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Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - Saturn Run Chap 23-44 spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14971 comments This is the second of three segments for commenting on Saturn Run Chapters 23-44.
The first to post may please provide a short summary to guide the discussion.


message 2: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1229 comments Chapters 23-26
Reactor 2 shuts down twice and no one knows why. Becca and Crow brainstorm and sabotage is not ruled out. Crow has to inform the President. Becca continues to work on the problem but no solution presents itself. The Nixon continues the journey on one reactor. Next big job, putting up the sunshades and all goes well. Earth seems to be not as interested in the journey lately. Shipboard life goes on and Clover, Sandy, & Fiorella continue their plot while Sandy and Becca talk music and Go.


message 3: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1229 comments Chapters 27-30
The USSS Nixon gets past the Sun with no problems though boredom is becoming a problem. A fight breaks out in the cafeteria and the root cause is the "orgy club". Some background on Crow is revealed while he still works on the spy situation. Sandy and Becca play Go and more.

Chapters 31-34
The President informs the Captain and Crow that the Chinese have performed a maneuver that will advance their Saturn ETA. Becca mulls over her relationship with Sandy. Crow laments the soap opera that is complicating his plans. Becca and Sandy head out in eggs to observe the performance of the radiators. Temperature fluctuations appear in Exchanger 1. An explosion occurs and Sandy has to be rescued while Becca's egg is lost.


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14971 comments Chapters 35-39
We observe Captain Fang-Castro's perspective from the bridge during the tragic accident; calm before the storm. The Comm exchange between Martinez and the Captain during Sandy's rescue is heart- wrenching. Fang-Castro rallies Sandy's closest friends to support him as Rebecca's loss hits him. Interestingly drugs to numb the pain of loss, administered by psychiatrist Roger Ang, allow Sandy to resume his duties.
The Captain rallies the team to report on the accident and work around the damage to continue the mission.
Wendy Greenberg replaces Becca., the ship is now speeding faster than they want. A New Year celebration brings the Captain a promotion to Admiral.
Crow and Fang-Castro discuss the possibility the Chinese ship will need rescue, this is not sanctioned for their rival/enemies.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14971 comments I am deeply hooked, fascinated, eager to read on and wanting to savor the story. Sandi we seem to be close in pace. Your summaries are terrific!


message 6: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1229 comments Chapters 40-41
The USSS Nixon arrives at Saturn at least two weeks ahead of the Chinese ETA. The President, Captain, and Crow brain storm on how to approach the alien object but first they must maneuver between the rings that are awe inspiring. The alien object beckons them onward with enticing color patterns that Clover interprets as an invitation. The Captain decides on the landing party but is persuaded to add Fiorella. The landing party takes a bus over and are able to hook into a landing port. They move inside and are greeted by a console that assures them that the air is safe and that it will answer any questions it can. There is a lot of technical back and forth and Fiorella gives the console the name of Wurly since it looks like an old jukebox.


message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1229 comments Ann wrote: "I am deeply hooked, fascinated, eager to read on and wanting to savor the story."

I agree that this section has been very intriguing with many turns so far. Just when the mission seemed to going so well a freak accident takes out one of the most important members of the crew. It will be interesting what kind of effect that will have though the new chief engineer seems pretty good.


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14971 comments Chapters 42-44
The American crew celebrates their successful contact back on the Nixon; almost giddy at the prospect of the technology they may be able to access and the potential for trade goods from this station.
David and Naomi (Crow and Fang-Castro) discuss the moral and political options for dealing with the imminent arrival of the Chinese ship (Celestial Oddyssey) which may not have an easy arrival into orbit. If the Chinese need assistance the options will be at odds.
Fang-Castro expects she will offer aid based on International law if they ask, Crow agrees but back on earth, the government opinions are more hostile; either way it is possible that contact for the purpose of aid holds a real threat.
The Chinese vessel arrives and does encounter damage but no distress call. No one wants trouble, but back on earth this is a very sticky situation.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14971 comments Sandi:
Yes! I was lulled into a false sense of security when the accident with Rebecca happened. The authors distracted us with the relationship talk between Sandy and Becca so that the science which is usually a focus was pulled down from top of mind which was clever. (and perhaps a bit manipulative) I like the Fang-Castro character a lot. She shows great strength of leadership.
Sandi wrote: "I agree that this section has been very intriguing with many turns so far. Just when the mission seemed to going so well a freak accident takes out one of the most important members of the crew. It will be interesting what kind of effect that will have though the new chief engineer seems pretty good. "


message 10: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments Im also loving it and struggling to put it down now.
That was horrible the way becca got wiped out. I liked her a lot. Interesting advance in medications for depression.

