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Tau Zero (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Poul Anderson
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Poul Anderson's book Tau Zero stands out in the genre in large part because it does precisely the thing that one so rarely sees in science fiction: it takes a keen interest in the emotional lives of the characters in the novel, which the novel combines this with a general fascination for all things scientific. In Tau Zero, these two often competing themes in the genre work together with a synergy that makes the novel much more than just another deep space adventure story.

From practically the very first page, Tau Zero sets the scientific realities in dramatic tension with the very real emotional and psychological states of the travelers: you have the time factor and their emotional response to the consequence of traveling at this high rate of speed and the time that has passed. This tension is a dynamic that Anderson explores with great success over the course of the novel as fifty crew-members settle in for the long journey together. While they are a highly-trained team of scientists and researchers and therefore professionals, they are also a community of individuals, each of them trying to create for him or herself a life in a whole new space (or literally, in space).

It isn't too long, however, before the voyage takes a turn for the worse. The ship passes through a small, uncharted cloud-like nebula that makes it impossible to decelerate the ship. The only hope rather, is to do the opposite and speed up. But acceleration towards and within the speed of light means that time outside the spaceship passes even more rapidly, sending the crew deeper into space and also, further into an unknown future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Acclaimed science fiction writer Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania. After earning a degree in physics from the University of Minnesota, he moved to San Francisco where he lived with his wife and writing partner, Karen.

Anderson was a prolific writer with more than one hundred titles to his name. He wrote from a unique position and point of view having a deep understanding of science as well as a keen interest in Norse mythology. While Anderson had written some fantasy novels, including The Broken Sword (1954), Three Hearts and Three Lions (1961), and A Midsummer Tempest (1974), his reputation rests primarily on the strength of his science fiction.

Anderson's first science fiction novel was the 1954 Brain Wave, and it is considered by most to be a classic in the genre. Anderson liked to write series of novels, including his popular Time Patrol works beginning with 1981's Guardians of Time. He also wrote novellas and many short stories.

To his credit, Anderson has numerous science fiction awards including three Nebula awards, seven Hugo awards and the SFWA Grand Master Award (1997). But it is perhaps for the 1970 novel Tau Zero that Anderson will be best remembered. Anderson's last novel, Genesis (2000), won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (2001) for best science fiction novel of the year.

Book Description

For the crew of the Leonora Christine, travelling close to the speed of light on a 30-light-year journey, subjective time slows down. Then buffeting by an interstellar dust cloud damages the ship's deceleration system and it achieves light speed, tau zero itself.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 495 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 200 pages
  • Editeur : RosettaBooks (29 juin 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B003XVYLEY
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°21.567 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 De la pure science-fiction 23 mai 2010
Par Ludwig Jean Sébastien TOP 50 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Nous sommes au 23ème siècle.
50 hommes et femmes quittent la Terre à bord du Leonora Christine, (un vaisseau spatial révolutionnaire qui fonctionne avec l'énergie récupèrée dans l'espace) pour atteindre une planète située à 30 années-lumière. L'appareil se déplacera environ à la vitesse de la lumière. A bord, le temps subjectif sera ralenti. Pour l'équipage, ce voyage d'une durée réelle de trente ans ne prendra qu'une décade.
Mais le système de décélération du vaisseau est gravement endommagé lors d'une collision avec un nuage de poussières interstellaires. L'accélération se poursuit donc inexorablement jusqu'à atteindre la vitesse de la lumière ' Tau Zéro. Et voilà le vaisseau qui fonce à travers les galaxies. A bord, ce ne sont plus les décades, mais les éons qui filent en un clin d'œil. Une fois parti aussi loin dans le temps et dans l'espace, est-il encore possible de revenir ?
Un pur roman de science-fiction, « l'ultime » aux dires de James Blish, « son meilleur » à ceux de l'auteur lui-même. Toute la problématique, pour ne pas dire l'essence même de la conquête et de la colonisation de l'espace, est posée de façon toute scientifique. Comment gérer des distances aussi phénoménales ? Comment s'y retrouver dans le rapport espace-temps et même dans le temps des milliards d'années du cosmos alors que seulement quelques semaines ou quelques mois défilent à l'intérieur de la carlingue ?
Lire la suite ›
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Vers l'infini et au delà ! 15 mars 2014
Par Racunica
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Comme le dit la couverture, citant James Blish, "c'est le meilleur roman de Hard Science" de tous les temps.
Tout le récit tient sur la distorsion temporelle à l'approche de la vitesse de la lumière. Dit comme ça, ça n'a l'air de rien, mais plus que les effets techniques, ce sont les conséquences sur l'équipage qu'Anderson explore, à bord de ce vaisseau lancé à pleine vitesse sans plus aucune possibilité de freiner, dans un univers qui lui devient de plus en plus inaccessible.
Un récit très habile, et redoutablement efficace.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Une belle réflexion sur la relativité 24 mai 2013
Par M. Akbar
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Sur le fond d'un voyage interstellaire à des vitesses frôlantes celle de la lumière on s'embarque dans un voyage qui revisite la mort et la renaissance de l'universe. Le livre propose des réflexions sur les conditions de vie encloitrée sur des longues périodeset la force et l'importance de l'espoir !
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  92 commentaires
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Full-speed SF 13 septembre 2000
Par J. L. Probert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
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.
32 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Classic But Clumsy 21 septembre 2006
Par S. Singer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
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.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 I wish I'd read the short story instead 22 août 2008
Par taogoat - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book is based on Poul Anderson's short story "To Outlive Eternity," and I wish I had skipped the book and read the short story instead.

