Finally I got around to read this classic Science Fiction book.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
What a ride- what a story- what an ending!
This really blew my mind.
The author Poul Anderson had some balls to pull off the ending that he did.
The story is bloody incredible with undertones of one of my all time favorite TV shows- Stargate Universe.
Recuperating from a long Nuclear War humanity has started to send ships to nearby stars, to explore and colonize.
One such ship with 25 men and 25 women on-board are sent on a trip to seek out a planetary system 32 light years away. Using a Bussard drive that harnesses the hydrogen between the stars to power the ship’s constant acceleration. However a run-in with an unexpected obstacle mid-flight disables the ship’s deceleration systems. Unable to slow down, the ship is forced to keep accelerating till it reaches billionths of a fraction under tau zero- light speed.
Time dilation effects cause billions of years to pass in the universe while within the passengers experience only minutes. Totally helpless they keep speeding towards the unknown, with no hope of ever returning.
This is definitely up there with the best SF I have ever read.