Fang castro is an interesting character. Hard to get a good picture of her motives and how well she will handle the chinese ship if there is a problem. She seems too keen to save them at the big risk to her own crew. So much going wrong on the way out would make me think its going to be lucky enough getting everyone home safe on 1 engine and the damaged cooling system with out another crew to watch and look after.

Im glad the alien port was friendly and cooperative. It took the intensity out of the story and gave some relief after all the other stress and worries leading up to it. Such a great system for first contact.

I Keep wanting to know more about it and really enjoyed clovers questioning. Hope the chinese visit doesnt upset things. It makes me sick thinking they could ruin such a great opportunity to learn about the aliens and their tech by fighting over it.


message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1229 comments Jack wrote: "Im also loving it and struggling to put it down now.
That was horrible the way becca got wiped out. I liked her a lot. Interesting advance in medications for depression.

Im glad the alien port was friendly and cooperative. It took the intensity out of the story and gave some relief after all the other stress and worries leading up to it. Such a great system for first contact.."


Definitely a smarter way of handling first contact and a relief after the hard journey to Saturn.

I have been more impressed with Fang-Castro after the Nixon and the mission got underway. My first impression was not that great. All the worry over her fiance, but have changed my mind.

I too have been enjoying the story. I do like science fiction though do not read it nearly as often as in the past.


message 12: by Bruce (new)

Bruce Perrin | 131 comments The invitation to this round said that Saturn Run “has been loosely compared to The Martian.” I can see that. Both based in space, they require solutions to nearly impossible engineering problems for the characters to remain alive. The big difference, to me, was that while both books dealt with difficult technical problems, those in The Martian are related to issues everyone can identify with – having air, growing food, making water… I have a much harder time relating to the problem of dissipating 600 degree heat. The solution - extruding something akin to layers of molten metal foil into space and then collecting and recycling it – seems ingenuous, although the tech to hold the metal together when extruded seems a bit out there. But in any case, the fundamentals of these problems are tougher to get your mind around than growing food. And the humor in The Martian is also largely missing.

What’s with all the preoccupation with sex during extended space flight? The study on hookers in space? The Orgy Club? The Hump Pot? Is this really an issue or is it to sell books? It seems a bit out of place, or at least, emphasized beyond its value to the story. Or maybe this is the humor I’m not finding?

I would have expected some of the technology to change more than it did in 50 years. All the doors automatically unlocking and locking is pretty much here today with smart home technology. The viewing technology – vids and screens – seems almost unchanged from today. We seem to have no Artificial Intelligences onboard or working issues groundside as far as I can tell. Implants seem to be something like cochlear implants – they seem to be hearing pings and communications. And so on. I guess I expected to see more tech of the future based on current research trends.

I really like the barter-based, convenience store in the sky characterization of the alien station and the general, ‘quit thinking they’re going to kill us because why would they bother’ attitude. I find these perspectives both fun and thought provoking.


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14971 comments Bruce: the preoccupation with sex is an interesting point. The Hump Pot particularly seemed a bit extreme to me. Sandy and Rebecca's physical relationship seemed like it was a natural occurrence but the emotional one seemed to be heading for trouble if Sandy's playboy past was going to reemerge. The rest was perhaps meant to convey how humans hadn't evolved?
Bruce wrote: "The invitation to this round said that Saturn Run “has been loosely compared to The Martian.” I can see that.....
What’s with all the preoccupation with sex during extended space flight? The study on hookers in space? The Orgy Club? The Hump Pot? Is this really an issue or is it to sell books? It seems a bit out of place, or at least, emphasized beyond its value to the story. Or maybe this is the humor I’m not finding?"



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