Dangerous Voyage to Alpha Centauri
is an excellent book!, January 29, 2008
Madison, WI United States -
I like a
book that begins with a joke: "There are three kinds of people: those
who can count and those who cannot. "Not hilarious, but excellent
foreshadowing for the theme: how much can we count on immortality to solve
our problems. Or to put it another way, what is there to be afraid of if we
no longer fear death? Hint: a population explosion and "no exit"
from complex human relationships. The chapters barrel ahead in this
indeterminate universe, but author Fritz Reichert, himself a scientist,
focuses on a very clever plot line that encompasses his theme beautifully.
The now-ageless (but disappointed with life) Tim Turner volunteers for a
forty-year solo space probe to find inhabitable planets for overpopulated
earth. Here's the ingenious part. His ex-lover plants an android on the ship
ostensibly to keep him physically healthy and provide company. The inventor
is a woman he jilted who is out for revenge. I loved the originality of this,
and the author gives the narrative a polish that is both satisfying to
readers and keeps them on their toes. And he works in some interesting
science without hitting us over the head with it. Great book cover, well
realized scenes, literate and intelligent storyline with genuine surprise and
suspense. This is a gem transcending 90% of the other science fiction I have
read recently. By the way, the android is named "Tao," meaning
The journey itself, while filled with external threats (hostile
extraterrestrials, Planet X--the planet of death--and a conspiracy to prevent
his reentering earth's realm) turns interestingly introspective as he
obsesses over the two women of his life. His aching solitude is in stark
contrast with the overpopulated earth. The two women, in some odd way,
represent the acceptance and denial of the individual. If the ending is a bit
anti-climactic (though hopeful), "Dangerous Voyage Alpha Centauri"
is the intriguing dilemma of, what is versus what is not. I read this book in
the middle of a sub-zero winter, my wife gone for two weeks visiting her new
granddaughter, communication mostly through e-mail on the computer. I feel I
lived this book and at a certain point was curious to find out whether or not
Tim and I would survive. If you're reading this now, you know we did.
770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
February 24, 2008:
One is the
loneliest number in this astute, science-tinged account of one man’s solo
journey to another solar system.
breakthrough in the mid-20th century—the Holy Grail of medicine: a cure for
aging—provides the spark that sets this story in motion. Psychologist Anna
Binder, among many others who share her rosy view of this “miracle” cure,
rejoices now that there’s time for both children and a career.
But some, like her
lover physicist Tim Turner, only see the drawback that accompanies such an
achievement—rampant overpopulation to the tune of one billion new people a
year, which will further tax the planet’s scarce resources.
Tim’s work on vital
recycling technologies is now too important to put on hold for a family, so he
looks on helplessly as the love of his life packs up and leaves. Irony is the
order of the day when Tim’s next lover, Yang Lou-ni, decides that, in these
troubled times, a career in politics is more important than their relationship.
mingles these personal struggles with the broader forces driving chaos in the
world around his characters. Thus, it is more out of despair over two loves
lost than any altruistic motives that Tim applies, and is conveniently selected,
to undertake the titular “dangerous voyage” of the book—a one-man, 40-year
expedition to search for human-habitable worlds as a safety valve for Earth’s
Tim’s travels are
the familiar stuff of serious science fiction, save in one respect:
has made an admirable effort
at presenting a psychologically complex account of the unbearable isolation of
four decades alone in space. But his effort is not entirely successful. Tim’s
conversations with himself and ravings against inanimate objects often become
tedious although they create just enough suspense to keep the journey
Reichert, Fritz F.
DANGEROUS VOYAGE TO ALPHA CENTAURI: A Scientific Vision
of Our Next 50 Years
iUniverse (134 pp.) $11.95 paperback December 7, 2007
S. Breuer in Alien Contact # 53 (2002):
Fritz Reichert is one of those optimists whose ship always has an inch of water below the keel while others have already run ashore or on dried and salty beaches. This cannot be scientifically proven but it makes him a pleasant exception among so many prophets of the end of the world
Andreas Nordieck in www.fictionfantasy.de
One or other malicious person and a love story enrich Reichert’s novel in a pleasant way. Scientific passages are scattered all over the novel but never have they gone into details as to hinder the flow of interest in the story.