The Outcast of Heaven Belt
This novel tells of a future where interstellar travel is a reality, but just barely. No galaxy-spanning empire, just a set of planets, some marginally habitable, full of colonists trying to survive, and sometimes to get ahead. The system was called Heaven, because it contained resources enough to sustain life and maybe even more. But when an outside starship fell into the system on a trade and contact mission, the crew discover how easily people can make a hell out of heaven. Civil war has reduced the once-great civilization of Heaven’s Belt to a set of struggling, isolated societies, each too intent on their own survival to help the others. The crew of the starship Ranger must find a way out of the system before their ship is taken and used as the last weapon for the last war. I enjoyed the differentness of this novel. Life in the future may not be as easy as most S/F tales portray it. What would our culture turn into if we ran out of resources?