Posts Tagged ‘space travel’

John Sandford and Ctein tell an enjoyable story of interplanetary travel in their 2015 novel ‘Saturn Run’

December 18, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 18, 2018

Saturn Run, a 2015 science fiction novel by prolific thriller writer John Sandford and mononymic polymath Ctein, is a diverting tale about two spacecraft racing to uncover the secrets of a mysterious alien artifact hidden in the far reaches of our solar system.

Sandford, a Pulitzer Prize–winning former journalist who’s probably best known for his 29-book “Prey” series, joined forces with Caltech-trained photographer/physicist/computer scientist Ctein for this tale, which I believe represents Sandford’s first venture into space. None of the characters evince much complexity, but the scenario is gripping enough to make Saturn Run a fun read for science-fiction enthusiasts.

The story opens shortly before an astronomer accidentally detects signs of an alien craft approaching Saturn in early 2066, an event that triggers a frantic U.S. government effort to retrofit a space station for interplanetary travel and research. This project is initially disguised as an effort to accompany and support China’s Martian Odyssey, a ship intended to establish humanity’s first colony on the red planet, but the subterfuge evaporates a few weeks later when every astronomer on Earth notices the alien vessel exiting the solar system.

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Follow-up: ‘Capricorn One’ and ‘Angle of Repose’

August 25, 2012

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Aug. 25, 2012

Author’s note: This post was updated on July 24, 2015, after I discovered that the links were broken. Those have since been fixed. In the case of the Szebin article, I’ve linked to the invaluable Internet Archive because the original host, mania.com, is no longer active. As always, thanks for reading! MEM

I wanted to follow up on two earlier postings.

After I wrote my review of the 1978 movie Capricorn One, I read three interesting articles that related to the film.

In 2007, Deborah Allison contributed an essay to M/C Journal about film novelizations and the two different versions that were written for Capricorn One. She raises interesting questions about how novelizations are crafted — they are often based on early scripts that may differ significantly from the finished film — and what constitutes the “definitive” version of a story.

In 2002, Colette Bancroft wrote a comprehensive feature story about the many different conspiracy theories that assert that the Apollo moon landings were fake. It’s a perceptive round-up, in my opinion. She writes: “That a conspiracy like this would have involved thousands of people, all of whom would have had to agree to participate — and keep silent about it for more than 30 years — doesn’t seem to faze the believers. Especially the ones who have a video or book to sell.” Capricorn One, which of course was inspired in part by these conspiracy theories and may also have served to fuel them, is referenced. Read the rest of this entry »

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