Russian submarines, decaying equipment, addlepated defense policies, exhaustion, and the frigid, black weight of the Atlantic Ocean--all plague the claustrophobic existence of the men and women running America's underwater space station in a first novel by a former naval officer. Parsimonious post-glasnost defense policies in the near future are making life miserable for the scientists and sailors who man Cabot Station--a small, battered submarine base and work station on the floor of the north Atlantic. Built to service and maintain SOSUS, America's (real) submarine sound-surveillance system, Cabot Station has become something of an orphan, having to make do with not enough spare parts or spare people. It may even be closed down. But there is an incident. SOSUS has recorded the death of a mystery submarine near one of its cables, and station commander Alfonso Madeira is ordered to find out what killed the sub and why it wasn't detected until the last minute. The dirty duty--which involves long trips in tiny, rickety ""work-subs""--shows the sub to be a customized Japanese robot model claimed by no one. Then for some reason the Soviets blow up the dead sub. Madeira is ordered to pick up the pieces, but while he is away, Cabot Station is fatally rammed by a crippled work. Sub and Madeira's priority becomes the rescue of his crew before the air is used up. Damp and gloomy but bloody exciting. Amazingly realistic considering the place doesn't exist.