Coyote : Coyote Trilogy

  • by Allen Steele
  • Narrated by Peter Ganim, Allen Steele
  • Series: Coyote Trilogy
  • 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Coyote marks a dramatic new turn in the career of Allen Steele, Hugo Award-winning author of Chronospace. Epic in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of plausible events, it tells the brilliant story of Earth's first interstellar colonists - and the mysterious planet that becomes their home...The crime of the century begins without a hitch. On July 5th, 2070, as it's about to be launched, the starship Alabama is hijacked - by her captain and crew. In defiance of the repressive government of The United Republic of Earth, they replace her handpicked passengers with political dissidents and their families. These become Earth's first pioneers in the exploration of space...Captain R. E. Lee, their leader. Colonel Gill Reese, the soldier sent to stop Lee. Les Gilles, the senior communications officer, a victim of a mistake that will threaten the entire mission. Crewman Eric Gunther, who has his own agenda for being aboard. His daughter, Wendy, a teenager who will grow up too quickly. Jorge and Rita Montero, ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. And their son Carlos, who will become a hero in spite of himself.After almost two-and-a-half centuries in cold sleep, they will awaken above their destination: a habitable world named Coyote. A planet that will test their strength, their beliefs, and their very humanity...In Coyote, Allen Steele delivers a grand novel of galactic adventure - a tale of life on the newest of frontiers.BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by author Allen Steele

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It gets better

This book is a series of short stories that were peicemealed together to form a novel. Once I got past the "Stealing Alabama", which quite frankly seemed a bit drawn out and started to bore me after a bit, I started to get deeply into the novel, and I finished it in a couple of days. The colonization stories were top notch. I read some of the other reviews and I can't believe that someone would take issue with the authors political ideology, which was expoused in "Stealing Alabama". This is science fiction for crying outloud. It's not real. Enjoy the novel.
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- Michael

A modern classic of interstellar colonization

This is good old-fashioned hard SF space exploration yarn. The first interstellar colony ship, first people on a new planet, you've read this before — colonists figuring out the climate and ecology of a new world, improvising all the things they couldn't bring from home, having fatal encounters with the native fauna, etc. Coyote is not terribly original, but lots of people like very specific genres that make no attempt to deviate from the standard tropes - how many urban fantasies or Regency romances or mysteries truly stand out as different from the rest? Well, that's Coyote — you want a sci-fi novel about colonists settling another planet, you get a sci-fi novel about colonists settling another planet.

Lest I sound too lukewarm in my praise, Coyote is quite good. The first third of the book takes place before the ship — The Alabama — leaves Earth. It is a near-future dystopia in which a right-wing United Republic of America, a single-party police state ruled by the Liberty Party, has replaced the old USA and is now building a starship as a monument to itself, to guarantee its own immortality. What they don't know is that Captain Robert Lee is planning to steal it, and replace its loyal Liberty Party crew and colonists with freed "Dissident Intellectuals" — political prisoners.

The story of how he pulls this off is the first part of the book, and was originally published as a short story. The rest of the book hangs together pretty well as a single novel, but it's clearly a composite of several short stories stitched together into a linear narrative. This is a hard SF novel, so there is no FTL travel — the colonists travel 42 light years in cold sleep. The first complication is when some URA soldiers are trapped aboard when the ship launches, and go into hibernation with the colonists. Obviously this causes tension when they arrive at Coyote, knowing that they will never see Earth again and that the government they left behind is now history, centuries in the past, but they are still divided between loyalists and dissidents/"traitors."

There are other complications, of course, and enough interpersonal conflicts to keep things cooking along. The second half of the book becomes more of a YA adventure when a group of teenagers, for various reasons, take off with a couple of boats and decide to explore Coyote. It's a stupid, reckless, ill-fated adventure, exactly the sort of thing teenagers would do. But it demonstrates dramatic character growth in two of the young main characters, and leads into the novel's final act, when another starship arrives at Coyote.

Coyote is, perhaps, not an epic, but deserves to be regarded as a mid-level SF classic, or maybe a sci-fi "comfort read" if you will. Don't expect anything daring or unprecedented, but the writing is more than competent, the story has plenty of hooks and turns, and the characters make you care whether they'll survive. This is the first book in a series, and clearly there are loose threads left dangling, and I enjoyed it enough to put the next book on my list.

I wasn't too fond of the narrator, Peter Ganim, who spoke in an almost robotic monotone at times, though his voice was clear enough. The parts of the book narrated in first person by Wendy Gunther, one of the teen protagonists, had a female narrator (who doesn't seem to be credited in the book description); I was glad they used different narrators instead of having the male narrator read those parts.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-25-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios