Tuesday, 5 May 2009
SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Tau Zero - Poul Anderson
The epic voyage of the spacecraft Leonora Christine will take her and her fifty-strong crew to a planet some thirty light-years distant. But, because the ship will accelerate to close to the speed of light, for those on board subjective time will slow and the journey will be of only a few years' duration. Then a buffeting by an interstellar dustcloud changes everything. The ship's deceleration system is damaged irreperably and soon she is gaining velocity. When she attains light-speed, tau zero itself, the disparity between ship-time and external time becomes almost impossibly great. Eons and galaxies hurtle by, and the crew of the Leonora Christine speeds into the unknown.
It might be short, it might be compact but if there's one thing that you have to say about Anderson is that its always well written. Throwing mankind into what currently is an impossibility it’s the way that he brings the human emotional conflict into his writing that makes this an absolute must read. Its gritty, its science is clearly explained and above all there’s characters that the reader can easily identify with. It’s comes as no surprise why this has been recommended as a modern great and makes this essential reading for all fans of the Sci-Fi genre.