An epic saga of America’s might-have-been, Voyage is a powerful, sweeping novel of how, if President Kennedy had lived, we could have sent a manned mission to Mars in the 1980s. Imaginatively created from the true lives and real events, Voyage returns to the geniuses of NASA and the excitement of the Saturn rocket, and includes historical figures from Neil Armstrong to Ronald Reagan who are interwoven with unforgettable characters whose dreams mirror the promise of a young space program that held the world in thrall. There is: Dana, the Nazi camp survivor who achieves the dream of his hated masters; Gershon, the Vietnam fighter jock determined to be the first African-American to land on another planet; and Natalie York, the brilliant geologist/astronaut who risks a career and love for the chance to run her fingers through the soil of another world.
Kennedy survived. Like many alternate history stories, that’s the premise of Stephen Baxter’s Voyage. But in Baxter’s version of the past, that one altered fact is the propellant that drives humanity into space, beyond the primitive lunar landings of the 1960s. Spurred by a JFK who champions space flight and a Nixon administration that backs NASA, humans reach Mars in 1986. But this is a tragic tale as well as a triumphant one, for Baxter’s relentless realism chronicles the perils of extended space flight as well as its glamorous achievements, making for a gritty, true-to-life story.