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Sputnik Caledonia by Andrew Crumey
Sputnik Caledonia is told in three sections. In the first section set in Scotland during the 1970s, Robbie Coyle is a young boy growing up in a warm, loving family. Robbie dreams of going into space, and since his father is a socialist, he dreams about being a cosmonaut. The second section finds Robbie as an adult living in an alternate reality where Britain is a communist country and he's gained his dream about being a cosmonaut. Robert, as he's known then, has trouble with relationships and he's being sent into space to explore a black hole dubbed the Red Star. In the final section set in today's reality, Robbie's parents are elderly, wondering whatever became of their son. Andrew Crumey's novel has received positive reviews with The Telegraph saying, "This is a surprisingly moving novel about the impersonal forces - be they political, quantum, temporal or otherwise - that can threaten or shatter the bonds of love, and of family life. Never has astrophysics seemed so touching and funny."