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Tau Zero (SF Masterworks) by Poul Anderson

Tau Zero (SF Masterworks) (original 1970; edition 2006)

by Poul Anderson

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970328,895 (3.6)58
Title:Tau Zero (SF Masterworks)
Authors:Poul Anderson (Author)
Info:Gollancz (2006), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

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Tau Zero by Poul Anderson (1970)

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English (30)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
On a five-year voyage to colonise a planet orbiting Beta Virginis, the Leonora Christine meets with an accident in space and is unable to decelerate.

This was one of my favourite SF novels in my teens and twenties, but re-visiting it I found the writing rather clunky. Still a great story, though. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 3, 2015 |
Tau Zero fuses a travelogue with a physics book on the effects of near-light-speed travel. It describes the voyage of a colonial starship to another planet. The trip spans 99% of the book, with a few pages dedicated to the post-colonization conclusion.

Set in the universe where the currently accepted laws of physics are mostly true, there is no faster-than-light travel nor communication. This leaves room for the relativistic effects to kick in. The effects are explained in a series of info-dumps that interleave with the weak descriptions of the crew interactions and their dealings with ever more complex problems. Unfortunately, the info-dumps are also redundant in themselves, making both faces of this book wishing for more development.

Overall, Tau Zero is a quick read that can be enjoyed when one is not in the mood for complex storytelling. ( )
  leo8 | Mar 28, 2014 |
Took a while to get into, the characters are a little dry, but it improved. Unlike many examples of hard sci-fi, I found the sciency parts more approachable and readable than the characterizations. There are some truly lovely passages describing the ship's journey, and how it would appear from both inside and outside.

The frequent references to Sweden as a great power were hugely fun, as were the occasional historical and literary references. The idea of sending unrelated people into space, rather than the more common trope of already established couples and/or families, was a different turn and one that I quite enjoyed, it certainly provided some of the tension on board the ship - yet, even in a near future, I don't think people would be quite so civilized about the results (not even the ever pragmatic swedes!) Nor, I think, would people be so calm about the situation they find themselves in.

Worth reading, overall, and I'm glad I did. But it didn't leap onto my list of all time favourites nor is it anything I'll probably read again anytime soon. ( )
  krazykiwi | Sep 22, 2013 |
Decent sci-fi involving a ship testing the limits of time by utilizing the special theory of invariance. ( )
  br77rino | Jun 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Poul Andersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0575070994, Paperback)

The epic voyage of the spacecraft Leonora Christine will take her and her fifty-strong crew to a planet some thrity light-years distant. But, because the ship will accelerate to close to the spped 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:54 -0400)

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Fifty men and women set out in the twenty-third century from Earth aboard an interstellar craft to travel to a planet some thirty light-years away. The ship will approach the speed of light and so (as Einstein predicted) subjective time on board will slow and so the journey of several decades will be of much shorter duration for the crew. But the ship's deceleration system is irreparably damaged when it hits a cloud of interstellar dust and acceleration continues toward light speed, tau zero. Soon the ship is speeding through galaxies and eons are passing on board the ship in the blink of an eye.… (more)

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