Fiction Reviews

Tau Zero

(1970/2000) Poul Anderson, Gollancz, £9.99, pbk, 190pp

(2009 reprint) Gollancz, £7.99, pbk, 187pp, ISBN 978-0-575-08258-8


An absolute classic, presented as part of Gollancz’s 2000 re-issues of the old Doubleday "yellowjackets" and then again as part of a 2009 re-print promotion. Earth colonists aboard the Leonora Christine set out for a new world at speeds which are a sizeable fraction of light speed, but an accident en route more or less destroys the deceleration system and the ship continues to accelerate. As the time dilation rate increases, the crew have to consider ever more risky options to slow their craft and find a world to colonise. What happens to them in the end is mind-boggling. Excellent example of classic hard SF, thoroughly recommended.

Tony Chester


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