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Slingshot is a love story – about a man, a woman, another man, another woman, some gender bending…and a machine, the largest ever built.
Slingshot is a mystery – about a missing aviatrix, a conspiracy, a true-believer. Slingshot is an adventure – about following a dream, the ocean-deep, outer space.
Slingshot is about constructing the first space launch-loop stretching 2,600 km between Baker and Jarvis Islands in the Equatorial Pacific. It’s about high finance, intrigue, unlimited ambition, heroism, fanaticism, betrayal…and about opening space to the common person.
With a cast of 69, Slingshot takes you from Seattle’s world financial district, to the ocean bottom at 5,000 meters off Baker Island, to the edge of space 80 km above. You play with dolphins and battle sharks. You fly and sail and dive, you work and play and love across the vast panorama of an Equatorial Pacific being put to leash to serve humanity’s surge into outer space.
While its accurate science and precise engineering will appeal to hard science-fiction buffs, Slingshot’s major focus is the grand journey, the opening of outer space to the common person by men and women who loom larger than life as they work, play, and love.
Interview about "Slingshot" by Trenton Bennett who did the Audible version narration .
Interview about "Slingshot" by The Writer Groupie.
Excerpt from Chapter One
Slingshot does for the launch loop what Arthur C. Clarke’s The Fountains of Paradise or Sheffield’s Web Between the Worlds did for the space elevator. Again, Williscroft delivers a great mix of hard science fiction and action.
Robert Williscroft deftly crafts an energetic story around a phenomenal technological development just over the horizon: the space launch loop. The technical detail woven into this story is an education unto itself. But don’t assume that Williscroft chooses raw infodump over story – Slingshot is an adventure that pulls you in, gives you characters that are engaging, and invites you to follow them through their challenges. What Williscroft has done in Slingshot is no easy task – he has balanced the hard aspect of science fiction with the character portrayals that those who despise that very hard science fiction beg for. The last decade has seen impressive leaps in the theoretical work toward the launch loop – this book couldn’t come too soon! And you won’t be able to keep from reading all the way to the end. Williscroft’s art continues to be praise-worthy!
I’ve been a fan of Robert Williscroft’s books for a while now. They’re action packed and filled with all kinds of interesting, real-world information. Slingshot fits right in.
Slingshot is about the development of an earth-bound spaceport in which spaceships are taken 80 kilometers above the Earth by elevator and hurled onto their trajectory by a very fast moving ribbon of soft iron. It is much easier, cheaper, and cleaner to launch spaceships from here due to the rarified atmosphere. This concept may be a reality someday. The book begins with a forward by Keith Lofstrom, the originator of this concept called the “launch loop.”
Learning about the launch loop is the most interesting aspect of this novel. Williscroft’s descriptions of the construction techniques, its operations, and the benefits for space travel are absolutely fascinating. The book takes place about thirty years in the future, and I could easily see such a project becoming a reality in that time.
The plot of the novel is driven by the development and construction of the project, which is being a threatened by ill-informed environmentalists bent on destroying the project. The launch loop is far greener than the current method of launching vehicles into space, but a sinister power has misled the environmentalists into believing that sabotaging the launch loop is saving the planet. Meanwhile, the sinister power is protecting its own economic interests.
As usual, Williscroft has a created a cast of interesting and driven characters. The book is a fascinating read, and you are guaranteed not only to learn a lot, but to dream about the future of space travel.
Copyright © 2023 Author Robert G. Williscroft - All Rights Reserved.
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