No longer on sale as an ebook, check out Beyond the New Frontier, which is the combined novel of New Frontier and Final Frontier.In this alternate history novel, what-if Ronald Reagan became President in 1976 instead and the Space Race turned out differently? He pledges to support NASA with the moon landings, and declares that a moon base would be established by 1979, follNo longer on sale as an ebook, check out Beyond the New Frontier, which is the combined novel of New Frontier and Final Frontier.In this alternate history novel, what-if Ronald Reagan became President in 1976 instead and the Space Race turned out differently? He pledges to support NASA with the moon landings, and declares that a moon base would be established by 1979, followed by a Mars Base by 1989. The Soviets decide to up the ante by building something bigger.The rest of Earth follows the original timeline, so terrorism rears its ugly head, which will forever change American politics. Iran and its attempt at taking hostages is taken care of in 1979, but a new threat emerges because of it. The new President of the United States has to pursue these enemies of the U.S. to secure America's future. We follow America's progress from Moon to Mars, along with the Teacher in Space Program, to an eventual starship mission out of the solar system, which will continue in book two....
|Number of Pages||:||158 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
New Frontier Reviews
Politics is rarely an ingredient for a good alternate history. While most authors will attempt to lessen the impact of their own political beliefs on the story, those who do not will often find that their story suffers for it. New Frontier by Cliff Ball is no exception.The POD for this world is Robert Kennedy being convicted of murdering Marilyn Monroe. Afterwards, John Kennedy's two terms, Barry Goldwater's two terms and several prominent Democrat politicians either killed off or transformed into stereotypical liberals. Jimmy Carter is made to look like the enemy of the space program (while even NASA admits he was the least supportive president, he did contribute the message sent with the Voyager probe and was a proponent of planetary exploration) allowing Ronald Reagan to be elected President in 1976. Reagan goes on to declare that America will establish a colony on the Moon and Mars. The Soviets try to one-up him by building a nuclear-powered interstellar starship with a computer using technology stolen from a young Bill Gates (the reference to the blue screen of death was amusing) that can apparently break the light barrier. This is where things start to become implausible. While a better-funded space program might have accomplished some of the goals that Ball described in his novel, the idea that the Soviets (whose space program was insane to begin with and did not always have the reputation for their engineering ability) could build a starship that could reach FTL speedy simply by going faster then light takes a concept that is already controversial in scientific circles and makes it seem implausible to the extreme.Though the cover and description seem to suggest that the story will focus on the alternate space program, Ball spends an inordinate amount of time Earthside. Iran still has the hostage crisis in 1979, but Reagan handles it differently then Carter and is more successful. In this ATL, however, Osama bin Laden is working with Ayatollah Khomeini who even calls Osama his "apprentice", which makes him sound less like the religious and political leader of Iran and more like a Sith Lord. Nevertheless, this pairing is very implausible. The issues between Sunnis and Shias are well documented and Osama is on record as saying that Shia Muslims are one of the four principal "enemies of Islam" along with "heretics, [...] America, and Israel". Worse yet is America's reaction to Osama's revenge on America, which includes the mass expulsion of American citizens due to their religion, an action very out of character with America society.The writing was poor, with too much tell and not enough show. Plot and character development was minimal, in truth the story was just a retelling of the events stemming from the original POD. What really hurt this book, however, was the author's political bias. Though S. M. Stirling would lecture me that only an idiot would take a character's viewpoint as the voice of the author, too often I felt I was being preached at instead of being told a story. While the next volume in this series might be a better, I cannot recommend New Frontier.
I really enjoyed New Frontier. Since this is the first novel in the series, its mostly the backstory, at least it seems that way to me. The prologue was interesting, and I didn't think it fit with the whole novel, but I read that the author is going to explain it in the second novel. I think something about the interstellar space travelers who leave at the end of the novel somehow end up back in time, and decide to change the 60's. The tech in the novel advances quickly, kind of like how we went from horse & buggy to flying in less than twenty years when the Wright Brothers flew their prototype, or when the nuclear bomb only took six years to design, develop, and implement. I look forward to the second novel, whenever that comes out.
I found this novel interesting, and I enjoy reading this author's novels. The prologue hooked me, which I've learned will be put into greater detail in the second book when it comes out. I found it interesting how the author weaved the alternate history: from Reagan becoming President, which affects what we do with NASA and the Space Race to the Iran Hostage Affair to having bases on the Moon and Mars. The Soviets try to out-do the Americans, and apparently the Americans will right the problem in the second novel. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys American history, alternate history, a little bit of sci-fi (not hard SF btw), and a little bit of political thriller (which is not in your face & button pushing like The Usurper is).
This was an interesting book. The story moves quickly. The author focuses on the story, so there isn't a whole lot of character development. It will be interesting to see how the second book turns out. I did enjoy reading it though.