THE SAILS OF TAU CETI Kindle Edition
|Length: 300 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
The aliens seem to know a lot about humanity. In fact, their knowledge seems uncanny and even frightening at times as they try to mimic their hosts. One person, though, learns the reason for this. They are not a simple group of refugees. They have much bigger plans and the survival of humanity depends upon treason and deception.
This is a well written and crafted story for most of its extent. The end is a bit draggy but it is worth reading.
Others (along with the blurb) have done a good job of explaining the initial plot details, and the core of the mystery. Read their reviews for that.
So how's the novel, you might ask?
The characterisation was realistic, from motivations to personality to discourse. Unlike Robert L. Forward's Rocheworld (which I just read), these characters actualy think and talk in a realistic fashion, and McCollum does nothing silly and amateurish with the way he types, such as exclamation points every other utherance, or capitalized words in someone's speech.
The science exposition is adequately limited for our enjoyment, and what of it there is - to my knowledge - appears accurate, from space radiation exposure, light-sail dynamics, relativistic physics, to orbital mechanics.
The book has minimal esthetic appeal for collectors (low-budget small press), but a relatively good job has been done on editing nonetheless. At least, many other novels make you bleed from the eyes at the number of errors.
Final word: worth the read, but not impressive, hence 1 star less. I can only vouch for the editing and physical appearance of the Sci Fi-Arizona edition, not the older Del Rey one.
When astronomers learn that the alien vessl is a decelerating generation ship, the interstellar probe is refitted for an ambassadorial mission and launched with a crew including Victoria "Tory" Bronson. A co-designer of the probe, she has a rare ability to receive direct input from computers without her becoming disoriented.
Reaching the generation ship, the earth's ambassadors grow sympathetic to its crew, the survivors of the Phelan, because of their courage in making a difficult, hazardous voyage to save a remnant of their species from destruction. The Phelan appear to the ambassadors to be gentle, peaceful, and eager to please, but are hiding a terrible secret.
This, Tory learns to her dismay when the Phelan blackmail her into being their agent. For the sake of humanity's survival, she must convince her people to grant the Phelan a homeland on the earth...
The Sails of Tau Ceti is a well worked-out story that presents the reader a plausible setting and motive for a threatened interstellar war that would be fought at sub-light speeds. The novel invites comparison with Niven and Pournelle's Footfall, though Sails is written on a more modest scale than its predecessor was. Sail's strongest points are its well worked-out setting and conflict and the internal struggle that Tory faces in being required to save humanity by appearing to betray it.
Sail's weakest point is that its writing tends in places to be dry and too technical.Read more ›
The ending is quite satisfactory and needed to reach a climax. Not at all your typical shoot'em up first encounter with first contact of an alien people. Yet set up so you think it will become just that at any moment. Even convinces you of how difficult it might be for any aliens to interface with humans without some sort of unavoidable conflict that will end badly.
I have been a bit amorphous on the details because I don't want to give away too much. It would be a shame to spoil such a finely done piece of writing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good ideas, and the science was true to our current level of knowledge and tec.
I hope this storyline could be continued....
Once again Michael McCollum has produced a great saga with very plausible content. His characters are believable and he has a knack of drawing the reader into the storyPublished on March 18, 2013 by Colin V. Setterfield
Michael has a way of bringing technology to the average person. He also brings the characters alive and their relationship plays a meaningful role to the plot.Published on December 19, 2012 by SCIFi Freek
A good novel built around an interesting plot in which a plot twist is revealed early but hold up throughout the novel.Published on October 28, 2011 by Tenchi in DC