The plot is based on a great idea, which justifies it as a classic of hard science fiction, but I don't think it's enough to sustain an entire novel. Too much of the book is like a boring soap opera -- people are fighting, having affairs, etc. You don't get to the brilliant idea till the very end, and by then I was just ready for the book to end.

The short story is in his collection "To Outlive Eternity and Other Stories," which can be found on Amazon.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A fascinating premise, but spoilt in its development 5 juin 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Bussard Ramjets were hot stuff in '60s SF. Authors who were tired of the conventions of faster-than-light (FTL) travel, which is really little more than a handy way of getting the story to planet X, loved the idea of a scientifically plausible stardrive. Putting it simply, a Bussard Ramjet works by collecting interstellar hydrogen in magnetic fields at the front of the ship, squeezing them in a fusion reactor, and squirting the result out of the back at near the speed of light. It overcomes the problem all spacecraft face, where any practical starship is all fuel and reaction mass and no payload, by collecting its fuel on the way. The original free lunch, as it were. A Bussard Ramjet can theoretically reach any speed short of the speed of light. A side-effect of relativity theory is that, for the occupants of the ship, time passes more slowly the closer the ship approaches the speed of light. The factor by which time slows down is known as tau. So if tau is .5 the journey will seem to the travellers to take only half as long as it does to observers at rest. The faster you go, the more tau reduces.
Hence the title. In this hard-SF novel - expanded from a short story - the ship Leonora Christine sustains damage to her externally-mounted braking system while travelling very close to the speed of light. Unfortunately, it is impossible to go outside the ship to fix it as the density of interstellar matter in the vicinity is so high that it will kill anyone who goes outside the hull. The only way to deal with this is to travel to an intergalactic region where matter density is lower. To only way to get there within the crew's lifetime is to accelerate until tau is close enough to zero...
So far, this is a great SF story premise. The reader is involved in the crew's dilemma - to slow down they have to go faster - and can have fun second-guessing the author's very credible plot developments. But in the expansion to short-novel length, Poul Anderson has to give us more than just a puzzle -! we have to start getting involved with the crew as well. And this is where things go wrong. The people-interest part feels all too tacked on. Had Poul Anderson spent more time and space fully developing his characters the balance of the novel would have shifted away from the original hard-SF premise. Done well, this would have been just fine. But the characters are not well developed; they act and speak as if they were in a TV mini-series.
In the end, Tau Zero falls between two stools - it's too long to be problem-centred hard SF, too short to be people-centred story SF.
For more on Bussard Ramjets, see almost anything published by Larry Niven in the late '60s and early '70s, but especially A World out of Time (aka Children of the State) which is another short-story to novel expansion which I think is far more successful.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Leonara Christine's near-luminal peril through space and time 14 juin 2007
Par 2theD - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
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. Unable to slow down, she attains light speed, tau zero itself, and the disparity between time for those on board and external time becomes impossibly great. Eons and galaxies hurtle by in the blink of an eye as the crew speeds helpless and alone in the unknown..."

------------

In orbit around the Earth sits the Leonara Christine waiting for her crew of fifty souls. On Earth, those souls are spending their remaining days on Earth sightseeing and pairing off for the voyage to Beta Virginis, 32 light-years distant. The craft utilizes a tried-and-tested Bussard ramjet, which uses invisible magnetohydrodynamic fields to funnel hydrogen into the engine in order to create propulsion. The mission of the crew is to study the pre-selected planet for a matter of years and return to Earth... or colonize the planet, acting as a stepping-stone for humanity's reach across the galaxy. The five-year subjective voyage by the crew will be witnessed by the universe as taking an objective thirty-three years.

