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THE Voyage of the Space Beagle Paperback – 8 Jul 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (8 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765320770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765320773
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

One of the great original classics of modern SF returns! An all-time classic space saga, "The Voyage of the Space Beagle" is one of the pinnacles of Golden Age SF, an influence on generations of stories. An episodic novel filled with surprises and provocative ideas, this is the story of a great exploration ship sent out into the unknown reaches of space on a long mission of discovery. They encounter several terrifying alien species, including the Ix, who lay their eggs in human bodies, which then devour the humans from within when they hatch. This is one of the most entertaining and gripping stories in all of classic SF.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevski on 21 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
A genuine classic of the genre and a book I have read over and over. Surely, the idead was taken on and embellished in the creation of Star Trek?? The novel takes the form of a series of encounters with life in deep space in an alomst 'five year mission' format, however the ideas are very well presented and superior to any TV sagas. A recommended read. Makes me wish there was a sequel. Great stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BookMadDadToTeens on 4 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
When you get a great book you want it to last for as long as possible. This is how I felt about this book. Each of the stories were highly imaginative and beautifully painted. The novel is like a dark version of Star Trek woven together with departmental politics. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys space travel and alien stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Animefan on 13 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this on the basis that it has a reputation as a grandfather of modern sci-fi, and inspired both Alien and Star Trek. But to be honest I thought it was so boring. There was little in the way of Star Trek's action, not Alien's horror.

I think the ideas were interesting, and have no doubt at the time they were revolutionary. I liked the id-eating cat monster Coeurl, and liked how we saw chapters through his eyes, and for that I give it 3 stars. But the second storyline just made me lose interest and I gave up.

The characters I thought were bland and uninteresting, and frankly if they killed off the main character Grosvenor and introduced a new character in his place I don't think I would have noticed. I recognise he wasn't completely 2D, he had this stuffy pompousness to him, but I just didn't have any investment in the characters and gave up half-way through the book. Also, it sadly fell into the old trap many sci-fi have of only having male characters, although yes I understand this is due to it being a product of its time.

Possibly it's the writing style of the time, but there was just a general lack of action, funny or interesting dialogue, or overarching `what's going to happen next' story line. I read two other books at the same time as this both with much better flow and fleshed out characters, The Secret of Yusan (The Sojourn Stars) which is much longer but moved at such a cracking pace I completed it easily, and A Crown Of Swords: Wheel of Time Book 7 (The Wheel of Time), which again is much longer, does have its plodding moments, but was much more enjoyable.

That said my friend also read it and thought it was fantastic, so maybe it is a taste in genre thing. I just expected more from a classic.
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Format: Paperback
AE Van Vogt's Voyage of the Space Beagle was first published in 1951, at the dawn of the atomic age. It is a science-fiction classic very much of the old school. A spaceship, the eponymous Space Beagle, is on a voyage of scientific discovery through interstellar space. The scientists encounter various phenomena, from the potassium-hungry Coeurl to lifeforms drifting in the vacuum of space itself. These new lifeforms almost without exception attempt to wipe out the crew of the Space Beagle.

The protagonist is a young scientist by the name of Grosvenor, a specialist in the new science of nexialism. Nexialism becomes a focus of the narrative as Grosvenor uses it to avert crisis after crisis, both alien attackers and threats to his research from the other scientists as the Space Beagle's political situation becomes ever more complicated.

It's easy for modern readers to dismiss novels like Voyage of the Space Beagle. Some aspects of the science are very quaint, with various characters wielding 'atomic' handguns with cheerful abandon, much as science-fiction of the 1990s would use and abuse the word 'quantum'. All the members of the crew are scientists or soldiers, and so obviously they are all men. They encounter fierce bestial aliens, psychic aliens and spacey aliens, and the first half of the book reads like a Star Trek episode guide.

But it's all a bit better than that. For a start, even though all the characters on this voyage are men, AE Van Vogt takes the brave step of addressing the male sex drive, and states bluntly that the crew are dosed with the space age (sorry, atomic age) equivalent of bromide in their tea. It's a logical step for an interstellar science mission, and also forestalls the inevitable sniggering from smutty 21st Century readers.
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