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Cry from a Far Planet   By: (1915-1980)

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Cry from a Far Planet by Tom Godwin is a compelling and thought-provoking science fiction novel that takes readers on a mesmerizing journey into the depths of outer space. With its richly detailed world-building and complex characters, the book grabs readers from the first page and never lets go.

Set in a distant future, Cry from a Far Planet explores the clash between human desires and the vastness of the universe. The story revolves around Captain Howard Stark, a seasoned astronaut who embarks on a daring mission to a remote planet in search of valuable resources. However, what starts as a routine assignment soon turns into a gripping struggle for survival as Stark finds himself facing insurmountable challenges and unanticipated dangers.

Godwin's narrative skill shines through as he vividly depicts the harsh realities of space travel and the immense solitude that accompanies it. The reader is immediately drawn into the isolation and claustrophobia that Stark experiences, which effectively conveys the profound loneliness of his mission. Through Stark's perspective, Godwin explores themes of existentialism, human resilience, and the pursuit of meaning in an indifferent universe that will resonate with readers long after finishing the book.

One of the novel's strengths lies in its careful attention to scientific accuracy. Godwin's background as an engineer enables him to craft a world rooted in scientific plausibility. He seamlessly combines real-world knowledge with imaginative speculation, creating a believable and immersive space adventure. The technical details are skillfully woven into the narrative, enhancing the sense of authenticity and adding another dimension of realism to the story.

Moreover, Cry from a Far Planet delves into complex moral and ethical dilemmas as Stark grapples with the consequences of his choices. As the story progresses, the captain is forced to confront the weight of his decisions, questioning the sacrifices he has made and the cost of pursuing his goals. This exploration of the human condition gives the book a depth and introspection that elevates it beyond a mere space opera.

However, despite these strengths, the novel does suffer from occasional pacing issues. Some sections can feel slow, particularly during the more introspective moments. Nevertheless, the slower pace also allows for deeper character development, and the payoff in the climax is worth the investment.

In conclusion, Cry from a Far Planet is a captivating science fiction novel that skillfully combines awe-inspiring world-building, gripping action, and philosophical introspection. Tom Godwin's masterful storytelling and rich imagination make this book a must-read for fans of the genre, leaving readers with a renewed appreciation for our place in the vast expanse of the universe.

First Page:




The problem of separating the friends from the enemies was a major one in the conquest of space as many a dead spacer could have testified. A tough job when you could see an alien and judge appearances; far tougher when they were only whispers on the wind.

A smile of friendship is a baring of the teeth. So is a snarl of menace. It can be fatal to mistake the latter for the former.

Harm an alien being only under circumstances of self defense.


From Exploration Ship's Handbook .

He listened in the silence of the Exploration ship's control room. He heard nothing but that was what bothered him; an ominous quiet when there should have been a multitude of sounds from the nearby village for the viewscreen's audio pickups to transmit. And it was more than six hours past the time when the native, Throon, should have come to sit with him outside the ship as they resumed the laborious attempt to learn each other's language.

[Illustration: Was the cat native to the planet, or to his imagination?]

The viewscreen was black in the light of the control room, even though it was high noon outside... Continue reading book >>

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