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Novel to "return" Aldrin, Barnes to space

March 21, 2000 — The last time the second man to walk on the Moon — Buzz Aldrin — joined forces with one of the leading voices in science fiction — John Barnes — the result was a gripping tale of man's first encounter with alien intelligence. Now, in The Return the two have set their sights on humankind's fascination with space travel and the real space age, set to begin in as little as 5 years from today.

Return opens with the fictional Scott Blackstone, former NASA astronaut and the agency's choice to manage its new Citizen Observer program. Tasked with flying every day Americans to orbit, Scott's project is canceled before it can even begin after a tragedy with the space shuttle.

When it appears that the loss may have been intentional, Scott, along with those who share his ideas are forced to mount a daring rescue of the International Space Station, of the space program and of American idealism itself. A technothriller about the real vulnerabilities of the nation's space program, The Return is due on shelves nationwide on May 15.

The release marks the second collaboration for authors Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes, who first joined together in 1996 to write Encounter With Tiber. Barnes is the award winning author of Orbital Resonance, A Million Open Doors, Mother of Storms, and many other titles. Aldrin's previous work includes his autobiography Return to Earth and Men From Space, in which he describes his voyage to the Moon as well as his thoughts on the United States' future in space.

According to publisher Forge Books, Aldrin will take part on a two month tour to promote The Return. Although yet to be confirmed, tour stops may be California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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