The Enemy Stars
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Four explorers from different backgrounds are marooned in space—and must unite to escape their floating prison—in this novel by a Nebula Award winner.
In the twenty-third century, when humankind has spread itself throughout the cosmos, with many intergalactic colonies teetering on the brink of open revolt against the hated ruling Protectorate, a team of four is transported by a miraculous technology onto the deep-space vessel Southern Cross. Hailing from vastly different backgrounds, philosophies, and worlds, Ryerson, Nakamura, Sverdlov, and Maclaren have been entrusted to explore a long-dead star located light-years beyond where humanity has previously traveled. But venturing too close to the target proves disastrous when the black sun’s magnetic field permanently obliterates their only means of returning home. Suddenly, four strangers, two hailing from a privileged Earth and two from oppressed galactic colonies, must put aside their differences and work together to somehow find a way out of an impossible situation before time runs out, or die together at the farthest edge of a cold and merciless universe.
A remarkably thoughtful and profoundly moving novel of survival in the darkest reaches of outer space, The Enemy Stars is a work of great power and insight by multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner Poul Anderson, one of the legendary greats of golden-age science fiction.
“A serious, occasionally grave, but ultimately enriching philosophical story about what it really means to be human . . . Anderson deftly matches white-knuckle suspense with introspective moments. . . . Poignant . . . Often exhilarating, The Enemy Stars is a fine example of early hard SF that manages to incorporate humanist themes with equal success. The climactic surprise is dang swell, too.” —SFReviews.net
“One of science fiction’s most influential and prolific writers . . . Anderson’s appetite for colossal themes was remarkable, even by the grandiloquent standards of his trade.” —The Daily Telegraph
Poul Anderson (1926–2001) grew up bilingual in a Danish American family. After discovering science fiction fandom and earning a physics degree at the University of Minnesota, he found writing science fiction more satisfactory. Admired for his “hard” science fiction, mysteries, historical novels, and “fantasy with rivets,” he also excelled in humor. He was the guest of honor at the 1959 World Science Fiction Convention and at many similar events, including the 1998 Contact Japan 3 and the 1999 Strannik Conference in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Besides winning the Hugo and Nebula Awards, he has received the Gandalf, Seiun, and Strannik, or “Wanderer,” Awards. A founder of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, he became a Grand Master, and was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
In 1952 he met Karen Kruse; they married in Berkeley, California, where their daughter, Astrid, was born, and they later lived in Orinda, California. Astrid and her husband, science fiction author Greg Bear, now live with their family outside Seattle.