Rude Astronauts – Science Fiction Book Review

Rude Astronauts“Rude Astronauts” is a collection of short stories written by Allen Steele between the mid-1980s to early 1990s, so there are a few anachronistic bits of technology. The note about the author gives a good idea of the elements you’ll find in these stories: Steele was a journalist whose work took him to the Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers, he lives in New England, and collects vintage science fiction.
The stories offer a range of topics and styles; the “rude astronauts” of the title make only a cameo appearance. The antics of construction crews on space structures are the most comical (though I bet these could have been set in the Antarctic or on the sea floor just as well), there is a more serious space adventure, a spy thriller, and some less personal, third-person stories that read like history. (These are just the sort of stories that worm their way into my brain, confusing my memory of truth and fiction.) His “alternate history” stories are my least favorite: The plots don’t depart far enough from real history to be striking.
Overall I liked the collection, though I doubt I’d read the book twice.

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