While it might be easy for some to dismiss Space Vulture as "juvenile" fiction, I would recommend against such shortsightedness. While the tale is certainly appropriate for youth, and also conforms to the old "Space Opera" stereotype of being a Western in Space, there is nothing wrong with that as long as the tale is well written and has some greater truth (or Truth) to offer the reader. Space Vulture does indeed have the layer beyond the yarn that transforms a story from a story read during ones youth that is merely looked back upon nostalgically, for fear that the reality doesn't live up to the nostalgia, into a story that is worth reading again as a treasure to share with one's children.
Space Vulture subtly addresses the philosophic underpinnings that lead us toward a moral, or immoral, life. Of the four adult characters (two "heroic" and two "villainous"), two begin the tale as apparent two dimensional characters. The other two contain the complexities necessary to draw the other two adult characters from the "four color" and into the "real." This is a story that speaks to the importance of family, of the proper relationship between siblings, and to what really makes on a hero. Good stuff this, even if it lacks a discussion of Unified Field Theory.
Last year, I was lucky enough to have both Gary and John visit my podcast Geekerati for a little conversation. Have a listen.
Then, after your appetite for adventure has been whet buy the book. It just came out in paperback.