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By Allen Steele

Fifteen tales and essays from a latest grasp of Heinleinian technological know-how fiction.

In Rude Astronauts, Allen Steele provides a few of his best stories—including the Diamondback Jack Trilogy and his first released tale, Live from the Mars Hotel—along with excerpts of the nonfiction technology writing with which he made his name.

In Steele’s universe, the celebs are chilly, house is gigantic, and it’s the traditional those who make issues interesting.

Introduction: bizarre Scenes from the seashore Party
PART ONE: close to Space
On the line: Eulogy
Walking at the Moon
Free Beer and the William Casey Society
The go back of peculiar Frank
Sugar’s Blues
Live from the Mars Hotel
PART : trade Space
On the line: Pakachoag Hill
Goddard’s People
John Harper Wilson
PART 3: modern Space
Science truth: LGM
Hapgood’s Hoax
On the line: looking forward to the tip of the World
Winter Scenes of the chilly War
On the line: are you able to count number the Angels Dancing on a Pin?
• [i]Trembling Earth

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Sample text

H er thirst for knowledge was insatiable. ” She also was guileful, retaining her ties to the viceregal court in spite of the changing political climate. A sign of her sta­ tus and influence was the commission she received in 1680 to write a poem celebrating a triumphal cathedral arch to honor the advent of a new viceregal period, that of the Marqués de la La­ guna. Sor Juana composed “Allegorical N eptune” as a dedication to the architectural structure and an explanation of its allusions, which included the figure of N eptune as a reference to the mar­ qués.

O n occasion lay vis­ itors were allowed in, even invited to participate in conventual convocations, but only in restricted areas. As the critic Luis Harss states in Sor Juana's Dream, “It was an age of great pageantry, given to grand entries through ceremonial arches, majestic Te Deums with ringing church bells, allegorical floats and fireworks, dramatic mystery plays, rousing popular farces. Although the conventual ideal was still sacrificial self-denial, many nuns, like vestal courtesans, led quite luxurious lives, with slaves and ser­ vants.

Rebellion, Albert Camus loved to say, is to say no. And that “n o ” would soon turn Sor Juana into a patriotic emblem: her portraits would be ubiquitous on stamps and on thousand-peso notes and coins, her memory repeatedly evoked in operas, films, science-fiction stories, murals, music videos, poems, studies and eulogies of all sorts, and tributes by literati in Mexico and beyond, such as Gabriela Mistral, Amado Ñervo, Xavier Villaurrutia, and José Lezama Lima. Father Calleja describes Sor Juana’s final days: “The illness was extremely contagious and Sister Juana, by nature compassionate and charitable, attended all [her fellow nuns] without rest and without fear of their proxim ity .

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