The year is 2009. For Kip Dawson, winning a passenger seat on American Space Adventure's spacecraft is a dream come true. One grand shot of insanity and he can return to earth fulfilled. But the thrill of the successful launch turns to terror when a micrometeorite penetrates the capsule, leaving the radios as dead as the pilot. Reality hits: Kip isn't going home.
With nothing to do but wait for his doomed fate, Kip writes his epitaph on the ship's laptop computer, unaware that an audience of millions has discovered it and is tracking his every word on the Internet. As a massive struggle gets underway to rescue him, Kip has no idea that the world can hear his cries -- or that his heroism in the face of death may sabotage his best chance of survival.
For Kip Dawson, an unhappily married man with a son who blames him for his first wife's death, winning a trip into orbit is a dream come true. But when a meteorite slices through the ship, killing the pilot and severing all lines of communication, the dream quickly becomes a nightmare. Nance is well-known for his aviation thrillers, and with Orbit he successfully ventures into the near future with this tale of privately funded space flight gone awry. Nance is no newcomer to narration and it shows. He reads with an assured, confident voice and moves the story along with the pacing of an expert raconteur. His vocal modulations to distinguish between characters are subtle but effective. Most of his accents sound true. The use of a walkie-talkie\x96like voice filter to indicate when characters are speaking over the phone or radio is a nice touch that makes conversations more vivid. Kudos to Nance for crafting such a taut thriller and for infusing his performance with such heart and vigor, proving that he is the only person who should narrate his books.Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 20).