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The Revolution from Rosinante by Alexis A. Gilliland
Cover Artist: Laura Givens
Review by Drew Bittner
Renaissance eBooks Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781615083817
Date: 15 May 2011 List Price $15.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Author's Wikipedia Entry / Show Official Info /

Charles Cantrell has a problem. He's the administrator of a tiny outpost on the asteroid Rosinante; dealing with problems is his job. But when thousands of political "undesirables" are shipped to his habitat, an engineering project becomes a colony...one with pressures building up to a boiling point. And when Earth's government wants some of those prisoners back, well... that's a problem.

In Alexis Gilliland's delightful The Revolution from Rosinante, the first in a trilogy, Cantrell is faced with a population explosion, then a threat from Earth, which leads to the most improbable revolution of all time. Rosinante has no means by which to resist Earth's overwhelming military might, but Cantrell is going to have to find a way and fast.

With trouble from the unions, unrest from the exiles and increasingly unreasonable demands from his Earthbound bosses, Cantrell is under extraordinary pressure on all fronts. Of course, now is not a good time for a trial over the murder of a deputy, but that happens too.

As politics result in a demand to recall some prisoners, and Cantrell realizes the dire implications of agreeing to this demand, the engineering-minded administrator considers his facility's enormous solar mirrors and their potential as a weapon. If nothing else, their destructive power might give the naval commanders a moment's pause.

But the endgame is not purely about who has the biggest guns. Cantrell, a bureaucrat as well as an engineer, has a much more devious solution in mind...

Alexis Gilliland has produced an enormously enjoyable hard SF tale in his Rosinante trilogy. Cantrell is a smart, capable man caught in a political and economic mousetrap; his decisions are all bad ones and only by thinking outside the box--literally--can he achieve some kind of just outcome for his people.

The context of the story is not neglected either. Gilliland creates a far-flung but entirely plausible web of economic interests, all of which experience success or failure...and all of which impact Rosinante's fortunes. Very few writers are brave enough to attempt this kind of storytelling, in which the causes are very complex and the chain of events is like Stonehenge-sized dominoes toppling over, but Gilliland handles it masterfully.

Gilliland's novel is a brilliant, intricate and yet concise bit of terrific plotting, enjoyable characters and a threat that seems impossible to resist--yet the characters' plucky resourcefulness finds an ingenious solution. He's a truly gifted writer and readers are lucky to have this new incarnation of his series back in print.

Highly recommended.

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