Latest News Items
Worldcon, Reno, NV
17 August at 12:00
- 21 August at 12:00
Join Allen at Renovation, in Reno, NV He'll be doing panels, signings, maybe some hiking, and more. So, if you are in Reno, stop by and say hi. Here is the website for more info http://www.renovationsf.org/
Conjecture 2011 in San Diego, CA
09 September at 12:00
- 11 September at 15:00
Allen will be making his first appearance at a West Coast Convention in 13 years. He will be the Guest of Honor at Conjecture 2011. Here's all the Details
The Realisation of Humanity's Greatest Hope - And Fear
Earth and its young colony COYOTE have a difficult relationship, yet together they must face the astonishing truth that mankind is no longer alone.
The starship ROBERT E. LEE is bearing a controversial cargo on its return to Earth; the only surviving crew of the EASS GALILEO. The ship and all aboard it vanished decades previously, while examining an apparently alien artefact.
As John Shillinglaw, director general of the European Space Agency, waits nervously for the vessel to dock, he ponders the mystery. First Officer Theodore Harker, astrobiologist Jared Ramirez and pilot Emily Collins have been missing for fifty-six years. Where have they been… and why have they come back now?
Below, Allen Steele talks about Spindrift, and reveals the background to the first of his three Coyote spinoffs...
"As I approached the end of Coyote Frontier, I was convinced that, once and for all, I was done with the series. I had written my trilogy; now I could go on and do something else. However, I also realized that I was setting up a situation that could only be resolved with yet another book … not a fourth Coyote novel, but rather a related story set in the same universe. Since it involved an idea that I’d been toying with for the last several years, once again I left a loose end. A year later, I began work on Spindrift … and a few months after finishing that novel, I set out to write its sequel, Galaxy Blues.
Very often, my stories and novels are inspired by visual images. Spindrift is one such instance. Several years ago, while at a science fiction convention in Boston, I had a conversation with my friend and collegue, the science journalist Jeff Hecht, about an article he’d recently published in New Scientist. Jeff’s piece was about so-called trans-Neptunian objects – asteroids or small planets that astronomers believed to exist in the outermost reaches of the solar system – and accompanying his article was an illustration depicting the surface of just such a world.
This image of a dark and ice-covered plain, far beyond the Sun, got stuck in my mind; I knew almost immediately that there was a story to be told about this place. At the time, though, I was just beginning work on Coyote, so it was put on the back-burner for quite a while. Coyote led to Coyote Rising, which in turn led to Coyote Frontier … and still, I kept thinking about men in spacesuits, trudging across a lightless world, their way guided only by the wan illumination of their helmet lamps.
During that same period, astronomers confirmed the existence of trans-Neptunian objects: first Sedna, then Eris, and finally the revelation – still controversial in many quarters – that Pluto is not a true planet after all, but rather just another resident of the Kuiper Belt. At the same time, articles were being published in science magazines regarding the possibility of rogue planets, something which had long-since been a staple of science fiction that now appeared to be real.
All this happened while I was writing the Coyote books. By the time I was halfway through Coyote Frontier, I was beginning to think that I might be able to continue the series beyond the conclusion of the trilogy, perhaps as a related novel set in the same universe, using the events on Coyote as background. And then I recalled that mental image which had been haunting me for so long…
Looking back on it now, I realize that I’d set up the situation for Spindrift within the first chapters of Coyote. Perhaps this was an act of my subconscious mind. All I know is that, once I finally arrived at the place where I’d imagined those lonely space explorers, it was with an eerie sense of familiarity. I’d been there before, and now I was getting a chance to describe what I’d seen.
So Spindrift is the title of a novel about a place called Spindrift. It has evolved considerably from what I first thought it would be – indeed, its greatest secret (shhh! … I’m not telling you here) literally came to me in a dream – but nonetheless it goes back to that magazine illustration, briefly glimpsed nearly a decade ago."
- Allen Steele