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Coyote: A Novel of Interstellar Exploration (Coyote Trilogy #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,801 Ratings  ·  227 Reviews
Coyote is an astonishing discovery, a habitable moon in a solar system 40-odd light years from Earth. A despotic post-US government decides to colonise this precious find and constructs the starship Alabama. The ship is about to launch when it is hijacked by its own crew. Instead of the intended party loyalists, it is populated with malcontents and social dissidents who mu ...more
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published August 8th 2008 by Audible Frontiers (first published 2002)
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Don't you just hate those space ship thieves?

Unhappy with conditions on earth, Robert E. Lee A decedent loosely related to the great Civil War General, save he's black, leads an exploratory mission to the stars. Instead of staying under the Yoke of an oppressive government, he pulls off the ultimate betrayal and fires the first shot (metaphorically speaking) of what would turn out to be a long struggle for independence.

Lee and his team of handpicked colonists put themselves into cryogenic sus
4.5 to 5.0 stars. This is the first Allen Steele novel I have read and I was very impressed. I found myself engaged in the book from the very first pages all the way to the end, with no periods of boredom or loss of interest. That says something about Steele's ability to tell a good, well-developed story without getting get too bogged-down in mundane matters. In the end, I can say that it was a thouroughly enjoyable read and I will certainly read the next book in the series.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: colonists, we gonna go huntin' Boyd
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 rom ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was a book club read, I'm embarrassed to say. I got halfway through, and I just couldn't waste any more reading time on it. I have a lot of complaining to do, though, so...


I think perhaps what I will do is make a list of all the ridiculousness. I'm not even going to go into the politics of the book ( although I lean left myself) because the right wing villains are so very cartoonish that it's embar
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for some good planet colonization sci-fi and Steele has delivered ten fold in "Coyote"! The story takes some jumps in the time line, which after doing some post reading research shows that it was originally published in a series of shorts and novellas. So, it all works out good! In fact, the jumping nature of the narrative makes the story a bit less dense and plays well to the entertainment value.

The characters are strong and enjoyable though Steele's politics bleed through pretty

sci fi> space opera
TBR busting 2013
pub 2002
winter 2012/2013
grand theft auto spacecraft
Republic of America with one star on the flag - supposed to denote one united people but is more akin to just one political party

3* Galaxy Blues
3* Coyote
S.A. Parham
Originally written as a series of short stories for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, the book does have a bit of a jarring lack of continuity because of its original format. Set in a future where America's gone down the extremist right-wing toilet and speaking out against the government gets you put in internment camps, I think the author did a good job of creating believable characters who would get desperate enough to engineer a plot to steal a starship and escape to their own colony. Unfort ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this was rated a 4 by this community. Reads like a disjointed YA novel. The science is bad, the characters are paper thin, the drama is artificial with no real stakes. Possibly the worst part is the obvious liberal masturbation fantasy/republican bashing that opens the book. I as any good liberal I have no love for the GOP but this went to absurd lengths to demonize them to the point of it being off-putting.

I'll give him credit, he hangs a lantern on every absurdity so he closes
Jamie Collins
This isn’t a bad read, but a particular fondness for colonization science fiction will help to get past unexceptional writing, weak characterization and shallow world-building, not to mention many implausible aspects of the plot. It’s a collection of short stories, but they all feature the same characters and are part of the same story, so it works fine as a novel.

This begins in a relatively near future where the United States has splintered into multiple countries, and the South, of course, has
Ben Babcock
In Coyote, Allen Steele demonstrates the versatility of science fiction as a medium for storytelling. There are no advanced alien species (that we know of so far), no ray guns, and no evil battle droids. Instead, Coyote is a pioneer tale set in a very distant, very exotic locale. In fact, it's interesting that I chose to read it, considering my distaste for "pioneer" and "survival" type literature. Nevertheless, Steele's writing and the story kept me interested enough to see it through until the ...more
Dana Stabenow
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this straight through in one evening. A realistic, near-future take on mankind's first off-earth colony, and a great visualization of the topography, flora and fauna of a planet other than earth.

