In this updated retelling of the Odyssey, the adventure takes place across several manmade orbital spheres in our solar system. All of the familiar adventures are here — the Cyclops, Calypso, the Sirens, etc., but with a science fiction twist. Cesar Vaquero is our Ulysses and Penelope is his long-suffering wife, but he’s a complex rogue with a humble and insecure streak, and she’s a strong character in her own right in this retelling.
Stauber does a fantastic job with Spin the Sky, and the best bits are not the retelling but how she reimagines the famous odyssey and hero’s return, creating new characters from the old archetypes. Possibly my favorite episode is the Calypso segment– very imaginative and compelling.
I read this in almost one sitting and laughed out loud several times. It’s not just a funny story, though — there’s heart and romance and unexpected depths, and warmth. This is Penny’s story as much as Ulysses too, and it works just right.
I had the same response to Revolution World, Stauber’s first book. She’s funny and inventive and knows how to pace the hell out of a novel. Highly recommended for all science fiction fans.