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Starfarers (1998)

de Poul Anderson

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515536,297 (3.27)1
Courageous space explorers embark on a mission to make contact with alien races light years away, while the Earth they leave behind ages twelve hundred centuries. It's the most exciting discovery since humankind first began watching the skies: SETI scientists detect starship "trails" in a galaxy many light years from Earth, and at long last the dream of human-to-alien contact is attainable. But the courageous crew of starfarers assembled to take on the monumental endeavor must sacrifice the only lives they've ever known and the people they love; the Earth will have aged many thousands of years when - and if - they are finally able to return. Still, their hunger for knowledge of the universe and the extraterrestrial races that inhabit it is too great to deny, and the Envoy rockets off into the vast unknown. It's a perilous mission that will profoundly change everyone it touches - even as the passing millennia transform the Earth in ways no one could ever have imagined. Of all the science fiction extrapolators to emerge in the twentieth century, none were more visionary and few as prolific as the great Poul Anderson. Starfarers, his ingeniously imagined space exploration adventure, still stands tall among the most intelligent, enthralling, and unforgettable science fiction novels ever written. This ebook includes the bonus stories "Ghetto" and "The Horn of Time the Hunter."… (mais)
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Exibindo 5 de 5
This book is one of the few SF works that doesn't posit faster-than-light travel. When clearly alien signals of spaceships traveling at 0.999 of the speed of light are received, a mission is prepared to visit them--but more time will elapse while they are in flight than there has been so far in all of recorded human history, and the planet will be unrecognizably different when they return--if they return.

The story follows two major lines: the characters' adventures as they meet the aliens, and how civilization changes while they were gone. Anderson postulates that our civilizatization, like the alien civilization, will give up on space travel--I think he must have felt the decline of the certainty that used to be characteristic of the West, and assumed that we would lose the idea of progress. It's an interesting read that way, a haunting portrayal of a civilization that used to be greater than it is now. The space travelers are the only ones who remember it like it used to be.

I am skeptical that the idea of progress will be lost, if for no other reason than progress is so enormously profitable. But nevertheless it's an idea worth exploring. ( )
  garyrholt | Nov 5, 2020 |
I like this time dilation story, partly because of my interest in human cultures and history. The writing is up to Anderson's usual standards. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 19, 2014 |
I found Starfarer by Poul Anderson to be a well paced story about space exploration and settlements. In particular, this story considers the social impact sub light travel would have on distant colonists. The decades that go by between arrival of new ships, do not keep pace with the evolving social dynamics of the planetary systems. In this milieu, remote traces of sub light traveling sentients pushes the Earth to send a party on a 10,000 year round trip to the location of the signals. Ship board the time is only a few years, but 5,000 years roll by on Earth. The arrival in the remote system and the sentients they encounter reveal as much about the challenges of colonization in a sub light traveling technology among the sentients as it does about those far flung colonists from Earth. I have read other books by Poul before, and thoroughly enjoyed this one. ( )
1 vote seanvk | May 17, 2009 |
SF epic. Pretty good.
  fpagan | Jan 11, 2007 |
I read half this book and quit. There are too many characters. They have weird names that I am having difficulty remembering. Now, I love Dune. That book has lots of characters, too. However, for some reason, this book's characters are completely unmemorable.

There are too many storylines. I can't keep it all straight and I've discovered that I don't even care to try at this point. I've heard so many great things about Poul Anderson. Maybe I chose the wrong book. ( )
Exibindo 5 de 5
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Poul Andersonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Harris, JohnArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Courageous space explorers embark on a mission to make contact with alien races light years away, while the Earth they leave behind ages twelve hundred centuries. It's the most exciting discovery since humankind first began watching the skies: SETI scientists detect starship "trails" in a galaxy many light years from Earth, and at long last the dream of human-to-alien contact is attainable. But the courageous crew of starfarers assembled to take on the monumental endeavor must sacrifice the only lives they've ever known and the people they love; the Earth will have aged many thousands of years when - and if - they are finally able to return. Still, their hunger for knowledge of the universe and the extraterrestrial races that inhabit it is too great to deny, and the Envoy rockets off into the vast unknown. It's a perilous mission that will profoundly change everyone it touches - even as the passing millennia transform the Earth in ways no one could ever have imagined. Of all the science fiction extrapolators to emerge in the twentieth century, none were more visionary and few as prolific as the great Poul Anderson. Starfarers, his ingeniously imagined space exploration adventure, still stands tall among the most intelligent, enthralling, and unforgettable science fiction novels ever written. This ebook includes the bonus stories "Ghetto" and "The Horn of Time the Hunter."

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