Phoebe Beyond the Sun

Anonymous

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Visit a future where a mission to add wilderness preserves to a colony on Mars is aborted and the order to jettison the habitats to space and destroy them is given from Earth. The devoted but emotionally unstable arboriculturalist Phoebe Temmerbon defies the command by slaughtering the crew of forest preserve ship Deep Space Freighter Orion 05 and severing all communication with authorities. In the process of fleeing the solar system to evade capture, she must contend with the burden of caring for the remaining forests with only two robots, a demanding biosphere management computer, a damaged ship, and recurrent hallucinations brought on by her addiction to painkillers. In the decades that follow, Phoebe sinks again to the lowest depth of hatred and rises to the noblest height of compassion only to fall once more upon the vexation that despite receiving aid from a passing alien and his craft, her life's dream of success and love in space was irretrievably ruined by her fellow people of Earth and that she will die far from the Sun with nothing to show for her efforts but a wrecked ship, rundown robots, two isolated alien daughters, the five graves of those who once lived there, and the remains of an abandoned mission to Mars that is hurtling through the galaxy to a place her alien visitor called its "creators."

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