Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tau Zero, Chapter 1 (of 23)

Poul Anderson's Tau Zero (London, 1973) is set in the twenty third century. (The sculptor, Carl Milles, who died in 1955, is described as "...three centuries ago." (p. 8)) The nuclear war of the late twentieth century was followed by general disarmament maintained by a world police force, the Control Authority, run by Sweden under the Covenant.

Twenty five men and twenty five women, lifespans lengthened by antisenescence, will take five years of ship time in a Bussard vessel, Leonora Christine, to cross the thirty-two light years to Beta Virginis, where they intend to explore and hope to colonize the third planet.

Charles Reymont, born in poverty in the sublevels of Polyugorsk, Antarctica, fought with the Zebras during the troubles on Mars, rose to the rank of colonel in the Lunar Rescue Corps and will now be constable on Leonora Christine. Ingrid Lindgren, Swedish, having risen in the interplanetary service, will be first officer. Leonora Christine is her " '...first extra-solar ship.' " (p. 12) Reymont and Lindgren might become a couple.

The scene is set. Chapter 2 begins with the shuttle flight to Leonora Christine

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