Copyright 1998 by
I first read this in November 2001.
Scientists have discovered X-ray traces of alien spacecraft far past
Zeta Centauri. A spaceship with a revolutionary engine is prepared
to go and meet the alien civilisation.
Commander Nansen and his crew, Deyn, Kilbirnie, Ruszek, Yu, Zeyd,
Mokoena, Brent, Cleland and Sundaram, leave on the craft. For them
only a few years will pass, whilst millennia will slip by on Earth.
This should have been a great story: slam a bunch of very different
personalities into a confined space and see what happens. This
methodology consistently generates bizarrely interesting results in
the Motown Bar in Roppongi every a Friday night. It was, however, a
hopeless failure in Starfarers. I just didn't care about the any of
the characters. I would have popped Kilbirnie, Cleland and Brent out of
the airlock within thirty minutes of take-off, and I was so uninterested
in the character development that I would have done the same for the
rest within a day. Then I could have sat back and enjoyed the fairly
interesting events that occurred during the ship's voyage.
But then I haven't really thought too much of Poul Anderson since
The Guardians of Time. That was a great read but it was a very long
time ago and either Anderson's writing has deteriorated or I'm older
and wiser than I was then.
Loaded on the 10th December 2001.