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4.0 out of 5 stars Rip Roaring Antimatter Antics, 26 April 2004
This review is from: Seetee Ship (Paperback)
Rich Drake returns from Earth to the asteroid Pallas with his newly-earnedSpatial Engineering degree, Rich is the son of Jim Drake, who for sometime has been experimenting with CT (seetee), contraterrene oranti-matter. In Williamson's future it is discovered that space is full ofseetee matter. A special Seetee Patrol has been set up to map the seeteedistribution and ensure that normal matter (including normal spacetraffic) does not come into contact with it, unleashing its awesomedestructive power and consequent radiation.
After Rich saves Karen Hood(daughter of the High Commissioner of Interplanet, a corporate concernwhich more or less controls Earth) he is recruited by Interplanet to helpwith their own research into creating a seetee bedplate, the elusive grailwhich will allow matter and anti-matter to be joined, and so control theenergy of seetee which will provide free unlimited power for the entireSolar civilisation.
Interplanet's interests are less philanthropic. As the main supplier ofpower from uranium and other dwindling sources they would want to suppressany free power supplies, but would be interested in the creation of seeteebombs.
Then a seetee asteroid with unusual properties is discovered andthe race is on to be the first to uncover its secrets.
What follows is a convoluted time-paradox tale in which an ancient alienship is found which may provide the secret to creating a functioningseetee 'bedplate'.
This is a vast improvement on Williamson's earlier work, particularlysince he has this time given due consideration to practical matters ofgravitation and atmosphere.
It is also interesting that Williamson, inthe middle of World War II (published in 'Astounding Magazine' between1942-3), has written what is effectively an anti-war and particularlyanti-militaristic novel.
The Martians, who are a very minor aspect of this book, are Nazis, and welearn in passing that Mars culture is an Aryan Reich. For readers of thetime this must have been a topical and perhaps chilling aspect, and thevery subtlety of its use renders it all the more effective.
It's SpaceOpera in the grand tradition, and a fine and readable example of thegenre.
NB: The sequel is 'Seetee Shock'.
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Seetee Ship
Seetee Ship by Jack Williamson (Paperback - Jun 1989)
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