Lunar Descent (Near-Space, Book 3)
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The former head of a lunar mining operation returns to the moon and is immediately sucked into a dangerous morass of labor troubles, lies, larceny, and corporate wrongdoing in this wildly entertaining science fiction thrill ride.
There is big trouble on the moon. The blue-collar working stiffs of Descartes Station, who mine the surface for minerals and the North Pole for water, have become increasingly dissatisfied with Skycorp’s general disregard for its employees’ well-being. Following the most recent spate of layoffs, the labor strike grumblings have only grown louder, so the company is sending former base administrator and recovering alcoholic Lester Riddell back into the fold in an attempt to boost morale and output alike.
The truth, however, becomes shockingly apparent to Riddell almost immediately upon his return. Not only has he been unceremoniously dumped into a muddled mess of larceny, piracy, and corporate malfeasance, it appears that Skycorp is purposely setting him up to fail—which could spell finis for Descartes Station and every trash-talking, pot-smoking, porn-loving Vacuum Sucker and Moondog who toils there. But as the Skycorp suits are about to discover, they’ve just made the biggest mistake of their corporate lives—because Lester Riddell is nobody’s fall guy.
Three-time Hugo Award winner Allen Steele has seen the near future, and it isn’t pretty—it’s noisy, dirty, dangerous, and chaotic. Thrilling, wildly inventive, delightfully profane, and totally outrageous, Lunar Descent is one hell of rocket ride, with a master of science fiction at the helm.
directly with us regarding the continuance of our employment on the Moon and overall future of the base, we have no choice but to shut down the mining, processing, manufacturing and exportation of all lunar-derived materials.” The statement claims that the strikers have “lost all faith in the ability of our union to fairly represent our interests in these matters.” It also accused the union, the Amalgamated Space Workers International (ASWI), of “conspiring” with Skycorp to “undermine the
with bodily harm if you powerchuck on our nice clean bulkheads. A while later you feel the LTV undock from the hangar, and about an hour after that you feel the AOMV’s main engine fire, and that’s when you know you’re on your way to the Moon. The Star Whoops usually goes away in a day or two, as long as you don’t eat anything or move your head too much. You’ve begun to feel better, but now you’re faced with two days of excruciating boredom. Unless you’ve made friends with the crew … (laughs) fat
emerging from an old-fashioned iron lung. “Well, you certainly were a pain in the ass today,” she complained, giving him a dirty look. She removed her bulky VR helmet, shook out her hair, and tossed the helmet back into the capsule’s tiny cockpit before kicking the topside hatch shut. “I was half inclined to accidentally let that thing slip out of my hands.” “Sorry,” Joe said. “Maybe I got a little carried away there.” “Yeah, maybe you did.” Annie pulled her communications headset out of her
next time I see you on-duty, you better be wearing a uniform. I want everyone to know who you are and what you do here. No more Gestapo stuff out of you. You’re going to play a straight game with my people from here on out. Got that?” Her mouth twitched, but she nodded again. Without another word, Lester turned back toward the ladder. As he grabbed the rungs, he noticed Tycho motioning to him. He remembered that he was still on restricted frequency and switched over again to the common band.
which depended upon a power supply just as much as the computers. Funny how certain bodily functions tend to creep up on you at inopportune times, he reflected. “Uh-huh,” he said. “Okay, listen. There should be some sample-collection bags stowed back there. I know it’s messy, but you’ll have to use them. Tell Joe to turn his head and …” Right, she said tersely. I guess. Over and out. He heard a soft click as the comlink was shut off. The old Butch Peterson was back among them. Lester chuckled