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Survey Ship Paperback – May 7, 2012
About the Author
Marion Zimmer Bradley is probably best known for her Darkover novels and her best-selling Arthurian novel THE MISTS OF AVALON. In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, which she started in 1988, and an annual anthology, SWORD AND SORCERESS. For more information, see her website: www.mzbworks.com.
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In the future the united space program selects talented young children to become future space explorers. These children go through years of training and in their 18th year, 4-10 of the children in the class (the best of the best)are chosen to crew a survey ship that goes out among the stars to find habitable planets. This is story of Survey Ship 103. This crew of 6 must survive themselves, the dangers of space travel, and a faulty star ship in order to complete their mission and help humanity spread to the stars.
Well the first thing I'll say about this book is that it is missing some of the pieces or it was meant to be part of a series. It is well written but most of what happens in the book seems to set the stage for a climax later.... that never happens. This story seems to be more of a "situational" story about what would happen if you took a bunch of super educated 18 yr olds, who have been sheltered from the world since they were selected at a very young age (usually 5 or 6), and turned them lose in a space ship and said find me a planet or don't bother coming back. The majority of the book deals with the crew "growing up" as they try to deal with not having any supervison for the first time in their lives. That is the part that makes the book interesting. If your looking for a space disater novel this is not it (try Voyage of the Star Wolf, Midshipmans hope, or The Helmsman Novels), if on the other hand your looking for a situationl novel that deals with people trying to understand themselves in a new world this novel might work for you.
In all a good read especially if you like the way Marion can turn science fiction into a rich story where the focus is on people, not the fact that it is in the future.
The premise is good, but I think this story had more potential than it lived up to. Too many details seemed unbelievable and the characters remained undeveloped. Better written novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley include The Mists of Avalon and The House Between the Worlds.