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Originally written as a play and performed at the Mermaid Theatre, Easter 1962.
It is the early 20th century. Man is seeking signs of life elsewhere in the universe, but all exploratory ships have been lost without a trace - except for DSP15. Thirty years after leaving earth, and given up for lost, DSP15 suddenly appears on radar screens at the space station at Mildenhall, England. Her crew had been frozen to prevent ageing, and as the ship settles to a landing, Dr Richard Warboys eagerly awaits with other scientists for word of what DSP15 has found. But there is no crew, only a message scratched into a metal surface, signed by the captain: "If this ship returns to Earth, then mankind is in deadly peril - God help you - " And so Earth becomes accidentally involved in a cosmic battle against a virtually omnipotent alien power, in a story suspenseful and exciting from cover to cover.
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.