Cafe At The Edge Of Outer Space

 by Robert Appleton

Cafe At The Edge Of Outer Space by Robert Appleton book cover
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In the distant future, our overpopulated planet requires all sixteen year olds to undertake a ten-year exile as a rite of passage. Paired with a mate on the voyage out to kick-start adulthood, they must all pass through the café on the edge of outer space, the legendary waystation orbiting Earth.
Frank Archer isn't ready for life away from home. He's smitten with his new girl, Emma Whitaker. But whether he likes it or not, it's time for the boy to become a man. He has a beautiful girl to protect...through the deadliest terrorist attack ever conceived.


Strangely, I find an air of nostalgia where there is no air. I'm looking out of a window that never needs cleaning from outside. It's pretty much impenetrable, too. Just the faint threat of things over which we've no control - you know, asteroids, solar flares, terrorism, things like that. "Facing space," they call it. Something to do with a rite of passage. Everyone leaves Earth at sixteen - that's the law - and we're not allowed to return until our twenty-sixth birthdays. Talk about a graduation. There's a kind of window over the Earth as well. It isn't solid, it's translucent - a hazy helmet of cloud and pollution. Great Britain passed by a few minutes ago. I could just about make out where I lived, more or less dead centre on the island. Apparently, Britain used to be much bigger. And warmer. More sandy beaches, less pack ice. I can't quite picture Blackpool without snow, though. Outdoor roller-coasters? They must've been insane.


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