Well, I think I can see why this book is not taking off in America (Roberts is British). It does not paint the US or NASA in a very kind light, and makes some rather pointed remarks about the war in Iraq, by analogy. That was very cleverly done. But the story mostly dragged for me, picking up toward the middle. And when it seemed a good place to end...it kept going. My opinion, of course. Interesting to read a story that posits our near-future in space (hard to find books about that). Roberts is a very good, "literate" writer, but this book didn't do it for me. The character Paul was just so incredibly neurotic and whining. I'm sure we're supposed to dislike him, but I really didn't like spending so much time with such an unpleasant person. But it's neat to see us beginning, finally, to take our place in space, and that instead of it being the glorious miliary leading the way, it is some very real, flawed people who just happen to love living in orbit, for a myriad reasons. There's no grand "man taking his place among the stars," or even the triumph of capitalism and free markets pushing us out into space. It reads more like a mainstream novel that just happens to take place in the future. For that, Roberts deserves to be better known, I think. But sf fans are, surprisingly, a conservative bunch, and this is liable to rub them the wrong way. A powerful central woman character? Men who act like spineless jellyfish? Wow. John W. Campbell must be turning over in his grave!