Syne Mitchell End In Fire Reviews

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“End In Fire ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 31/05/2005

End In Fire
Syne Mitchell
Roc, June 2005, $6.99, 325 pp.
ISBN 0451460332

In the year 2027, oil resources are nearly depleted and the Digboi oil field which borders the Himalayas is claimed by India but the Chinese want it for their people. It starts off as a conventional, localized war but China uses a high atmosphere nuclear device before sending in troop. India retaliates using its nuclear arsenal and the United States is on a war alert ready to help India.

The America Reliance space station carrying five astronauts is getting ready to launch a satellite that will deploy solar reflectors to use as a cheap energy source. They are witnesses to the nuclear war that broke out between India and China and are desperate to find a way to get home. The Chinese space station whose commander isy Zhang is willing to help them in return for a ride home but people in both stations fear that war on earth will influence discussions in space.

END IN FIRE is a story about the courage of two crews in Chinese and American space stations trying to overcome the distrust that led to war back home. In both crews, there are hostiles unwillingly to trust or work together and it is only through the leadership of Claire Logan that the remaining men and women have a chance of surviving. The premise for the war on Earth is plausible and all the more frightening because oil reserves are depleting now and it is conceivable that nations will go to war sometime in the future to gain control of the oil fields. Syne Mitchell is a fantastic storyteller who uses hard science that can be found in a Ben Bova novel and place it in an outer space thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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