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Apollo's Outcasts

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
In the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile classics, crafted with a modern sensibility. Jamey Barlowe has been crippled since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon. He lives his life in a wheelchair, only truly free when he is in the water. But then Jameys father sends him, along with five other kids, back to the Moon to escape a political coup detat that ...more
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 28, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Looneys, space nerds, Heinlein fans
Ah, this is more like it. For those of you who miss those Heinlein juveniles, Apollo's Outcasts is perfectly billed as a successor to books like Starman Jones and Have Space Suit -- Will Travel. And look, is it too much to ask for some boy-centered YA now and then? This was a great juvenile hard SF novel, updated for the times.

Jamey Barlowe was born on the moon, but brought back to Earth after his mother died. Thanks to Lunar Birth Deficiency Syndrome, his bones aren't strong enough to hold his
Jared Millet
Dec 31, 2012 Jared Millet rated it really liked it
Given the overwhelming prevalence of fantasy in YA lit, I’d personally love to see a swing towards some solid, future-looking SF. Having read a novel earlier this year that got it all wrong, it’s refreshing to come across a book that gets just about everything right. I can only hope this catches on as a genre again.

I’m not a Heinlein worshiper, but that’s clearly where Allen Steele draws his inspiration (as one would expect), even going so far as to almost quote him directly in a spot or two. Ho
3.5/5 stars

Apollo’s Outcasts somehow manages to be nostalgic and refreshing at the same time. Jamey is a wonderful character to follow, and Steele really should be heralded for his understanding and adept use of science. While this book is billed as young adult, it’s easy to see how it could appeal to an audience that spans all ages. It’s adventurous, quick moving, and intense. Steele’s flowing prose will bring the world and situations to life and the fairly short length of the book makes this a
I abandoned this one at around 180 pages. I thought I would finish it just for the hell of it, but I was so bored by the lack of plot advancing and the one-note characters that I just decided it wasn't worth the trouble.

The biggest problem is probably the pacing. It takes Jamey almost 100 pages to even get to the moon, and once he's there, not much else happens. This space could be used for all sorts of things, but when nothing happens, it's very, very hard to be engaged in the plot.

Instead of f
I really felt like I ought to like this book a lot more than I did. I've had a hard time putting my finger on just what it was that didn't taste right. But I think I've sort of figured it out.

Jamey was born on the moon, so, when he's returned to and raised on Earth, he's basically crippled, and can't get around except in his "mobile". That's reasonably believable, except that since he's been on Earth since babyhood, I would have expected his body would have begun a certain amount of corrective a
Alisa Russell
Mar 04, 2013 Alisa Russell rated it it was amazing
When I first heard that Pyr Books would be publishing a book by Allen Steele, I was very excited. A few years back, I had read all of his Coyote books, and he had become one of my favorite authors. I finally was able to get his most recent book a few weeks back and have just finished reading it.

Apollo's Outcasts is another slam dunk for this author. It begins with Jamey Barlowe, the main male character, and his sister being sent to the Moon, along with five other kids, after a political uprising
Jamey Barlowe was born on the Moon, but moved back to Earth as an infant following his mother’s tragic death. Because his fragile bones can’t handle Earth’s gravity, Jamey needs a wheelchair to get around, but he has learned to live with his disability and lead a normal teenage life. Then, on his sixteenth birthday, Jamey’s father wakes him up in the middle of the night and sends him back to the Moon to escape a military coup in the United States.

Jamey arrives in the lunar mining colony Apollo w
Elie Harriett
Dec 20, 2012 Elie Harriett rated it it was amazing
My first exposure to this book was the author's reading of the first chapter at the 2012 World Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention in Chicago. After that reading, I knew I had to purchase this book. I'm mostly a newcomer to Allen Steele's work, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the works of his I've read thus far and this one is no different.

If you've never read a young adult novel before, don't let it discourage you. They're usually the same as a "full" adult novel, except the main protagonist is still a
Nov 27, 2012 Wayne rated it really liked it
Very pleased with this. The premise mostly parallels Steele's Coyote books: the US is taken over by a hard right-wing coup, and the various 'suspect intellectuals' who oppossed the now-President are being rounded up and put in camps or simply disappeared. The children of several friends are put on a moon shuttle moments before the gendarmes arrive, and seek political asylum. Our hero was bound to a wheelchair on earth but on the Moon he's free to move, thanks to the lesser gravity.

It's a nice c
MB (What she read)
Apr 08, 2013 MB (What she read) rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Youthful and/or uncritical readers
A pleasant read but too many illogical plot holes drove me crazy. I had a hard time finishing this. For more snarkiness, see my status updates.

But, as always, don't let me talk you out of this, if this book sounds interesting to you.

