Excerpt from Starfarers by Poul Anderson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Starfarers

By Poul Anderson

Starfarers
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Nov 1998,
    383 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 1999,
    512 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Excerpt
Starfarers

"Look yonder." The man pointed northeast and aloft. "That very bright star in the Milky Way Do you know it?"

"Yes," answered his son. 'Alpha Centauri. The nearest to us. it's two, really, and a third that is dim."

Don Lucas Nansen Ochoa nodded, pleased. Juan was barely past his seventh birthday "Now look up from it, a little to your right. That other brilliant one is Beta Centauri."

"Is it close, too?"

"No, it's far off Almost seventy times as far, I have read. But it shines thousands of times as bright as our sun. Most of those we see are giants. Else our eyes could not find them across their distances."

Man and boy sat their horses for a while in silence. They had drawn rein after leaving well behind them the house and its outbuildings, walled off by a cedar grove. The autumn air rested cool, still, and altogether clear. They had light enough without a moon, stars crowding heaven, galactic belt gleaming frosty. The Paraguayan plain rolled away through this dusk toward darkness, grassland broken by stands of trees and big, stump­shaped anthills. No cattle were in view, but now and then a lowing went mournfully through the early night.

"Where are they?" whispered the boy at last. Awe shivered in his words.

Don Lucas's hand traced an arc along the constellation. "Look on upward from Beta, to your left. Epsilon ­ do you see it? ­ and, past it, Zeta. The name Zeta means it's the sixth brightest in the Centaur. That's where the signs are.

"At Zeta?"

"No, as nearly as I can find out from the news, that star just happens to be in our line of sight to the things. They are actually far beyond it."

'Are they ... are they coming here?"

"Nobody knows. But none of them are headed straight toward us. And we don't know what they are, natural or artificial or what. All the astronomers can say is that there are those fiery points of X rays moving very fast, very far away. The news programs yammer about an alien civilization, but really, it's too soon for anybody to tell." Don Lucas laughed a bit. "Least of all an old estanciero like me. I'm sorry, you asked me to explain what's been on the television, and I cannot say much more than that you must be patient."

Juan pounced. 'Are you?"

"Um­m, I hope they'll corral the truth while I'm still above ground. But you should surely live to hear it."

"What do you think?"

Don Lucas straightened in the saddle. Juan saw his face shadowed by the wide­brimmed hat like a pair of wings against the sky. "I may be wrong, of course," he said. "Yet I dare hope someone is faring from star to star, and someday men will."

Suddenly overwhelmed, cold lightnings aflicker in him, the boy stared past his father, outward and outward. It was as if he felt the planet whirling beneath him, about to cast him off into endlessness; and his spirit rejoiced. He became the grandfather of Ricardo Nansen Aguilar.

*****

With never a sight of beautiful, changeable Earth, Farside gained a night which stars made into no more than a setting for their brilliance. And the Lunar bulk shielded it from the radio noise of the mother world; and the stable mass underfoot and the near­vacuum overhead were likewise ideal for many kinds of science. It was no wonder that some of the most gifted people alive were gathered here, in spite of monastic quarters and minimal amenities. Besides, Muramoto thought, those should improve. Already the desolation of stone and dust was redeemed by an austere elegance of domes, detectors, dishes, taut and silvery power lines.

Excerpted from Starfarers by Poul Anderson. Reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Published by Tor Books. No part of this book can be reproduced without permission from the publisher. Copyright (c) 1998 Poul Anderson,

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

Read the best books first...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.