Sunday, 3 March 2013

Tau Zero, Chapter 7

In Poul Anderson's Tau Zero (London, 1973), Chapter 7 introduces no new characters but does inform us that the interstellar spaceship Leonora Christine is about to strike a small nebula or "nebulina."

The captain thinks that the options are either the ship survives the collision or it does not whereas the constable thinks of a third possibility, that the ship survives but badly damaged in an unforeseeable way. The captain refuses to order the recruitment of a police reserve so the constable plans to ask for volunteers.

Thus, we know that something bad is coming down and that the constable, like the mechanical engineer who becomes captain of another spaceship in After Doomsday, is the sort of Andersonian hero who both sees what needs to be done and has the determination to do it.

Chapter 8 will presumably describe the collision and might initiate that uncontrollable acceleration of a relativistic spaceship that is the central notion of the novel. This is not quite a future history and not quite a generation ship story but has elements of both.

No comments: