The Steps of the Sun - Walter Tevis - 1985 Berkley Books Paperback - James Gurney Cover

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Cover artist: James Gurney

Blurb: “It is the sixties, 2063, and things on Earth are looking grim. All energy sources have been depleted or declared unsafe. China's world dominance is growing, and America is sliding into impotence. Firewood is $7 a stick. Macy's is a giant coal storage bin. Energy laws have outlawed elevators, and skyscrapers stand empty. The U.S. is a second-rate power run by the Mafia and the Teamsters. Space travel is illegal. Worst of all, a new Ice Age is on the way.

What the world needs is a hero. A man rich enough to build his own spaceship. Brave enough to fly it. Crazy enough to want to save the world. Lucky enough to succeed. And here he comes...Ben Belson, a 21st century financier is the only man who has any hope of reversing the decline of civilization. Belson, undaunted, searches for an extraterrestrial fuel supply to reverse America's decline.”