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Tau Zero Paperback – Import, January 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: S.F.Masterworks S.
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: UNKNOWN; 1st thus edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575077328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575077324
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The science was interesting and the story exciting.
Robert
This is one of the best and finest novels on science fiction I ever read.
Emc2
Clumsy characters, and poor movitivations of characters.
David Leonard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By S. Singer on September 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Poul Anderson's Tau Zero is one of the most revered Science Fiction classics - and with good reason. However, that doesn't mean it isn't sometimes tediously boring, the characters aren't one-dimensional, and the writing isn't down right clumsy. What saves the book from being chucked on to the ash heap of oblivion is the saving grace of most classic sci-fi - namely, one heck of a good idea. In Zero, Anderson acknowledges our collective desire to visit the stars and our yearning for a light speed drive to get there. However, asks Anderson, what would happen if such a device malfunctioned and we couldn't slow down? As we traveled fast and faster through space-time (yes, Anderson adds the temporal component) not only would we get farther away from Earth, we'd also move far into the future and the universe, itself, might appear to age right before our eyes! Now that's a scary concept! Such creativity makes up for a lot. That's why anyone who really likes the above situation would probably enjoy the book. However, be prepared to put up with some coal among that diamond of a concept.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Probert on September 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A space-ship designed to travel at speed, carrying explorers intending to colonise a distant star, gets into a bit of trouble and has its deceleration mechanism knocked out. Result - ship goes faster and faster and cannot stop. But this is no precursor of Speed for the space adventure generation. Despite the somewhat two-dimensional aspect of most of the characters, Anderson's novel develops into a meditation on life, the universe and everything. As the ship reaches almost unimaginable speeds, the universe outside the ship begins to observably age, leading to an inevitable conclusion with perhaps unexpected consequences. A well-handled science fiction meditation on the meaning of existence.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By 2theD on June 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Emerging from the Golden Age of science fiction rose Poul Anderson, whose first novel, Vault of the Ages, was published in 1952. Through the next two decades, Anderson more than dabbled with historical elements in The High Crusade (1960) and The Corridors of Time (1965), future history in Three Worlds To Conquer (1964), and also with conventional spaceships in The Makeshift Rocket (1962) and The Star Fox (1965). He hadn't written a "hard science fiction" until Tau Zero, but he stuck to his romantic roots even after the popularity of Tau Zero. Largely hitting the mark more often than not, Anderson's novels tend to be loquacious--even poetic at times--and nostalgic; in Tau Zero, this romanticism is infused with science savvy and sexual swashbuckling. No doubt it had won the Hugo award for best novel in 1971!

I had read this in 2007 and held romantic notions of the ship's near-luminal voyage through space and time. I wanted to reread this to dispel any fantastic notion I held... or to simply enjoy a great novel during my 5-day island holiday. Like the first time, I wasn't disappointed.

Rear cover synopsis:
"During her epic voyage to a planet thirty light-years away, the deceleration system of the Leonara Christine is irreparable damaged.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dave Millman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 8, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was telling a friend about this book recently, but I couldn't remember the title or author. No problem-type "bussard ramjet big bang novel" into Google and the first listing is for "Tau Zero. My point is, I couldn't remember the title, but the details of the book have stuck with me since I first read it darn near 20 years ago.

The other reviewers who have mentioned the less-than-perfect characterization of crew personalities and conflicts are right. But that's not what you remember. You remember the plot, and the crew's reaction to the plot. There is one part, quite near the end, which will stick with me forever. I won't spoil the book for you, but the ship is travelling through space, and shuddering every few seconds. When a crew member explains what causes those shudders, you may very well shudder yourself.

Read this one. You'll remember it for a long time.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dea on July 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you like your SF hard and technical, Tau Zero is worth taking a look at. The main premise of the plot is based around relativity. The faster the ship goes, the 'slower' time becomes for the ship and its crew. With the result that the crew can travel immense distances in, what is for them, a few years time; and literally watch the universe age.
This is an intriguing premise, but the book, short as is, reads slow. Characterization is not well done. The crew seems to come apart psychologically too fast. After all they knew when they started they wouldn't see Earth again, and would be journeying for at least five years. I just don't believe a handpicked crew, would panic and despair in a few years, even if the universe around them had aged hundreds of millions of years.
And Sweden ruling the world?
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