8. november 2012

Ship of Strangers

Bob Shaw
1979 a.
155 lk.

Dave Surgenor works as one of twelve crewmen on board a survey ship thatvisits and maps planets in an ever expanding bubble from Earth. The book isa series of short stories about their more interesting forays. 1) They meeta "Gray Man" that is left over from a civilization 7000 years ago and canchange shape at will in its efforts to take over the space ship. The battleis won when the Gray Man does not realize, until it's too late, that CaptainAesop is a computer and thus not subject to mind control. 2) Some of theship's crew try out Trance-Port tapes that give you a dream girlfriend thatusers of the tapes believe are real. The end results are unsettling when twocrewmembers end up with the same girl. 3) The crew has a run-in withautomated homing torpedoes from a centuries ago civilization. The theme ofthis story is chances and odds as they need to hit the exact same torpedotwice out of a swarm of 362 and they have 26 shots left. 4) They run into acivilization that travels in time as casually as we do in three-dimensionalspace. A military ship comes along and believes they can kidnap one of thetime travelers but everyone gets hit by a "time bomb" and dropped millionsof years into the past along with a portal that will allow two people to goback to normal time. Surgenor ends up being one of the two. 5) In the laststory they run into a "Dwindlestar" where they end up shrinking intonothingness. But, it turns out they are now larger than the universe and byadjusting the ship's center of gravity they are able to steer themselvesback into their spot in the normal universe and Surgenor then retires after20 years in the Cartographical Service.


5 lühikest lugu kartograafiateenistuse kaardistamislaeva igapäevatööst. Kuigi töö peaks täiesti ohutu ja rutiinne olema - kaardistatakse vaid asustamata planeete - siis vahetevahel üht-teist ikka juhtub.

Lood on ümberjutustamiseks liiga lühikesed ja esimesed 3 lugu olid üsna mittemidagiütlevad. Neljas lugu ajas rändavate olenditega oli juba parem ning viimane lugu laeva väga eriskummalisse kontiinumisse sattumisega täiesti korralik. Summa summarum korralik kolm, aga mitte rohkem.

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