Interesting construction, too, in that all of the chapters are short stories that were published first in Asimov's Science Fiction and one in an anthology of sf short fiction. This results in the stories being told in the different voices of the different colonists, the colony ship's commander, var
Alex Telander
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read any science fiction, and being normally quite picky with what I like in the science fiction world, the title of this novel was a let down, while the subtitle piqued my interest. After reading Coyote, I can say it truly is a great science fiction novel of interstellar exploration.

The time is about sixty or so years in the future. The American system of government has gone to hell, and there is only one party and it’s basically one big ugly dictatorship, muc
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good story with a couple of dings (I'm calling this a 3.75 and rounding up). Basically, it's a story about a ship of humans who go to colonize another planet 46 light years away. It's told in vignettes, quite a bit like Foundation. In fact, the style is like Asimov in general, especially in the way the Eric Gunther subplot is handled.

The stories told in this book are varied and interesting. From trying to alleviate boredom and lonesomeness on an interstellar ship to exploring a complete
Mary JL
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any SF fan
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of this author
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This book is actually a series of novellas and short stories about Earth's first interstellar Colony.

This leads to some repetition and changes in points of view to several different narrators, but the stories still mesh well together. I had no trouble following the changing points of view.

All eight stories (chapters) are well written and interesting. I found a few events slightly implausible---and a few things I would have liked clarified. But I still give it four stars and will not bother to qu
Why do all space colonisation books end up reading like teen dramas!?

Nevertheless, rather enjoyed Coyote.
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one’s a bit of a late catch-up: one of those books that I’ve been wanting to read for a while and yet kept being pushed back in the pile.

I have read something like eight or nine of Allen’s novels previous to this one, and so I thought I knew what I was going to read. His writing has always reminded me of early Heinlein: well written tales, smoothly put together and generally very entertaining. In short summary – real page turners.

Contrariwise, there were also those concerns that I had with
Francis Gahren
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Review #1

At first, this novel from Hugo winner Steele looks like a fairly conventional tale of high-tech intrigue-in this case, rebels against a right-wing American dictatorship plot to steal the prototype interstellar spaceship built to immortalize the government's ideology by planting a colony on another star's planet. However, once the freedom seekers arrive on the new world – Coyote – things get a lot more interesting. Coyote is habitable but alien, full of flora and fauna that upset the col
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this thinking it was going to be one of those in-the-space-ship political drama on their way to colonize some planet in outer space. The story did start out that way and held great promise. It's always interesting to read social dynamics between people from different aspects of society and the drama that follows. Unfortunately the characters here don't bring that kind of tension.

USA is under a totalitarian rule of the Republic and want to immortalize their existence by colonize a di
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly awesome from start to finish!!

I often look up at the night sky and wonder what is really out there, all of these mysteries that we can't even begin to fathom. And since we still don't know much about potential planets/moons orbiting other stars, the next best thing (for me) is reading some really good, decent, strong fiction, based in some scientific fact but also with a good measure of wonder and adventure. Most sci-fi books on the subject leave me wanting more. There's always a porti
Lis Carey
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, fiction
It's 2070, the political situation in the US is appalling and the economy is no prize either, but we're finally about to launch our first interstellar mission, to colonize an Earth-like world, Coyote, a moon orbiting a superjovian planet of 47 Ursae Majoris B, 46 lightyears from Earth. The governance of the colony is carefully planned to keep it under the repressive political thumb of the current right-wing powers that be.

Captain R. E. Lee, commander of the USS Alabama, and some of the other cre
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not great literature by any stretch of the imagination, but "Coyote" is a well-done and somewhat addictive story of interstellar colonization. Really, it's a collection of stories. Originally what became this book was published as a series of short stories involving the same characters. Coyote collects those previously published stories in chronological order to tell the tale of the founding of the Coyote colony. It also marks the beginning of the still growing Coyote series (Coyote itself is bo ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had first read Allen Steele's Coyote stories individually as they were published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine during 2001 and 2002. Then in 2008, I read the trilogy that starts with this fix-up novel made from eight of the stories.

