Copyright 1999 by
I first read this in September 2000 and most recently on the 18th March 2002.
Two hundred years in the future, civilisation is collapsing and humanity
can see its own extinction looming. Virulent new diseases and mutations
of old diseases arising at a vastly accelerated rate. They decimate
populations across the world. Life expectancy is now down to the low twenties.
It is clear that soon, life expectancy may drop too low for society to
maintain its battle against this epidemic of epidemics, or indeed to sustain
itself at all.
Scientific discovery has become so important that it has been organised
along military lines. not to restrict information flow, but to guarantee that
speculations and theories are correctly and completely explored and evaluated.
In a desperate attempt to better understand the mechanism of life, a spacecraft
is sent to Titan, now viewed as the only other body in the Solar System likely
to support life. Their mission: to further human knowledge, to find life if it
exists and to attempt to identify the root causes of the calamity overwhelming
A crew of fifty set off. By the time of their arrival at Titan, only
twenty-one remain alive. Chief among the survivors are Colonel Arthur
Goodall, Maria Collos and Gene Belview.
Will these few brave but dying souls be able, in the short time left,
to find anything on Titan that may help to save the humanity?
Titan is becoming almost as popular as Mars, it seems. But if Hal Clement, the Hal Clement, wants to use Titan that's fine by me. I read
"Mission Of Gravity" when I was a teenager and Hal has a free pass from me
to do whatever he wants with any solar body.
This is a gripping, original novel. Not a book for hypochondriacs, though.
Loaded on the 10th April 2002.