While reading Orbit by John J. Nance, I had one persistent thought: with the advent of commercial space travel upon us, in all likelihood, something similar to this plot eventually will happen.
In 2009, salesman Kip Dawson’s life is a mess - an on-the-rocks marriage, an estranged relationship with his son from his first marriage, and troubles at his job. But then he wins an orbital trip to space, and he believes his luck is changing. His lifelong dream of flying in space soon turns into a nightmare, though, when a micro-meteoroid hit kills the pilot and takes out the radio. Believing his life will end (as a mess), he bares his soul, writing his epitaph on the ship’s computer. Unknowingly, his writing is transmitted to the world, and the world gets caught up in Kip’s writing and the all-out effort to save his life.
Nance’s knowledge of space and flight (he’s a former Air Force pilot and Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF Reserve) shows through convincingly with this compelling novel. Refreshingly, Kip is an unexpected, unusual hero.
Orbit was released in paperback in April 2007, just in time for taking it along to read on a summer getaway. But…you might not want to go too far away!