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Encounter with Tiber by Buzz Aldrin

Encounter with Tiber (1996)

by Buzz Aldrin, John Barnes (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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A generational saga that I wish we had already started. ( )
  jefware | Mar 26, 2015 |
Too long. It's a reasonable idea, reasonably well executed, but spread out over far too many pages. The info dumps of longwinded practical physics explanations regarding orbital mechanics and space ship design, are sort of interesting, but not well suited to their placement in a novel.

As a story it is told from a young scientist/historian going out to visit an alien homeworld, but then reminisicng over her previous historical writings and giving us the history of how she came ot be there in three massive chunks - the history of her granduncle and how the world could have developed a lot more space flight than we currently have, a massive historical excerpt from 7000BC when the aliens visited, and a near future chunk which is the history of her father, and the exploration of the alien artifacts that got her sent to space.

Obviously a lot of thought and care has gone into the physics (and biology!) of the technologies, the limitations of today's materials influencing spaceship design and some speculations about how we could circumvent this if we were serious about establishing more a space presence. The sociological implications of such a space drive a mere wishful thinking. This is both pleasing, in that hard SF is always more believable than hand-wavy SF, but much harder to read as it's been presented in some very dry chunks. The only issue I'd really quiblle with is the ZeroPoint Laser. While the Casmir effect is well known, I'm not at all sure you can extract lasing energy from it.

Given all that dryness the characters actually work ,quite well. Much better than expected! The long chunks of one personal story allow you to feel for how it is at the pushing front of space exploration, not taking risks, but not always operating in known conditions either. The inter-personal relations of such a tight team are well played out.

I'm assuming the Buzz wrote most of the technical side of it and John Barnes tidied it all together into a novel - but I still think there would have been a better way to do it than a 600pg monolith. Perhaps cutting over a third from each section would have been a good way to start! Strangely Buzz gets another ten pages at the back of family history and photos while John gets a half page bio. Oh well such is the price of fame.

More readable than I expected, but dry in places. For a famous name author it could have been a lot worse! and worth picking up if you're interested in near future space stories. ( )
  reading_fox | Aug 1, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Buzz Aldrinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barnes, JohnAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke,Arthur C.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggleton,BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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With her immense boosters, the starship Tenacity was the biggest structure ever assembled in space; even when the boosters were gone, in about ten hours, she would still be huge.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446604046, Mass Market Paperback)

Buzz Aldrin, one of manned space flight's pioneers, has helped create a stunning, possibly prophetic novel of the future of space exploration. A radio beacon from an unknown world leads an astronaut to disaster on the Moon -- and his son far beyond that as he searches for the key to the mystery of Tiber, a civilization who left artifacts in the solar system some 9,000 years ago, with sufficient impact on human affairs to explain some odd references in the Bible. The villains of the book are not the aliens, but the benighted politicians with the minds of accountants who won't fund the necessary scientific derring-do to save the world -- apparently an affliction which alien astronauts also have to bear.

You can read an exclusive interview with Buzz Aldrin written by Frank Braun.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:38 -0400)

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Aliens first visited Earth 10,000 years ago, only to be enslaved by humans. The drama is related by two astronauts who learn of the Nissuan emigration during a space flight. Jointly written by an astronaut and a science fiction writer, with illustrations.… (more)

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