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October 29th, 2005, 05:42 PM
.... I read in 1979.

I can't remember the title or the author's name. Set, I think, in the late 21st Century, the story concerned the exploration of an Earth-like planet around a nearby star, by rival US and Soviet teams. The USSR still existed in 208? in this late 1970's novel! I think the two teams came into conflict with each other.

The cover artwork of British paperback edition I owned, had on it two space-suited team members doing an EVA above the new planet. The one in the foreground was a Russian cosmonaut (with re-styled CCCP patches for the 2080's) and in the background was an American astronaut.

Can anyone help? I'd dearly love to get hold of a copy of this book once I've identified it.

My first post, by-the-way.


October 29th, 2005, 10:52 PM
Hmmm, any chance its Ben Bova's Kinsman Saga? I'm only going by the cover art I remember seeing, I 've never read it. It was definitely around in the seventies.

October 30th, 2005, 10:23 AM
Maybe Jem by Pohl, if the planet was ocuppied by balloon and crab type aliens.

November 4th, 2005, 06:48 PM
Success! It was "Fifth Planet" by Fred and Geoffery Hoyle, originally published in the 60s.

November 4th, 2005, 06:56 PM
The plot:

In Fifth Planet (1963) the year is 2087. A new solar system with a sun named Helios, approaches ours, but would not really disturb the orbital path of the Earth. The Euro-American and Communist blocks launch rival rocketship expeditions to explore Achilles, the planet of Helios. The western crew, professor Hugh Conway, Mike Fawsett and two other members, lose the race - the Russians land first, but unluckily. The planet is Earth-like with its atmosphere and green hills. In the spirit of détente the crews work together and find a strange transparent construction, but not much else. An alien returns to Earth in the body of Fawsett, and then takes the body of Cathy, Conway's wife, telling him the secret of cosmic lifebank. Conway accepts the marriage of human and alien mind. A global hallucination of the nuclear war shocks the world. Conway escapes to the grassy wandering planet with Cathy, carrying the homesick alien.