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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1998 by Poul Anderson

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SOJALS rating:     
no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Unrated (0/5)

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.
Cover of Starfarers