By Jerry Pournelle, Charles Sheffield
SF powerhouses collaborate on an exuberant kickoff to the publisher's Jupiter sequence, that is devoted to novels patterned after Robert A. Heinlein's vintage inspirational stories for teenagers and adults. within the twenty first century, American public schooling is foundering below the burden of paperwork. but if Rick Luban, sixteen, is expelled for a faculty prank that will get out of hand, he's recruited by way of the asteroid-mining company Vantage Mining and Refining, which has its personal approach of "higher education." during the company's screenings and colleges on the earth and in area, Rick acquires not just formal studying yet a mature experience of accountability. finally, he performs an essential function in uncovering a deadly sabotage try by way of one in all Vantage's company opponents. As should be anticipated from Sheffield (whose novelette "Georgia on My Mind" gained either a 1994 Hugo and a 1993 Nebula) and Pournelle (Footfall, etc.), the clinical and technological historical past is exceptional. The portrait of society has a tendency towards the didactic, and credibility is stretched whilst Vantage bets its destiny on new expertise like Rick and his cohorts. yet in keeping with that wager, Rick matures, and in a plausible way?an crucial aspect in any SF coming-of-age novel, together with this high-spirited exemplar.
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Extra info for Higher Education (Jupiter, Book 1)
This was Baelanos, assault-captain and Zadkiel’s private terror weapon. A potent warrior, Baelanos lacked imagination, which made him the perfect follower in Zadkiel’s eyes. He was obedient, deadly and fiercely loyal, all fine qualities in an underling. ‘As do we all,’ Ikthalon interjected blithely. Another Astartes, Ikthalon was a company chaplain, demagogue and expert torturer. Unlike Baelanos, he wore his helmet in the presence of his commander, a skull-faced piece of armour with a pair of discreet horns on either side of the temple.
With the Astartes and their crew aboard, the Furious Abyss was preparing to launch. A data-probe snicked from the end of one of the fabricator general’s twitching mechadendrites and fed into a cylindrical console that had emerged from the hangar floor. Interfacing with the device, Kelbor-Hal inputted the code sequence required to launch the ship. A series of icons upon the face of the console lit up and a slowly building hum of power resonated throughout the launch chamber. Lead Magi Lorvax Attemann, part of the coterie of acolytes and attendant menials who had gathered to observe the launch, was permitted to activate the first sequence of explosions that would release the Furious Abyss.
We’ve only received fragments of meaning, so far. All we know for certain is that they come from a distant source. Thus far, only part of the message has reached us. ’ Cestus turned to regard the stationmaster and in turn the gibbering astropaths. Beneath the protective psy-skin, he could see their wasted bodies, swaddled in ragged robes. He heard the hissing of sibilant non sequiturs. The astropaths drooled spittle as they spoke, their sputum collecting against the inner material of the skin enveloping them.