Dale Brown’s latest book Starfire is a thriller that combines technology with military strategies. The technology definitely takes over the plot and is a character in itself. He explores the issues of militarizing space that will start an arms race and how space can be used for industrial purposes.
Since this plot is heavy on science and technology readers will be presented with many realistic advances of space exploration. “Starfire” is the invention of Bradley McLanahan and his team of engineers. They hope it will become the world’s first orbiting solar power plant to deliver unlimited and inexpensive electricity anywhere on planet Earth, to the moon, and even to spacecraft and asteroids. It’s a crucial first step in the exploration of the solar system, and Bradley and his team are on the cutting edge. There is also CID, a robotic suit a la Darth Vader, which is able to keep a character alive and self-sufficient. In addition the story includes space weapons and vehicles that will result in a new “space cold war.”
Brown told blackfive.net he thought of Starfire after thinking how space can be used as the next energy source. “PG&E has a patent and received permission to launch a satellite that collects sunlight, converts it to electricity, stores it, and beams it down to earth using microwaves.”
The theme of the book involves a new “Space Cold War” where Brown wants to show the importance of space domination. The plot shows the need for the US to maintain its super power status by aggressively accessing space. Readers are able to gain insight on the dangers the US is facing by downsizing and basically eliminating the space program. Currently the only way the US can get into space is through its dependency on Russia: American Astronauts must hitch a ride. A great analogy in the book compares the WWII Pacific Seas battlefield to the next battlefield of space.