Their first sortie took them all of fifty feet from the Ship. They huddled close together for silent comfort and watched their feet to keep from stumbling on this strange uneven deck. They made it without incident until Alan looked up from the ground and found himself for the first time in his life with nothing close to him. He was hit by vertigo and acute agoraphobia; he moaned, closed his eyes and fell. Hugh fought against it. It pulled him to his knees, but he fought it, steadying himself with one hand. However he had the advantage of having stared out through the view port for endless time. “Just sit still and you’ll be all right.”
The characters are ridiculous and flat, the setting is barren while the prose are plodding, and that’s putting it nicely. On the few occasions when the scientist priests who ruled the ship under Jordan’s Captain met in full assembly they gathered in a great hall directly above the Ship’s offices on the last civilized deck.(93)
The plot elements and unimaginative prose are indeed so bad as to remind me of my own work as 12-year-old when I concocted the Secret Spitballer’s Society series and for which Mr. Bacon regularly gave me grades of “C” and lower. I only wrote two installments before abandoning ship.
To top it off, there isn’t a single woman in Orphans of the Sky, that is until the final ten pages when the heroes escape to a planet and remember the need for procreation. Hugh’s younger wife bore a fresh swelling on her lip as if someone had persuaded her with a heavy hand. (120) Keep those damned women out of the way. (122)