his one was a used book from the 60s, a reworked combination of three short stories author A.E. Van Vogt compiled. And I hate to say it, but it was really a painful read.
From the back cover, it looked interesting – a generation ship on it’s way to Centaurus with twenty years behind it and ten years in front of it starts to lose focus. Mutiny is brewing in the below decks, and some of the explorers want to turn for home (okay, that caused a little red flag – wouldn’t turning about a slow generation ship burn more fuel that ever? How much reserves do they have?). So, yes, there is a mutiny, and there was all sorts of clever interplay that I didn’t understand – it was like watching a chess game when you don’t know how chess works. Possibly the author was trying to make clever points but I just didn’t see them.
Centaurus is populated by an advanced-tech race, something that hardly brings a shrug from the travelers – rather than attempt to communicate they just aim for another star. What’s a couple more decades?
Yes, knowledge is being lost and captains are picking each other off, but it still didn’t grip me. In the end, the book hypothesizes about how light speed might work (something I just didn’t get). And then a character develops the ability to live in the blur of fast-time. But he decides to go back to the ship (even though Earth was minutes away in time for him). Doesn’t matter – he gets picked off by another captain.
Like,I just didn’t get it at all. And boy, was I glad when it was over.
Put this down to a novel being written when we kinda understood orbits but not advanced physics. All in all, it seemed like a pointless exercise in stratagems that didn’t work. I think I’ll dump this one in a curbside library just to make up for the books I’ve walked off with.
Sigh. They can’t all be good.