An SF Gateway eBook: bringing the classics to the future.
The year is 2087. The two great power blocs still face each other, with Britain having adopted the political role formerly occupied by Switzerland.
For 75 years the world has known of the approach of another solar system which will pass between our sun and its outermost planets. The sun of the other solar system is named Helios by astronomers, and it too is found to have planets. Its fifth planet, Achilles, is the one most similar to Earth; and rival rocket ship expeditions are launched by the Euro-American and Communist blocs to explore this transient neighbour...
From here on the story is weird and wonderful, the action lively; the scientific ideas are intriguing and the social satire is amusing.
Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001)
Sir Fred Hoyle was a famous English astronomer noted primarily for the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis and his often controversial stances on other scientific matters-in particular his rejection of the "Big Bang" theory, a term coined by him on BBC radio. He has authored hundreds of technical articles, as well as textbooks, popular accounts of science and two autobiographies. In addition to his work as an astronomer, Hoyle was a writer of science fiction, including a number of books co-written with his son Geoffrey Hoyle. Hoyle spent most of his working life at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and served as its director for a number of years. He was knighted in 1972 and died in Bournemouth, England, after a series of strokes.