NASA’s Cassini probe will reach Titan in 2004: Titan is the amazing story of a visionary’s response to the discovery of life on Saturn’s moon. Another BIG space novel from the acclaimed successor to Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein: the conquest of space as it could still happen.
Titan is the epic saga of one woman’s will to succeed and the triumph of a dream over bureaucracy and fear. Paula Benacerraf, grandmother and astronaut, is appointed to oversee the dismantling of the Shuttle fleet after another Challenger-type disaster. Instead, she listens to the oddball JPL scientist Rosenberg, who is determined to explore the ammonia-based life Cassini discovers on Titan.
Using NASA’s rusting Saturn rockets, mothballed Apollos and remaining Shuttles, frail humans are hurled, in the face of violent opposition from the military, to the edge of the Solar System. To the edge, also, of sanity.
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Take some archetypal sci-fi characters (ageing moonwalker, several bright young astronauts and a dedicated but reclusive scientist), throw in the near future scenario of a declining space programme following a catastrophic fatal accident, mix well with some unusual plot twists and you have the foundations for Baxter's eighth novel.
Baxter novices may be wary of such a clichéd plot, but don't despair--his reputation as one of the UK's best sci-fi writers is well founded. Titan is an enjoyable novel, well-written, with just the right mixture of hard science fiction, strong characters and a believable, if undesirable, vision of the future. Reminiscent of 2001 and its sequel 2010, the plot unfolds against the backdrop of a declining world civilization. America is sinking into the mire of Christian fundamentalism and turning against technology, whilst a desperate NASA expends all it's remaining energy and resources on a manned mission to Titan--one- way--with the faint hope of reigniting the public's interest in space exploration. The mission is a technical success, but is ignored by the masses, leaving the astronauts stranded on the outskirts of the solar system with no hope of rescue.
But of course, that's not the end of the story… --Dave MuttonReview:
‘If you liked The Right Stuff you’ll like this too’
‘There is real suspense here… Voyage is a splendid nostalgia trip to times when astronauts were still the Right Stuff’
‘Rigorously researched, but Baxter concentrates on the people involved, and the result is a compulsive and intelligent page-turner’
‘Voyage is, quite simply, a brilliant book… essential reading for anybody interested in space exploration, and for non-SF fans, it’s a damn fine adventure story, too, skilfully constructed and enthrallingly told’
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Book Description VOYAGER, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002254247