Now, I have read this one book again, because it was the book of the month selection of the yahoogroups/goodreads hardsf group. It was only about three years ago that I last read this, so the book was very familiar, to the point where I remembered even minor
Christopher McKitterick
I wasn't sure at first how I felt about the overbearing government as developed in the early part of the book, but it turns out to be necessary to the book's theme. As is the final Earthly government that we see, also overbearing, but in the opposite direction. Turns out that this is a novel about the kind of people humanity needs to strike out into the frontier and settle other worlds. In a way, the various coming-of-age stories in the book are metastories for the kind of coming-of-age our spec ...more
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a trilogy I just completed. The story was pretty good but a little fragmented. It is easy to tell, even though the author says he didn't intend a trilogy, that the story couldn't be completed in the first book. In fact, there was a mention of a 'streak of light' in the first book that was never developed until the last book.

Comparing this trilogy to the Kim Stanley's Mars trilogy I would say Coyote is a bit more believable in some respects. Stanley's story relied too much on the magic o
Jason Reeser
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice little adventure. It was broken up into several different sections, originally written as short stories, and this helped to keep the story fresh. There is a great segment about one of the crew members of the starship during biostasis that was just fantastic. A few of the sections weren't my cup of tea, but by then, I'd figured out that I only needed to be patient, that things would change.
I have to mention one thing about this. The beginning of the story depicts the USA as being
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.5 stars

I enjoyed this book.

I thought there was going to be more zooming around in spaceships, but around the halfway point the books stops being a "get away from the oppressors" book and turns into a "new colony survival" book. Not necessarily a bad change, but it was a shift in gears. As a matter of fact, if there is anything I don't like about the book it's that it seems to dissolve into a YA coming of age, Heinlein Juvenile type book toward the end. I'd rather have spent more time with Capt
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Wow! What a great science fiction book! And what a great way to begin a trilogy! This describes the interstellar voyage of a group of colonists who inhabit a life-bearing moon called Coyote. What I liked about this is that it focuses not on hard sci-fi, but rather the human element within the setting of science fiction. The characters are flawed, and deal with the consequences of their choices in realistic ways that are at times frustrating because Steele does a great job of making the character ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book addresses issues involved with settling in space. It is *not* a OMG-look-at-that-terrifying-alien horror story. It does have a political back story, but there is a twist at the end. The settlers, of course, have teenagers--imagine what they might do on a foreign planet! This book illustrates the difficulty and (lack of) odds of us ever getting off this planet, probably like someone in prehistory wondering "how will we ever get across that ocean?"--probably the first thousand or so trie ...more
Dec 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I think the thing I liked the most about the story was the beginning when they hijack the ship from the ultra-conservative American government. The next portion of the story dealing with the trip there was also very good. But I felt the world itself was lacking in life forms. it seemed virtually devoid of life because he only describes a couple land animals, some flying creatures, and a couple fish. I guess I wanted a new world teeming with life and it just came across as almost barren. Then aga ...more
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Who has read this? 6 28 Jun 04, 2013 04:48PM  
Hard SF: BotM: "Coyote" by Allen Steele 4 22 Dec 04, 2011 02:26PM  
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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
More about Allen Steele...

Other Books in the Series

Coyote Trilogy (3 books)
  • Coyote Rising (Coyote Trilogy, #2)
  • Coyote Frontier (Coyote Trilogy, #3)

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“We make stupid mistakes when we're young; we do our best to make amends for them as we get older. We survive by learning; by learning we survive. Such is life. So be it.” 10 likes
“Freedom does that to people, he realizes. Once you've tasted it, ou never want to let go.” 4 likes
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