An astronaut commits a bold act of insubordination to help advance his message of conservation.
During a 24-hour lull in a space mission, shuttle astronaut Rodney Thibodeaux takes a carefully controlled dose of the drug Ecstasy, partly to combat the ennui that has crept into his life over time. While under the influence, he sees the Earth in all its glory, and comes to the conclusion that the planet is speaking to him, warning of the dire consequences of humankind’s irresponsible treatment of the environment. He decides he must do something dramatic to capture the attention of the human race, so he initiates an unscheduled and unsanctioned re-entry. This act makes him an instant celebrity, and the resulting headlines catch the eye of chicken baron Will Brighton, who uses his considerable fortune to help Thibodeaux advance his message to humanity. They form a pro-Earth foundation and secular â€œchurch,” dedicated to raising awareness of what Thibodeaux sees as an impending environmental crisis. Unfortunately, Rodney and Will’s advocacy also catches the attention of a fundamentalist militia member, who sets out to disrupt their plans. And when Rodney and Will decide to promote their cause through a Russian-sponsored tourist trip to the moon, they’re caught in the center of a raging political firestorm. As self-described â€œeco-fiction,” this book has a clear agenda, which it pushes without coming across as preachy. The prose here is simple but solid, and the plot arcs gracefully for much of the book, although its climax is lacking in real dramatic tension. Most characters are believable, with the possible exception of Thibodeaux, who is a little too squeaky clean to be real. Still, for eco-advocacy disguised as entertainment, this is solid.
A lecture-free and entertaining pro-conservation message.