Sputnik's Child, a novel by Fred Ledley
This engaging novel recalls the events that shaped the ideas and lives of the baby boom generation and laid the groundwork for an age of technology and its challenges.
Jackie is Sputnik’s Child, born on October 4, 1957, the day that a human satellite first escaped the gravity of Earth for the heavens. This is her story, and a history of the baby boom generation, forged in an Age of Aquarius, which found faith in the promise of technologies powerful enough to transport men to the Moon and picture the Earth as it might appear to God. Jackie and her friends come of age amidst the turbulence of the 1960s, frightened by race riots, civil defense drills, terrorism, and the Vietnam War. They find ideas that will guide them through adulthood in the civil rights movement, the spirit of Woodstock, family traditions, and the conquest of space. For Jackie, the image of astronauts orbiting and walking on the Moon gives her confidence that the frightful problems on Earth can be solved. As her faith and friendships mature through an era of social malaise, the “Me” Decade, and a time of irrational exuberance, she achieves personal and professional success communicating the promise of the emerging age of technology. But when her daughter is diagnosed with a disease that has no known cause or cure, Jackie is confronted with a crisis of faith.
Author Biography Fred Ledley is an accomplished physician, scientist, entrepreneur, and member of the baby boom generation. He has written extensively on topics ranging from biology and medicine to philosophy, ethics, education, and the sense of wonder. In his first novel, Sputnik’s Child, he provides a human perspective on the ideas that influenced his generation and the faith that will inform the future. Ledley is a professor and the Chair of the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts where he teaches biology, management, and futurism.