Chinese enforcement of that country's ancient claim to the Spratly Islands—a tiny, uninhabitable, barely visible, mineral-rich chain halfway between the Asian mainland and the Philippines. The Philippines, at last free of their long-term American tenants, also claim the Spratlys, and a shootout in the atoll between the two Asian nations' navies escalates much too quickly into full-scale war as the Chinese, led by a maniacal admiral, pop off a small nuclear device and then take the opportunity to invade the Philippine mainland—where the leftist first vice-president in the coalition government is only too happy to welcome them. A very unhappy American government has to throw together a battle plan on very short notice, but thanks to the inventive skills of the military-industrial complex's most talented techno-weenie, the Air Force has use of a new generation of spy satellites that, when paired with a souped-up B-2 Stealth bomber turns the air war into an immense video game. Genuinely exciting fight scenes are swamped by oceans of technical detail of interest primarily to the pencil-protector crowd.