In the year 2020, Kazumi Kimura, proprietor of shooting star forecast website Meteor News, notices some suspicious orbiting space debris. Rumors spread online that the debris is actually an orbital weapon targeting the International Space Station. Halfway across the world, at NORAD, Staff Sergeant Daryl Freeman begins his own investigation of the threat. At the same time, billionaire entrepreneur Ronnie Smark and his journalist daughter prepare to check in to an orbital hotel as part of a stunt promoting private space tourism. Then Kazumi receives highly sensitive, and potentially explosive, information from a genius Iranian scientist. And so begins an unprecedented international battle against space-based terror that will soon involve the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NORAD, and the CIA.
Fujii's second novel (after Gene Mapper) disappoints by saddling a clever and inventive science fictional element with a cast of implausible characters and a poorly realized setting. In 2020, just as Elon Musk like billionaire Ronnie Smark becomes the first private space tourist at his orbital hotel, an inexplicable cloud of debris begins to threaten objects in orbit. It's first spotted by Kazumi Kimura, a meteor forecast blogger with a gift for calculating orbital trajectories in his head. The cloud sets off an international effort to discover its nature and protect the future of space exploration. The space tether technology at the center of the story is a compelling idea likely to appeal to fans of hard science fiction, but many readers will find it hard to endure the plot twists powered by inexplicable character actions, inaccuracies and implausibilities in setting details, and awkwardly cheesy inspirational speeches at the conclusion.