NASA is in deep decline especially looking back to its
glory days of Mercury, Gemini, and the Apollo missions. As
the astronaut and cosmonaut pioneers of space die, Elvis-
like sightings are reported, but most rationale folks write
them off as too much moonshine. However, when Neil
Armstrong passes away, a Saturn V moon rocket launches from
the Cape Canaveral pad witnessed by shuttle astronaut Rick
Spencer. The ghostly spacecraft reaches Moon orbit, then
vanishes. This phenomenon repeats itself several times.
Rick persuades the NASA brass to allow him to travel with
the phantom ship, which takes him to the shuttle piloted by
his girlfriend, Tessa McClain. Rick, Tessa, and astronomer-
astronaut Yoshiko Sugano ignore their superiors and ride
the ghost ship to the Moon with the Russians providing
mission control support from earth. Rick soon learns that
if he fears that the space program will end, the ship
remains solid, but if he believes that the space program
will recover, the ship begins to vanish. The team lands on
the Moon and successfully returns to Earth only to have the
CIA interrogate them to learn more about psychic powers.
ABANDON IN PLACE is a full-length novelization of an award-
winning novella. The story line is exciting as Jerry
Oltion uses New Age elements combined with scientific
information that turns into an excellent paranormal tale.
The novel is at its best during the space scenes, but loses
thrust when the CIA enters the picture. Though the NASA
leaders seem stilted, fans of preternatural science fiction
will relish this weird to the moon and back thriller.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 24, 2003