Tor, May 2001, 25.95, 300 pp.
In the twenty-first century, renegade programmer Matt Cairns accepts a job from an American freedom fighter named Jadey to crack the impenetrable codes of the Marshal Titov space station. Matt proves to have the right stuff as he breaks the code. He quickly learns that contact with an alien species has occurred. However, the authorities learn of the breach, forcing him to seek passage elsewhere, perhaps with the alien interstellar technology.
Several centuries later, Gregor Cairns, a descendent of Matt, along with his research partner searches for the crew of the Bright Star. He believes that studying the crew and looking at the star-hopping aliens should lead to finding the answer to leaping between the stars. This is something his ancestor apparently had done.
COSMONAUT KEEP is an excellent science fiction tale that will excite sub-genre fans who enjoy a complex in depth look at future earth and alien cultures. The story line is as deep as it gets as the audience tastes two futures on two comparative worlds in one complicated tale. This novel shows that Ken Macleod is one of the better novelists on the market today.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner