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DAEDALUS LEO—SWIC drop from Low Earth Orbit

The Daedalus Files Vol 2

by Robert G. Williscroft

Daedalus Leo - Robert G. Williscroft
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 1.49
Pages: 70
Hardcover - First Edition: $ 13.95
ISBN: 978-1947867604
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 74
Paperback - First Edition: $ 4.99
ISBN: 978-1947867598
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 74
Audiobook - First Edition: $ 6.95

Following his successful base jump from Fred Noonan Skyport, Tiger Bailey undertakes the next step in the development process of the Gryphon hardshell wingsuit, a drop from Low Earth Orbit. Using the Gryphon-10 with enhanced navigation and computer control, and with a greater wingspan, he uses the Slingshot Space Launch Loop to gain Low Earth Orbit (LEO), but experiences equipment problems that nearly destroy him and doom the project. Ultimately, Tiger perseveres and drops into the Earth's atmosphere. He skips out in in several times before eventually making a harrowing but safe landing.

Publisher: Fresh Ink Group
Cover Artists:
Tropes: Born Hero, Fellowship, Person in Distress, Quest, Space Pilot, Training
Word Count: 15600
Setting: Earth, South Pacific, LEO, San Diego, Houston
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Tropes: Born Hero, Fellowship, Person in Distress, Quest, Space Pilot, Training
Word Count: 15600
Setting: Earth, South Pacific, LEO, San Diego, Houston
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters


“What the fuck!” I yelped as the rear of my Gryphon-10 pallet tilted sharply upward while the nose yawed to the right. Then the whole thing started to tumble in a spiral fashion as the kick thruster continued its burn. Mother wasn’t stopping it, so I activated the manual jettison override. I watched the burning kick thruster spiral ahead of me and then flare out. I lost it in the glare of the morning sun.

“I got a problem here, Control,” I said as calmly as I could manage. I described what had happened from my limited perspective. “Mother, deploy the tethered holocam and make a full external inspection,” I ordered as I began to get my act together.


“Tiger, we are calculating your modified orbital parameters right now,” Master Chief Boldt told me with his calming voice. “Okay…here it is. You are nominally still at one-hundred-sixty klicks, but your orbit has shifted right by twenty-two-point-five-degrees. That passes over central Mexico, well south of Baja. You’re stable, but you have to get control of your tumble so we can calculate a new set of drop parameters.”

“Roger,” I said.

“Tethered holocam deployed,” Mother said softly.

Mother controlled the bird-size tethered holocam to ensure that it maintained a stable position relative to my corkscrew. Using additional short gas bursts, I maneuvered the holocam down the length of the pallet and Gryphon-10 looking for damage.

“Jesus H…,” I muttered as it moved to my stern. “Are you getting this, Control?”

“Roger, we are.”

The back end of the pallet was partially melted, and a large chunk was missing from my right fin.

“Mother, can I survive reentry with that fin damage?”

“Negative, Tiger,” Mother said softly, “Probability of complete structure failure one hundred percent.”

Reviews:Alastair Mayer, Author of The T-Space Series on Amazon editorial review wrote:

Robert Williscroft has done it again. The idea of jumping from orbit using little more than a spacesuit and a re-entry pack goes back at least to Heinlein's Starship Troopers, and I've used it myself, but Williscroft puts a new twist on it as "Tiger" Baily makes the jump in Daedalus LEO. A great tale, with his usual attention to detail.

Prof. John B. Rosenman, Norfolk State University Former Chairman of the Board, Horror Writers Association Author of The Inspector of the Cross Series on Amazon editorial review wrote:

"Daedalus LEO by Robert G. Williscroft is even more exciting than Daedalus, the fi rst story in this series. There are more thrills, more near-escapes, more humor, and more spectacular sightseeing of the Earth far below. More romance too, for that matter. This time around the author has upped the ante. It's the first manned LEO (Low Earth Orbit) drop, and instead of 80 klicks, the Gryphon-10 has to drop 160, or twice as far. And of course, despite the best efforts of Derek "Tiger" Baily and his team, almost everything seems to go wrong.

Those who are the first to enter a new frontier incur a great risk. Numbers are not enough. Planning is not enough. Safeguards are not enough. As Derek says, "until we actually made the fi rst drop, all we had were numbers that we hoped made sense." You have to constantly be prepared for the unexpected, for times "when all hell breaks loose!" This is a great adventure, even better than the fi rst, and I'm glad I was along for the ride."

Dr. John R. Clarke Author of The Jason Parker Series on Amazon editorial review wrote:

Daedalus LEO is about the unimaginable, yet somehow, Robert Williscroft not only imagined it but made it real--and breathtakingly thrilling. The idea of a human being deliberately placing himself in low earth orbit to carry out a proof of concept mission is an image as fresh, and yet disturbing, as they come. Mind you, Derek "Tiger" Baily is an extraordinary human, and this is no ordinary story. Those of us growing up in the space age know full well that reentry from orbit is terrifyingly dangerous. The fires of reentry consume foolish mortals who make the slightest mistake.

And mistakes and problems arise aplenty in Tiger's trial run. At risk is the future of American special warfare operations. Will Baily's risky adventure be the birth of something entirely new, or yet another failed blue-sky concept ending in cinders?

Dr. Dave Edlund USA Today Bestselling Author The Peter Savage Thrillers on Amazon editorial review wrote:

Author Robert Williscroft delivers the goods once again with Daedalus LEO, a short sci-fi story that chronicles Lt. Commander Derek "Tiger" Baily's flight from low-Earth orbit in a wingsuit. To call the Gryphon-10 a wingsuit is a stretch, but I think it conveys the idea without introducing spoilers. As with all of Williscroft's work, the writing is tight and realistic. The characters are three-dimensional against a backdrop of excitement, thrills, and cliff-hangers. And the science in this sci-fi is damn accurate.

In fact, much of the plot and details are science fact, and part of the fun, as with the work of the late great Michael Crichton, is trying to discern the thin line between truth and fiction. The Starchild Trilogy and Daedalus short stories are highly recommended to sci-fi/thriller aficionados.

Five stars!

About the Author

Dr. Robert G. Williscroft is a retired submarine officer, deep-sea and saturation diver, scientist, author, and a lifelong adventurer. He spent 22 months underwater, a year in the equatorial Pacific, three years in the Arctic ice pack, and a year at the Geographic South Pole. He holds degrees in Marine Physics and Meteorology and a doctorate for developing a system to protect SCUBA divers in contaminated water. A prolific author of both non-fiction, submarine technothrillers, and hard science fiction, he lives in Centennial, Colorado.

Dr. Williscroft is a member of Colorado Author’s League, Independent Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Authors, Science Fiction Writers of America, Libertarian Futurist Society, Los Angeles Adventurers’ Club, Mensa, Military Officer’s Association, American Legion, and the NRA, and now spends most of his time writing his next book, speaking to various regional groups, and hanging out with the girl of his dreams, Jill, and her two cats.