Starfarers by Poul Anderson

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Synopsis

Poul Anderson, one of science fiction's most treasured visionaries, returns with a new masterpiece. Starfarers is the story of an expedition into the far reaches of the galaxy, where answers to mankind's greatest questions await.

The saga begins when evidence of an advanced civilization is discovered by SETI astronomers. "Trails" observed in the sky are thought to be from starships traveling at the speed of light, an enigma that spurs scientific minds until this breakthrough is achieved by mankind as well. An expedition is then mounted and an eclectic team of scientists chosen to journey into the sector where the intelligent life is allegedly located. But because the destination of the starship, Envoy, and her crew is 60,000 light-years away, the time required to reach the point of origin of the signals and return is 120,000 years--longer than Homo sapiens has been on Earth. And though the crew is ready to face the ramifications of such a trek, no one is prepared for what awaits them at the outer edge of the cosmos--or back at the planet they once called home.

Starfarers is a story of patience and immediacy, but most of all of courage. It is a saga for anyone who has ever felt the emptiness of life on Earth and found the missing substance in the spaces between the stars. Poul Anderson's latest is the story of those who see the future in a clear night's sky and are ready to journey into it armed with both insight and passion.

 

About Poul Anderson

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Poul Anderson, November 25, 1926 - July 31, 2001 Poul Anderson was born on November 25, 1926 in Bristol, Pennsylvania to parents Anton and Astrid. After his father's death, Poul's mother took them first to Denmark and then to Maryland and Minnesota. He earned his degree in Physics from the University of Minnesota, but chose instead to write stories for science fiction magazines, such as "Astounding." Anderson is considered a "hard science fiction" writer, meaning that his books have a basis in scientific fact. To attain this high level of scientific realism, Anderson spent many hours researching his topics with scientists and professors. He liked to write about individual liberty and free will, which was a well known theme in many of his books. He also liked to incorporate his love of Norse mythology into his stories, sometimes causing his modern day characters to find themselves in fantastical worlds, such as in "Three Hearts and Three Lions," published in 1961. Anderson has written over a hundred books, his last novel, "Genesis" won the John W. Campbell Award, one of the three major science fiction awards. He is a former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and won three Nebula awards and nine Hugo Awards. In 1997, Anderson was named a Grandmaster by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and was also inducted into the Science Fiction Fantasy Hall of Fame. Poul Anderson died on July 31, 2001 at the age of 74.
 
Published November 1, 1998 by Tor Books. 383 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Rejecting the prospect of spending more years in space, megalomaniac crewman Al Brent mutinies, two other voyagers die in the struggle to retake the ship from Brent, and while investigating the Holont, pilot Jean Kilbirnie is killed, though the survivors learn a method to send messages through time.

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SF Site

If you're new to Anderson, read Starfarers and see how a master handles "real science" science fiction.

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CNN.com

(CNN) -- Not many authors would try to tell a tale that spans eleven thousand years.

Feb 09 1999 | Read Full Review of Starfarers

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