It seems entirely fitting that this book was listed for the Arthur C. Clarke award: it's style is very similar to his, indeed the plot of Cavalcade owes a huge debt to Clarke's Rama series. Also reminiscent of Clarke is Sinclair's tendency to focus on the character interaction a little too much, and to ignore the science fiction. It is, after all, a science fiction novel, and will be read almost exclusively by SF fans. I would also criticise the fact that the characters all seem to be very similar: surgeons, anthropoligists, drifters, scientists and military men all speak in cultured tones with large vocabularies, making it less easy to distinguish between who's talking at any given time, and making them all seem one-dimensional. Only one of them talks & thinks in a less educated manner, but Sinclair fails to convey this convincingly, occasionally lapsing into verbose loquacity like all the other characters. The plot is slow, which wouldn't be a problem if the characterisation was better, and Sinclair has an irritiating habit of breaking up lines of dialogue in the most illogical places. Example: "I see you," said Morgan darkly, "haven't been listening." A small niggle, perhaps, but after three hundred pages of this you'll be ready to throw the book out the window in irritation! The geography of the space ship's interior is also of significant importance to the plot, but I found the book frequently referred to the details of features not previously discussed, forcing me to continually revise my mental picture of the environment. Thankfully the last quarter of the book sees the pace of events quicken, and the conclusion is a satisfactory one, leaving this reader feeling that Cavalcade is a worthwhile read, but only just.