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Previous SFF Author: John Steakley

SFF Author: Allen Steele

Allen Steele(1958- )
Allen Steele has published 18 novels, and numerous novellas and short stories. He won the Hugo for Best Story in both 1996 and 1998, and for Best Novella in 2011. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee. Steele has provided testimony before Congress on the importance of the scientific exploration of space. Visit Allen Steele’s website for more information.



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The Death of Captain Future: Old-style heroic SF adventure

The Death of Captain Future by Allen Steele

To get the fastest transport to a rendezvous with his new job, spacer Rohr Furland decides to take a position on The Comet. Rohr doesn’t listen to gossip, so he isn’t aware that the captain of The Comet, who styles himself Captain Future, is a nut case who can’t find a crew because nobody else will work for him. Nobody, that is, except for Jeri, a bioengineered “Superior” human who Rohr develops a crush on. Why is Jeri,


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…Where Angels Fear to Tread: Steele takes on time-travel

…Where Angels Fear to Tread by Allen Steele

Allen Steele promised himself he’d never write a time-travel story, but nevertheless, here it is. In his introduction to this audio version, he explains that he didn’t want to write about something he thought was impossible, but one of his friends challenged him to write a story that could overcome his own doubts. And thus we have …Where Angels Fear to Tread.

There are two timelines going on in …Where Angels Fear to Tread.


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Stealing Alabama: U.S. history in S.F. context

Stealing Alabama by Allen Steele

It’s the year 2070 and the United States is a mess. There’s civil war and, while people are suffering, the totalitarian government chooses to spend its money on a massive space program. In fact, the countdown has begun for the launch of the starship Alabama which will establish humanity’s first interstellar space colony. The “Intellectual Dissidents” who disagree with the government’s actions are rounded up for “re-education” and are never seen again, but many have been undetected and they’ve got a vast conspiracy going on.


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Apollo’s Outcasts: Pleasing young adult science fiction adventure

Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele

Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele is a pleasing science fiction adventure for young people, in the mold of Robert Heinlein’s YA work. It takes place on a near-future Earth and on the lunar colony, Apollo.

Jamey Barlowe was born on the moon but returned to Earth when he was an infant. Jamey’s bones never developed properly in the moon’s lower gravity. On Earth, he is crippled, needing crutches and an automated “mobil” to move about.


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Arkwright: A solid tale of a persistent science fiction trope

Arkwright by Allen Steele

The concept of a generation ship has circulated in science and science fiction probably since the late 1920s and certainly since the 40’s. The idea is based on an assumption that light speed is a space travel barrier that won’t be overcome and so travel to even the nearest stars will be a journey of multiple generations. The ships that make such a journey will need to be large and need to solve problems of self-sustenance.

Allen Steele delves into this space travel theme with his aptly titled Arkwright,


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Magazine Monday: Asimov’s, September 2011

The September 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction is a mixed bag, with a couple of amazing stories and a few not so amazing. One of the former is “The Observation Post,” by Allen M. Steele. A recurring motif in science fiction is visitors from the future watching hot points in history, and for this story that hot point is the Cuban Missile Crisis. The story begins with a voyage in a blimp that seems fictional, like something out of a steampunk story, until one realizes that the Navy really did use a few blimps until November 1962,


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Magazine Monday: Asimov’s, July 2012

Megan Lindholm’s “Old Paint” is the thoroughly enjoyable novelette about an old car beloved by a family that lets it roam free. The car comes from a time before cars were completely automated, when one could still actually drive them oneself instead of just programming in a destination. It’s so old that its nanotech paint is of a wood veneer on the side of a station wagon. The car is useful, if not exactly a favorite of the teenage boy in the family who’d like something a bit racier. At least, it’s useful up until the time it goes wild because of virus unleashed by a hacker group that did it just to prove they could.


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SHORTS: de Bodard, Smith, Buckell, Steele, Pinsker, Barnett

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read that we wanted you to know about.

The Waiting Stars by Aliette de Bodard (2013, free to read online or download on author’s website). 2013 Nebula award winner and 2014 Hugo award nominee (novelette)

In this 2013 Nebula award-winning story, set in the 22nd century, Aliette de Bodard weaves together two narratives that at first seem unconnected but in the end, of course, are. The first concerns a woman’s exploration of a derelict spaceship in a graveyard of spaceships in an isolated corner of space controlled by the Outsiders.


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Old Venus: An over-long, narrowly-themed anthology

Old Venus by Gardner Dozois & George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’s themed anthologies are some of the most popular on the market these days. Soliciting the genre’s best-known mainstream writers, selecting highly familiar themes, and letting the length run to 500+ pages, RoguesWarriorsDangerous WomenSongs of the Dying EarthOld Mars,


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Next SFF Author: Jon Steele
Previous SFF Author: John Steakley

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