The epic voyage of the spacecraft Leonora Christine will take her and her fifty-strong crew to a planet some thirty light-years distant. But, because the ship will accelerate to close to the speed of light, for those on board subjective time will slow and the journey will be of only a few years' duration.
Then a buffeting by an interstellar dustcloud changes everything. The...more
I am sure there is a list on Goodreads about books that must be read by a true science fiction fan, and Tau Zero by Poul Anderson should be on such a list.
Anderson was a physics major in college and this background provides a meaningful foundation for what is a great science fiction book. Perfect? No, there is some thin characterization (usually a fa ...more
My overall rating is really based on balancing what I thought were some mind-wrecking and very well desc ...more
Poul Anderson is a writer's writer, David Brin, Vernor Vinge and others swear by him and Vinge even dedicated his epic A Deepness in the Sky to him. His influence on their work is fairly obvious, Anderson knew his science and was able to employ that knowledge to max effect in his fiction. He was also a natural story teller who never neglected the human element in his sf stories.
Tau Zero is - I believe - what veteran sf readers would call "diamond hard sf" where all the science in the boo ...more
SFional Lorentz Transformations: "Tau Zero" by Poul Anderson
“Consider: a single light-year is an inconceivable abyss. Denumerable but inconceivable. At an ordinary speed – say, a reasonable pace for a car in megalopolitan traffic, two kilometers per minute – you would consume almost nine million years in crossing it. And in Sol’s neighborhood, the stars averaged some nine light-years part. Beta Virginis was thirty-two distant. Neverthe ...more
The ending was perfect for me: surprising although could be predictable. Like good mystery novels, the ending of this book was not cheating the readers.
I admit, if I seek a perfect story, this book is not perfect. The characters are mostly flat and the plot is more or less predictable. But how could you pressed many r ...more
Well... an SF writer's normal solution to problems like these is to add some sex and violence, and it works here too. Sort of.
I'll talk of the good parts first. I learned, or eventually recalled something that hadn't immediately made a connection to me right away but it should have.
The word Tau has a dual meaning in the text. One is Proper Time in Physics, and the other refers to coming full circle, both of which happens in the text.
Reducing Tau to Zero means th ...more
fascinating ideas; less than fascinating execution. characters are often tedious, yet still manage to be surprisingly real and at times even moving. overall: dry, thoughtful, mournful, mind-boggling (a word that i probably use too frequently when writing about sci-fi)... and, in the end, rather uplifting.
that said, this is sadly a somewhat forgettable experience. and i just read it this year! i think for something to really pop for me, i need ...more
According to James Blish, Tau Zero is the ultimate hard science fiction novel.
For readers with a background in physics and math, there's certainly generous helping of science, for example: "Precisely because there is an absolute limiting speed (at which light travels in vacuo; likewise neutrinos) there is an interdependence of space, time, matter, and energy. The tau factor enters the equations. If v is the (uniform) velocity of a spaceship, and c the velocity of light, then tau equals - here th ...more
It's the 23rd century, and "Leonora Christine", a long-planned spaceship destined towards a distant planet 30 light years away, is launched from Stockholm. 50 people, men and women from different countries are on board, and the trip is supposed to take about 10 years). But (around the middle of the book) the ships deceleration system is damaged, and with the ship speeding increasingly towards tau zero speed and faster, it's not yet ...more
Good story spoiled by *shudder*flinch* see above can't bear to type it again. My then-brother in law thought that I'd like the book based on my voracious reading of SF. He wasn't wrong, exactly, he just misgauged my aversion to all things mathematical. Arithmetic I'm fine with, after that it's always been a really hard slog for me.
Still, it was kind of him to make the effort and subsequent recommendations were spot-on, so he was listening ...more
Let me start by saying that I liked this book. With my 'internal' rating system, I'd give it four stars, but GoodReads informs me that this means I "really liked" a book and I think I just "liked" it, so I'm downgrading to three... Regardless, a VERY pleasurable read, a real page turner and a superb thought experiment. But enough with the forewarning, time for some griping, cos bits did indeed cheese me off.
WHAT IT IS ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION? Why are there so many great novels that ...more
Tau Zero has it’s faults, but they’re not many. One of the things I didn’t li ...more
The book follows a group of colonizers sent from Earth to start anew on a more-or-less Earth-like planet orbiting a star a few light-years down the road. The ...more
The problem lies with the characterisation, or rather lack of it. All of the characters are paper thin and poorly realised. Worse, this book has a major problem with the way women are portrayed which made it quite a struggle to re ...more
Aniara is the story of a ship of thousands of colonists, escaping a dying Earth, that is thrown off of its course and left shooting out of our sol ...more
The main storyline itself was very good and was the only thing that kept me interested to be honest...even if the science is a little out dated by todays discoveries.But my main problem was the characters.
Dull,boring ,robotic and very 2-D is all i can use to describe them.I felt no connection to any of them, even forgot there names ...more
Here is a brief summary of the plot: A Spaceship employed with Bussard ramjet engine, which is used to continuously accelerate a ship to near-luminal velocities, sets off for a colonization mission to a near star. Apparently, the Bussard ramjet engine is supposed ...more
So how did this 50 year old sf novel compare to it's modern brethren? I must admit, quite good. In less then 200 pages, Poul Anderson manages to do what Neal Stephenson did on 800+ pages in Seveneves. And Poul Anderson did it better.
Tau Zero follows a crew of a spaceship on one journey and the troubles they get into.
+ Short and precise book. No word ...more
A new interstellar expedition is prepared. The ship, Leonora Christine, has to transport 50 colonists (divided equally by sex) to the system 32 light years from the Sun, but due to the relativity of time, only 5 years should pass onboard. One of the main protagonists is Charles Reymont, who works as a constable on the sh ...more
I guess it qualifies as "hard science", because no laws of physics are violated (though I think nobody actually believes in an eternally, repeatedly, expanding and contracting universe any more). But the laws of probability are given a pretty hard shakeup.
And the whole premise of why their ship is forced to voyage ...more
|Hugo & Nebula Awa...: June 2018 "Tau Zero" Discussion <Caution! Spoilers May Be Present!>||19||11||Jun 25, 2018 07:37AM|
|Hugo & Nebula Awa...: June 2018 "Tau Zero" Discussion <No Spoilers>||13||10||Jun 18, 2018 09:24AM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Tau Zero Kindle Edition B004JHY97A Cover||3||13||Oct 11, 2013 08:32PM|
|Science Fiction A...: * September 2013 Themed Read - Tau Zero||17||52||Sep 27, 2013 11:12AM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Page count needs to be added to Tau Zero 0425050777||2||12||Sep 25, 2013 08:51PM|
|SciFi and Fantasy...: Tau Zero by Poul Anderson - Aug 2013||12||47||Sep 18, 2013 03:55PM|
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous a ...more