ABANDON IN PLACE by Jerry Oltion


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Expansion of the Nebula Award–winning story. With the space program all but dead, shuttle astronaut Rick Spencer witnesses the launch from Cape Canaveral of what appears to be an old Saturn V moon rocket. The ghostly spacecraft reaches Moon orbit, then vanishes. When the phantom launch turns into a regular event, NASA blusters, then reluctantly agrees to let Rick try to climb aboard. The ghostly spaceship conveys him to a rendezvous with a shuttle piloted by his girlfriend, Tessa McClain. On impulse, and against NASA’s orders, Rick decides to try to visit the Moon, along with Tessa and mission astronomer Yoshiko Sugano. NASA refuses support, so Russia volunteers to handle mission control. On the trip, Rick finds that as long as he fears that the space program will die, the ship stays solid, but as soon as he imagines the program redeveloping, the ship begins to disappear! After a successful Moon landing, the astronauts return to Earth—but the capsule vanishes before splashdown. Quarantined by their vengeful NASA boss, and interrogated by CIA spooks (the agency has secretly been running psychic investigations for years), Rick and Tessa find they have powerful psychic powers—but only as long as many others believe they do. What, then, of a future where reality is mutable, entirely dependent on belief?

What starts out as a pleasant, nostalgic fable grows steadily less amenable, and the mingling of ghosts, religion, and technology just grates.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-87264-X
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000