Between Earth and outer space lies the Cord…
In the distant future lies Station, an orbiting space station tethered by a cord to Earth, allowing people to use the space elevator to travel into low-orbit without rockets, allowing for unprecedented space exploration and tourism.
Envisioned as a secure and enjoyable place to work and visit, the cord is a valuable resource—one that people are willing to fight for to gain control.
Travel along with a robot repairman who uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, a teenaged girl who is caught up in a revolution, and a tour guide in space trying to reestablish a lost connection with his brother on Earth.
Beginning at the end and ending at the beginning, this unfolding story told over future locales and times reveals the enigma of the cord and the secrets between the fragile ties connecting lovers, friends, and the generations who traverse the cord.
This high-concept sci-fi tale from O'Laughlin (Kurt Vonnegut Remembered) can't quite live up to its own ambitions. Station, an artificial mini-world geocentrically orbiting 40,000 kilometers above Earth, can only be reached via a nauseating five-day journey on the Cord, a claustrophobic space elevator tethered at a South Pacific island city born in response to climate change. In reverse chronological order, O'Laughlin traces the struggles of various groups to control Station. Each section focuses on one of Station's inhabitants, starting in the present with Imogen, who finds peace and serenity there, and proceeding back to the Cord's creation. The cast are only loosely connected, but they're united in their desire to fend off those who would use Station for political, military, scientific, or capitalistic purposes, and their idealistic possibly unrealistic hope that someday humans may learn to live with one another in peace. The unusual structure proves somewhat clunky and confusing, and many of the characters' voices feel oddly contemporary for the futuristic setting. O'Laughlin's hopeful message is appreciated, but his execution falters.