Orbital Resonance (1991)

Backcover Synopsis: Melpomene Murray’s concerns are those of any teenager: homework, friends, dates. But Melpomene lives on the Flying Dutchman, an asteroid colony located thousands of miles from an Earth almost destroyed by disease, war, and pollution. She and her spaceborn classmates are humanity’s last hope, and Mel’s just starting to realize how heavy a responsibility this is. Her parents and teachers have trained her from birth to lead mankind into the future.

Orbital Resonance reads like an old Heinlein juvenile novel. It has a charming main character who young readers could easily identify with, who has the same problems and wishes. It’s a story about new beginnings, and about the fact that you may lay the first bricks of the path to the future, but that you can never control where the path leads. It deals with many things, education, group behavior, but does so in a non-preaching, non-lecturing way that is just fun to read. One of the few books by Barnes that is very optimistic, and like all his other books very readable and rereadable. Every time I read it, I get the feeling, that, you know, the future will be okay.