Cover image for The Orion Protocol
The Orion Protocol
Tigerman, Gary.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [2003]

Physical Description:
322 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

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Project Orion. It's a revolutionary space-based defense shield, only weeks away from deployment. Promising global protection from missile attack by rogue nations, Orion offers an "umbrella" of security to a terror-stricken world. But even the loftiest aims often conceal darker intentions. Behind closed doors, insiders maneuver to control the new superweapon with an agenda that places all mankind at risk.

When Angela Browning, an ambitious journalist, receives a mysterious computer disk from an anonymous source, she can't believe the information it contains: photos of ancient structures on the planet Mars. But after diligent research, Angela discovers that the images originated from the Mars Observer probe, a satellite declared "lost" over a decade before. Perhaps even more troubling than the artifacts themselves is the implication that somehow, somewhere in the corridors of power, it's been decided that the discovery of intelligent life on Mars must be suppressed.

Angela's quest for the truth eventually leads her to Jake Deaver, the commander of the last Apollo mission to the moon. Deaver, a maverick his whole career, may be the only one who can help her shed light on a conspiracy that reaches into the darkest corners of Washington politics. But the pair's investigation takes them dangerously close to Project Orion, and a powerful cabal determined to prevent anyone from jeopardizing their plans. Now Jake and Angela must face the stark reality that pursuing the truth may put both their lives at risk. And the choice they make will change the world forever.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1959, the U.S. government issued a report by the Brookings Institution, coauthored by famed anthropologist Margaret Mead, recommending that any evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence found during the exploration of our solar system be withheld from the general public-who might react badly to it. This, suggests Tigerman in his lumpy, jumpy but rarely boring first novel, was the start of a massive coverup, exposed during the first 100 days of the administration of George W. Bush's fictional successor, a former Democratic senator from Colorado. When someone inside the NASA establishment sends PBS science correspondent Angela Browning pictures of fabulous archeological ruins on Mars, pictures that seem to have come from a supposedly lost Mars probe, it sets off a series of frighteningly believable defensive maneuvers by a host of government agencies. To find out more, Browning tracks down Jake Deaver, one of the last astronauts to walk on the moon. Together, the two embark on an investigation that not only reveals the existence of extraterrestrials but also uncovers the true function of a strategic defense shield dubbed Project Orion. As the novel proceeds, chapters and sections become increasingly short and jerky, and Tigerman's usually brisk prose occasionally turns baroque: "The fact was that Mother England's runaway child was only a blink away from possessing the means for world domination on a scale only Deutschland's most infamous housepainter had ever envisioned, burning himself alive with pure methamphetamine crystal and raving in his self-made Bergtesgarden [sic] of corpses." Despite its inconsistencies, however, this is stirring speculative fiction. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

