Author: Rob Gullette

Publisher: Silver Leaf Books

ISBN: 978-1-60975-067-1

From the opening pages of Rob Gullette's thriller Waking Apollo, readers are lured into the frightful “what if ?”scenario. In this case it is the possibility of a military confrontation that could arise on the moon between the USA and China as a result of the issue of resource exploitation.

Although an international treaty known as the Moon Treaty exists which turns jurisdiction of all celestial bodies (including the orbits around such bodies) over to the international community, it is not, however, a binding international law as the USA, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China have neither signed, acceded to, nor ratified the Treaty.

As our story unfolds, we discover that the moon may contain large mineral deposits of Helium-3. This non-radioactive isotope is sought for use in nuclear fusion research and is used in fusion reactors. The Chinese are aware of the difficulty in finding Helium-3 on earth and they are also cognizant that the first nation to colonize the Moon will claim these riches to the exclusion of all others.

Zeng Wang, General Secretary of War and Security and member of the Chinese Politburo believes that he can bait the Americans into spending vast sums of money in exploiting the moon's resources and in so doing bring about its financial ruin just as the old Soviet Union collapsed when faced with the Regan era military buildup. Moreover, if China succeeds in beating the Americans to the moon's exploitation, it will be make it the foremost supplier of fusion reactor fuel. Due to a previous unpleasant experience with the Americans, Wang seeks revenge and is obsessed with his desire to destroy the USA even if it means an all out war on the Moon.

Olivia Kane, the first female President of the USA and a former astronaut, likewise understands the importance of mining the moon and Helium-3. When Chris Cooper, the Director of the US International Space Agency is certain that China is about to launch a Moon mission to establish a permanent lunar base, he immediately catches Kane's attention who requests that he draw up a plan whereby the USA will be first to establish a permanent base on the Moon. It is her aim to make sure that affordable fusion power becomes a priority in the Nation's energy strategy and this depends on adequate supplies of Helium-3.

Cooper had previously proven himself to be a hero when the National Air & Space Museum in Washington was blown up. According to the FBI, the bombing had been attributed to a secret organization, the Providence Society with ties to the Chinese who were conspiring to disrupt the American economy and destabilize the country. This first bombing was followed with another one of the International Space Station likewise attributed to the same culprits.

The outcome of these events is a well-paced exciting read that steers readers toward a chillingly apocalyptic climax replete with high-tech weaponry, trickery, tragic deaths, flurries of violent action, and vivid portraits of survival and struggle in near hopeless situations. We even have thrown in an unexpected romantic liaison. In the end, you have to admire Gullette's ingenuity and his story-telling prowess as well as his gift for dazzling detailed descriptions. In addition, Gullette effectively manages to create full-blooded passionate characters that are distinct from one another yet all are vigorous and memorable.

According to the author's bio, he worked almost thirty years for The Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington. His writing draws on his childhood passion for science fiction and military history, and his experiences as a lawyer and business executive. Waking Apollo, was inspired by his memories of the early days of manned spaced flight, leading up to Apollo 11, the first manned landing on the Moon.

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