View Full Version : Novel about man's first foray into ftl travel
April 7th, 2009, 10:10 PM
Hi, would appreciate any help finding the title to a novel I read in the late 90s. I do not remember all of the details but it was about mankind developing a ftl system (might have been zero point propulsion, and I think it referred to gates alot) that was only feasible to have on one ship I guess, and embarking on this grand mission. Basically, time dilation is a huge factor in the story. The people on earth eventually forget about this mission as anything but mythical. Meanwhile the people on the ship are going about their business and, here is where it gets fuzzy, but I think they start running into human settlements because so much time had passed on earth that they have propagated the ftl technology and improved it. If I am not mistaken I think by the end of the story the original crew decided to stay on their ship because literally thousands and thousands of years had passed. This sound familiar? I really enjoyed it at the time and just remember it a couple days ago but cannot find anything. I believe the author was either some award winner or a nominee, but I do not believe this particular novel was. I picked up the novel starborne (which I had also read and forgotten about) and thought that might be it because it discusses mankinds first foray into ftl travel, but alas this is not the one in question. Help please!
March 19th, 2010, 06:02 PM
It sounds a "little" like an old YA book by RA Heinlein but in that one they didn't have ftl but at end of book they are picked up by another ship that DOES have ftl. The main character has a twin brother, the 2 of them are telepaths (only with each other) and they were recruited. One goes on the ship and one stays on earth so they can communicate with the ship. I can't remember title for sure but THINK it was Time For the Stars.
March 19th, 2010, 06:55 PM
Sounds actually like CJ Cherryh's Merchanter series.
March 26th, 2010, 07:36 AM
Thank you both for your help! Sadly, neither appear to be it. I will check out that TIme for the Stars book though and look into the other series...both look interesting. The novel I am trying to find...I dunno, maybe I will have to write it myself and wait for someone to come after me for plagiarism! haha. The only other details I remember about the book I'm looking for is that there was an original mission and by the time they get someone and manage to recommunicate with earth, so much time had passed by that the people on earth thought that their mission had been a myth. And now there were other ships around and the people from the original mission decided that they were going to stay in space on I think their original ship or on other ships that they encountered. There were also ... clans, I guess, like space boomers, miners, etc...and they each had their own story lines. I also think that there were several returns to earth by the main characters and each time literally hundereds of years would pass by (due to relativity). If I am making this thing up I think I have a damn good story going!
March 26th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Maybe The Forever War by Joe Haldeman?
March 28th, 2010, 12:00 AM
This reminds me of a couple of novels:
Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein, and
Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin (this could be the one you are looking for)
March 29th, 2010, 01:22 PM
Time for the Stars. Loved that one when I was a kid.
The scenario also has echos of Shakespeare's Planet by Clifford Simak, which is an interesting novel, though unlikely to be the one you are thinking of.
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