Once aboard the Leonara Christine, the bonds of pairing off become loosened as the members are sensitive to the emotional needs of others. This empathetic attention causes first officer Charles Reymont to dissolve his own partnership with the bountiful beauty of Ingrid Lindgren. Some are reclusive by nature, involved in their own scientific observation while other are reveling in the atmosphere of free love; all, however, keep a regiment of assisting in experiments so as to ward off boredom and ennui for the five-year voyage.

A probe had earlier traversed their path towards Beta Virginis, but when the Leonara Christine crosses the near-vacuum of the voyage, it encounters an unusually dense concentration of nebular gas. This alarms the crew who consider two outcomes: (a) they pass through with ease, only gaining speed or (b) they meet a spectacular, cataclysmic end. Little regard to paid to the third option, a combination of the other two options: they will survive the collision, but their control severely limited. After passing through the cloud, their gratitude of immediate survival offers no relief to their hopes for long-term survival.

The passage through the nebular cloud disabled their decelerating field and repair on the equipment is impossible without being bombarded by radiation from either the ship's exhaust or the colliding particles between the stars. Their only course of action is the primary mammalian motivation: survive. A circumnavigable course if plotted around the Milky Way so that they will forever remain in motion and consuming fuel before the ship either ceases to function or the universe ceases to exist.

Prior to their eventual death by cosmic radiation or by the collapse of the universe, the fifty-strong crew deal with the self-exiled captain and the growing authoritarianism of First Officer Charles Reymont. Thankful that their wait for death is cut short, they are also witness to the passing of millions and billions of years in the universe. As matter becomes rarer, stars burn out--they become witness to yet another spectacular sight, a sight which makes them cringe in the face of the unknown.

------------

Though written in 1970 during the New Wave of science fiction, Anderson still exhibits some "classic" habits of the science fiction from yesteryears. Anderson has a tendency to ham-fistedly insert background material into the chapter, like Charles Reymond's personal and professional information on page 10 which were put into brackets to section it off from the rest of the narrative (because this is the only example in the book, it's awkward and unnecessary). Anderson is guilty of similar block data insertion in People of the Wind (1973) where numerous blocks of data are framed and separated from the narrative.

However, Anderson also shows that he is up to the challenge of writing for the New Wave movement. More so than any other Anderson novel that I can recall, Tau Zero has a fair amount of sex, though much of it is directly indicated rather than explicitly written--Anderson ever so modest. Even the sexual relationships between the crew are a new facet to Anderson's New Wave writing, where partners are shared and marriage shunned, perhaps for the mental welfare of the close-knit crew or because the possible need for DNA variation for colonization.

The crew on the Leonara Christine is diverse in namesake but their actions are stereotypical to their respective race. The Chinese Chi-Yuen is poetic and in naturalistic, the Swede Telander is strong and silent, the Indian cosmologist Chidambaran in nerdy and pragmatic, and the Russian Lenkei is heated and controversial. But there is one character that breaks the mold of conformity, one entity that stands out among the rest and makes a name for herself: the one and only Leonara Christine.

The colloquial use of she in regards to the Leonara Christine eventually defines the ship itself as a character in the book, worthy of sympathy. The humans within her hull are confined in their microcosm, subject to whims of personal glory or self-destruction, interpersonal agitation or intrapersonal angst; yet, the Leonara Christine maintain her plot amid the stars and between nebulae while protecting the precious fleshy cargo within. When dense gas clouds and even denser stars blockade the advancement of the crew's passage, the Leonara Christine must persevere and succeed. When her successive mechanical failures demoralize her crew, she must endure the passing time and coddle her embryo-like humans.

Akin to the cordoned off block of personal data on page 10, Anderson begins each chapter with a snapshot of Leonara Christine's passage through space at her terrific near-luminal velocity. This would normally detract from the characters' narrative elements, but the result of the updates is a characterization of Leonara Christine. The voyage gains peril and the ship earns respect while the crew twiddle away their miniscule lives in a universe devoid of all humans other than the fifty within the Leonara Christine's hull.

------------

I can appreciate Anderson's experimental work--trying to infuse his Golden Age charm with New Wave elements, but the result is a blocky mosaic of the two. His characterization may have been stereotypical and weak, aside from the pleasantly plump and accommodating Ingrid Lindgren, but his characterization of Leonara Christine won me over. This is a foray into coping with the end of lives, the end of humanity, and the end of the universe through the eyes of the Earthy carbon life forms and the metallic hull who transports them through space and time. One of my favorite Anderson novels!
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