One of many small quibbles: All these comments about no milk for cheese, coffee, etc. on the moon. What about soybeans? Did they somehow become extinct in the future? As far as I know creamer is made from soy, cheese from soy, there is soy milk....
Jun 25, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele is a near-future YA following Jamey, a ‘looney’ who is crippled on Earth because of his lunar birth, as he and five other political refugees flee to the moon to escape a suddenly hostile US government. As Jamey and the other teenagers struggle to control their new trajectories, they learn that even the moon is not far enough away to escape Earth politics.

Jamey finds new freedom in lunar gravity, where he can finally walk unassisted, and where he is already old e
Dark Matter
Jan 12, 2014 Dark Matter rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This and more reviews, interviews etc are on Dark Matter Zine, an online magazine. This review was written by Rebecca Muir for Dark Matter Zine.

Apollo’s Outcasts is set in 2097, in a future where humanity has begun to colonize space. There is a colony, Apollo, on the moon, built by the International Space Consortium to mine and process rare materials, primarily helium-3. This isotope, present in moon dust, has become the power source of choice on Earth, where it is
Ivy Deliz
I'm very conflicted on this book. I love a lot of things about it but I dislike a lot of things about it too. I love that it's partially hard sci-fi, which I recently discovered and love, but the drama aspect of this book is disappointing. I feel like a lot of space fiction writers focus a lot on the accuracy or experience of living in space, which is a huge aspect of why I read these books, but the drama does not match the same quality. I want an enticing and complex story that happens to be in ...more
Aug 28, 2013 Andreas rated it it was ok
Jamey Barlowe is a teenager with such weak bone structure that he cannot walk unsupported. This is because he was born on the Moon. He is roused from sleep and hurriedly taken to a space launch facility along with his sisters. The Vice President of the United States has come to power due to the mysterious death of the President. As becomes apparent, she is a bit of a nut and, among other things, wants to imprison Jamey’s space scientist father due to his signing a petition regarding the space pr ...more
Feb 22, 2014 Jo rated it it was ok
First, let me own up to the fact that I'm not a big sci-fi reader. [Except for space operas. LOVE those!] So my two star rating must be taken with a large grain a salt. I found myself reading this title as part of a teen literature review group. While my overall assessment is "ok," I'm glad I had the opportunity to try out this novel.

This story follows Jamey Barlowe - a teenage boy who has been crippled since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon but having to live on Earth. Things cha
By 2097, Earth has established at least two working colonies on the Moon, and after a coup d’état in Washington DC, Jamey Barlowe and his sister must flee to the moon since their scientist father is on the wrong side politically of the new president. Jamey has two claims to fame: he was born on the Moon (and is thus physically crippled under Earth’s stronger gravity), and his mother died saving him during a lunar accident. Jamey’s return to the Moon involves a lot of enculturation to the colony ...more
Cathrine Bonham
Mar 22, 2014 Cathrine Bonham rated it really liked it
This book worked on so many levels, Political thriller, Teen romance, science fiction adventure, coming of age story. This was a very well thought out and outstandingly researched novel.

This novel was great because it felt so current, as if the events in this novel could happen tomorrow. The science felt grounded in fact and nothing struck me as impossible. The suspense was perfectly spread out to keep me reading.

So why only four stars?

I wanted to give it five stars. Sadly glaring editorial er
Parsons Parsons
Sep 08, 2013 Parsons Parsons rated it liked it
In Apollo’s Outcasts Allen Steele returns to an often used premise that our outer space colonies will be a safe haven from corrupt Earth governments. He used this idea as the launching point for his Coyote series and returns to it in this book.
In Apollo’s Outcasts America has come under the control of a corrupt Vice President. The she uses the resources of the government to go after her opponents. Fortunately for them they become aware of her plot. Unable to save themselves they none the less h
Jul 08, 2013 Gail rated it it was ok
This was recommended to me by a friend and I finished it in two sittings. I liked the idea of it, a boy born on the moon who then grows up (to age 16) on earth. His bones are never strong enough to bear his weight on earth so he is always in something like a wheelchair. But going back to moon makes living a 'normal' life possible for him - he just stands up and walks and runs with no building up of muscles or anything. That wasn't quite believable to me.
It is set in the future and things have ne
Sep 29, 2013 Margaret rated it liked it
Jamey was born on the moon, and his bones have suffered, leaving him reliant on a wheelchair and crutches. But all that changes on his 16th birthday, when he and five other children are whisked off the planet in the wake of a coup d'état that puts the United States at war with the Apollo mining facility on the moon. Jamey and his friends must now rely on strangers to protect them, and rise to the challenge of saving their new home from their own government.

