Richard Baedecker thinks his greatest challenge was walking on the moon, but then he meets a mysterious woman who shows him his past. Join Baedecker as he comes to grips with the son and wife he lost owing to his passion for space exploration, his forgotten childhood, and the loss he experienced during the deadly flight of the Challenger. The most difficult exploration of his life is not the cold, rocky crevices of the moon, but the warm interior of his heart. Brilliant and beautifully written, Phases of Gravity is a masterpiece about love and loss that transports readers far beyond the confines of space and time.
Dan Simmons, a full-time public school teacher until 1987, is one of the few writers who consistently work across genres, and perhaps the only one to have won major awards in all of them. He has produced science fiction, horror, fantasy, and mainstream fiction, and is now launching stunning works in the thriller category. His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award; his first science fiction novel, Hyperion, won the Hugo Award. His other novels and short fiction have been honored with numerous accoladres, including nine Locus Awards, four Bram Stoker Awards, the French Prix Cosmos 2000, the British SF Association Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. In 1995, Wabash College presented Simmons with an honorary doctorate in humane letters for his work in fiction and education. He lives in Colorado along the Front Range of the Rockies.
Hugo-winner Simmons (Black Hills) shifts away from genre literature in this quiet masterpiece, first published in 1989. Richard Baedecker, a divorced former astronaut who walked on the moon, has hit a professional and personal low by the late '80s. He still mourns the Challenger disaster, hates his mediocre civilian job, and can't connect with his grown son. When he visits his son in India, Baedecker falls in love with his son's friend Maggie, who shows him around the country and later meets him while climbing a mountain in Colorado. His travels, which take him to his Illinois birthplace and a colleague's funeral in rural Oregon, are interspersed with flashbacks to his days at NASA, and Simmons switches perspective with a deft touch, keeping the reader off guard without ever undercutting his narrative. Fans of Simmons's science fiction might be surprised to find him writing a mainstream novel informed by spiritualism and a hint of magic, but the story is still as good as anything Simmons has delivered.
The man writes a good book.
Before I purchased and read this, I read the reviews on it. One reader commented that over the years he had gone back and re-read the book time and time again. Now I see why.
Phases Of Gravity
I really, really liked this book! The story was riveting and I was reluctant to put it down. So very human and thoughtful. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt journey.
Simmons is the man!