Although I am old enough to have read widely and mature enough to enjoy good literature, I am not too old to appreciate that sense of youthful enthusiasm that is the SPIRIT OF ICARUS. As some of you may know, the ancient Greek legend of Icarus involves a young man (Icarus) and his father (Daedelus) trying to escape from exile on the island of Crete by means of wings made of feathers, attached to their arms by wax. In the legend, the young Icarus, intoxicated by the euphoria of flying, ignores his father's warnings and flies too close to the sun, thereby melting the wax that secures the feathers. He thus loses his wings and falls to the sea and drowns.
In this space-age updating of the legend, eighteen-year-old Steve Quantum builds a spaceship (called, appropriately enough, the SPIRIT OF ICARUS) and enters a space race round the sun that is apparently held every ten years. His father (an experienced test pilot) is also there, in the form of a rival flying for a large manufacturer of spaceships. As in the Icarus legend, the young hero of this story also flies close for the sun, although for a different reason. He is not intoxicated by euphoria, but he is trying to cut down on the distance. (It's a bit like being on the inside lane on a race track if you see what I mean.)
But does this latter-day Icarus encounter the same tragic end as his ancient Greek antecedent? Ah that would be telling.