Reckoning is an old pilot's and sailor's term for determining position
based completely on reckoning (calculation) and not at all on observation
of landmarks, or assistance from radar systems or GPS. Some claim
the phrase stems from the idea that "if you reckon wrong, you're
This was precisely the perilous situation faced by Captain William
Brighton and his loyal crew and officers. Dead Reckoning brings
the reader on a thrilling ride as it recounts how they are evicted
from their ship and forced into a vandalized shuttle, and left behind.
With little power or food, they must all struggle across an entire
system without navigational or computer aid in order to survive.
To make matters worse for Captain Brighton and his crew, their
shuttle carries a new technology that draws the interest of nearby
hostile soldiers who decide to try to take it away from them by
whatever means necesary.
Their situation appears dire.
Alone, virtually unarmed, underpowered, undersupplied, hounded
by dangerous combatants, and unaided by computer navigation systems,
the loyal crew must rely on themselves, their officers and their
captain to cross an entire system.
In order to complete their journey, they must ration the few resources
that they do have. This effort becomes more and more difficult as
weakness, starvation, and constant fear of confrontation with the
armed brigands begin to take their toll.
The longer it takes them to make their escape, the less likely
they are to succeed. The rationing of power also means that they
cannot use computers to help in their inter-system navigating. They
must instead depend on the mathematical skill of their officers,
especially their captain...
If they reckon wrong, they'll be dead.
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