When Angela Browning, the host of a popular PBS science show, receives a strange unmarked package in the mail, she finds a computer disk on which there is a photograph that may prove the existence of life on Mars. In trying to determine whether this photo is a fake, Angela discovers that the picture's source may be the Mars Observer probe, which disappeared in 1993 hours before it was supposed to land on the red planet. How could this lost probe have taken a photograph? Her quest for the truth leads her to Apollo astronaut Jake Deaver, the last man to walk on the moon. Unfortunately for Angela, Deaver has secrets that must remain hidden. Tigerman's intriguing debut, which the author claims is based more on fact than fiction, is an entertaining piece of brain candy that will appeal to fans of conspiracy thrillers and The X-Files. For larger fiction collections.-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Orion Protocol Chapter One January 27/Oval Office/the White House "Two months ago, if anybody had said we were gonna catch this in the first hundred days, I'd have thought they were high." The fifty-eight-year-old former senator from Colorado and newly elected President of the United States stared out the much-photographed bay window of the Oval Office and into the cut-back winter Rose Garden. "What was it Truman said?" On the desktop, the blade end of his letter opener, engraved with the presidential seal, tapped out a rhythmic figure from the William Tell Overture known to Americans who came of age in front of three black-and-white channels of network TV as the theme from The Lone Ranger . "Truman, sir?" From a clubby wing chair, R. Cabot "Bob" Winston, the President's national security adviser, recognized the galloping little perididdle and made a private note to include it in his memoirs: one of those little human details people liked to read about from a historic moment. "When they told him about Fat Boy." The President clanked the blade into a decorated soup can/pencil holder his youngest daughter once made him for Father's Day. "Damn it, I know this." "Ah, January of forty-five. In this room." Winston sat up minutely straighter, unconsciously signaling the sense of occasion he felt when past presidents were invoked within these walls. The new President rocked in his leather chair. "With Harriman and his whole sleek Ivy League crowd telling poor Harry-the-Haberdasher he had to nuke the Japanese." "Or not," Winston said, in a small bow to the Office. "Oh, I think Einstein's group was the only 'or not.'" The President's dry tone glinted off the darker edge of a sense of humor familiar to his campaign staff. "Jesus, what the hell did he say?" Winston searched his own mental archives. A buttoned-down Skull & Bones veteran of executive-branch politics, he had experienced an extraordinary tenure, having served at high levels in the NSA and on the National Security Council in both Bush administrations. His carryover appointment was both an olive branch across the aisle and a gesture of confidence toward Intelligence: a community beleaguered by scandal, Cold War excesses, and spectacular failures, now resurrected and seeking redemption through its mission against global terrorism. Winston, their point man, produced an answer. "Yes. Wasn't it, 'How much time do I have?'" "No, 'How much time do I get?' " the President said, in Harry Truman's flat twang, savoring the Midwest inflection. "How much time do I get?" Winston nodded, composed and ramrod straight. Younger White House staffers had observed that he seemed to wear alertness like a mask, as if some hard-bitten mentor from the halls of spookdom had once cautioned him that blinking one's eyes was a sign of weakness. And, though word was passed down that the President regarded R. Cabot Winston as a symbol of national unity, many still referred to him in-house as "Robo-Bob." It was cruel, but fair. "Well, I guess that's my question, too, Bob." "We're a few days out from final testing, sir." "Days." The President's surprise was eloquent enough. Winston offered a thin-lipped smile. "With a caveat which I will explain." As if triggering a pair of explosive bolts, the national security adviser loudly snapped open the bombproof briefcase handcuffed to his left wrist. He then produced a file stamped project orion/potus/eyes only and laid it flat on the Oval Office desk. POTUS used reading glasses to inspect it as Winston explained. "This is the executive order authorizing continuing funding of space shield research and testing. The record enclosed represents decades of development and half a trillion dollars invested, give or take, each phase of publicly funded R & D supplemented with discretionary monies by presidential EO. The line for your initials has been flagged." Noting all the previous presidents' initials displayed in succession, the new Commander in Chief handled the documents like rare historical artifacts prepared for display at the Smithsonian. But he'd have bet his campaign debt that this record would never see the light of day. "I guess Star Wars didn't just fade away when the Wall came down," he said, leafing through the pages. "Fortunately not, sir." Classified above top secret, the file in the President's hands charted the progress of Project Orion from its Cold War roots as part of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, a.k.a. Star Wars, to its post-911 incarnation as a space-based laser weapons system adroitly repositioned as a shield against rogue terrorist ICBMs. "Ups the ante from a few missiles on the ground in Alaska, doesn't it?" "The photon laser leapfrogs all other missile defense technology, sir." The President nodded, his apprehensions intact: space-based weapons more than violated America's post-ABM strategic defense agreements with Russia. And September 11 no longer provided a free pass for whatever the U.S. wanted in the name of national security. "So, what's the damned caveat, Bob?" Winston presented the facts unadorned, like a nice neat hanging. "There's a hard window for deployment, sir. We have twenty-one days." "That's ridiculous. We're still looking for the johns around here." "I understand, sir. But geomechanically, if we don't deploy Orion within three weeks, NASA says we'll have to wait a full year before we can try it again, which would be extremely problematic in terms of realpolitik." For all the speeches at the UN pledging antiterror solidarity, unilateral deployment of uncodified American superweapons would be like throwing a flash grenade into the 3-D chess game of international relations. The wariness in the President's demeanor edged toward anger. "Why wasn't the transition team brought up to speed on this two months ago?" The Orion Protocol . Copyright © by Gary Tigerman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Orion Protocol by Gary Tigerman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.