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Summertide (1990)

by Charles Sheffield

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Heritage Universe (1)

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396965,344 (3.49)21
It was just before Summertide, when the planet Quake would orbit closest to its sun, subjecting itself to vast tidal forces. It was to be the most violent Summertide ever, creating something that only happened every 350,000 years. Access to the unstable Quake was supposed to be prohibited, but some very insistent travelers were determined to make the trip. Professor Darya Lang, who studied artifacts left by the long-vanished aliens called the Builders, had a hunch that she might find the Builders themselves. And Councilor Julius Graves was hunting murderers. Planetary Administrators Hans Rebka and Max Perry had no choice but to go to Quake, risking their lives to protect the others-and to learn, just maybe, the secret of Summertide and the Builders.… (more)
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» See also 21 mentions

English (8)  Spanish (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
F/SF
  beskamiltar | Apr 10, 2024 |
Very good SF about a double planet that is nearing Summertide, a once in 350,000 year tidal event that also portends the resolution to the question ?Who were the Builders and why did they leave all of these artifacts thruout the cosmos?? Book is first of trilogy and end leads the characters to another planet, gas giant Gargantua in the same system to pursue the mystery of the Builders.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
This is a better-than-average, light, space-opera adventure. While the plot relies on ancient BDOs and intrigues working against each other, the strength of "Summertide" lies in the character development; Sheffield does a good job creating and presenting complex individuals who don't suddenly act out-of-character to suit the storyline. Even the aliens are _alien_ enough to not be just funny-looking humans but still maintain complex backstories and motivations. It's entertaining and intelligent. ( )
  MLShaw | Jul 18, 2023 |
A really good old-style science fiction story! ( )
  Hoppy500 | Dec 1, 2021 |
Sheffield, Charles. Summertide. 1990. Heritage Universe No. 1. SF Gateway, 2013.
Charles Sheffield (1935-2002) was a physicist-mathematician, and for a while, chief scientist at Earth Satellite Corp. He only turned to science fiction writing in his forties but still amassed nine series with impressive world-building. Summertide, the first novel in the Heritage Universe series, is typical of what he could do. Our arm of the Milky Way is littered with large artifacts created by an alien race that disappeared 5 million years ago. One system has two tidally stressed planets in a multiple star system. Both have space elevators. When there is a summer conjunction, both planets suffer severe quakes that make life on one difficult and on the other impossible. A rare grand conjunction attracts a group of scientists, government officials, and adventure tourists of several species. They land on the most severely stressed planet, ominously named Quake, in hope of discovering why the ancient aliens built a space elevator on such an inhospitable world. The scientific speculation is inventive and several of the characters are intriguing. Sheffield reminds me a lot of Arthur C. Clarke. Good stuff that deserves to be better known than it is. 4 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Nov 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Sheffieldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinna, MarcoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, BarclayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Ann, Kit, Rose and Toria, and everyone else whose (average) age is sixteen.
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A ninety-seven-year silence was ending.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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It was just before Summertide, when the planet Quake would orbit closest to its sun, subjecting itself to vast tidal forces. It was to be the most violent Summertide ever, creating something that only happened every 350,000 years. Access to the unstable Quake was supposed to be prohibited, but some very insistent travelers were determined to make the trip. Professor Darya Lang, who studied artifacts left by the long-vanished aliens called the Builders, had a hunch that she might find the Builders themselves. And Councilor Julius Graves was hunting murderers. Planetary Administrators Hans Rebka and Max Perry had no choice but to go to Quake, risking their lives to protect the others-and to learn, just maybe, the secret of Summertide and the Builders.

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