Good, quickly-paced, and plot-driven, b
Zuri Minor
Jan 16, 2015 Zuri Minor rated it really liked it
Apollo's Outcasts is the story about Jamie, a boy who has been handicapped since birth due to being born on the moon. His family (one father, two sisters) are currently living in outer space due to struggles on earth(which I won't spoil) and are trying to find ways to help it.

One thing I liked about this book was the atmosphere of being in outer space and plans to help the earth. It makes you want to know if the characters will succeed in their objective. One thing I didn't like was the pacing o
Aug 05, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
I've met Allen at a scifi con years ago in Orlando that got me reading his Coyote series and now I've read almost everything he's written. This one was a good book but because it was aimed at the young reader audience I guess I didn't enjoy as much as his other work. For the audience it was probably worthy of 4.5 stars and I would have given it 3.5 if possible. Being an engineer the hard science was very good. The idea behind the story was reasonably good as well. But to me the personal interact ...more
Aug 10, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
Comparisons to Heinlein are apt! This reads like The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Junior (a good thing!), though the political situation is different. In a time when YA lit is drowning in dystopias in half-built worlds, I appreciated Apollo's Outcasts as a detailed, "hard science fiction" read. Bonus: it's a single volume work. (I can just imagine how some publishers would have stretched it into a painfully shallow trilogy.) The action sequences in the last quarter are truly exciting. Weaknesses in ...more
Gwen Nicodemus
Dec 11, 2012 Gwen Nicodemus rated it it was amazing
The story centers on a boy, Jamey, who grew up on Earth. He has a disorder, however, and his bones are weak and he lives in a smart wheelchair-ish device. Circumstances force his father to send he and his sister to the moon, where Jamey gets a chance to shine.

Doesn't everyone, and every kid in particular, want their circumstances to change in such a way that they can shine? To change in such a way that they can do real, meaningful, helpful work for society and excel at it?

I've put this book on t
Nov 30, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it
This is a very good young-adult sf adventure in the Heinlein tradition. Much like his Coyote novels, it tells the tales of a group of political refugees and their efforts to make lives for themselves on a new world. The future setting and technology is very realistic, and the characters are convincing. It's also fun from a nostalgic sense-of-wonder standpoint; the relationship of Jamey and Billy was a direct reminder of Roger Manning and Tom Corbett. It's a little hard to believe that such young ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Darien rated it it was amazing
I think that this book is a good book as Jamey is a good character to follow as he is sent to the moon on his birthday because president Willford had died of a heart disease. And vice president Lina Shapar was sworn in as president of the United States and that she considered anyone who signed a petition to be a political foe. She was going to arrest all the people who signed the petition and Jamey's father sent him and his sister to the city on the moon called apollo. When he was on the moon he ...more
Dec 02, 2012 Denny rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. It's billed as a "young adult" novel, but like some of Heinlein's early good stuff, it's appealing to all ages. Anyone who enjoyed Steele's early books like Orbital Decay will find a lot to like here. It's only "young adult" in the age of the protagonist; there's plenty of interesting science, action, and interpersonal stuff here.

Nice to see Steele return to hard sci-fi. The Coyote books were enjoyable, and he built a great universe there, but IMHO Steele is at his best post
This book is great; the author has finally found his medium. His adult books are far too much detail to get anything across, so then his young adult book is a normal adult book. Unfortunately I just didn't finish it with lots of other things to read and library checkout limits, but I found out what happened anyway, because...... (life goal of all librarians)...... my boyfriend, who doesn't usually read, picked it up and literally didn't put it down until he had finished it to the end, in one eve ...more
Steve Walker
Nov 17, 2015 Steve Walker rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable juvenile read very much in the tradition of Heinlein classics such as Have Spacesuit Will Travel, however not as consistent throughout as Heinlein. The characters were fun, the setting on the moon was fun and interesting, and the science seemed plausible and real. The premise of a totalitarian coup by an American president did not seem plausible even in a remote future. But it set the backdrop for the story so you have to go with it much like assuming zombies are real in a ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Laith rated it it was amazing
Ok, I'll be writing up a more complete review in the next few days, but I have to say something.

I received a copy of this title from the publisher in yesterday's mail.

That's right, yesterday's mail.

My oldest had read the cover blurb and was interested but since it is a YA title for slightly older than her Sal and I decided I would read ahead of her just in case.

So I picked it up and started reading, my plan was to get a chapter or two in.

I could not put it down!

Well written and incredibly detail
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Before becoming a science fiction writer, Allen Steele was a journalist for newspapers and magazines in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Missouri, and his home state of Tennessee. But science fiction was his first love, so he eventually ditched journalism and began producing that which had made him decide to become a writer in the first place.

Since then, Steele has published eighteen novels and nearl
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