Ragged Astronauts Paperback – 1 Aug 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
The twin planets are so close that there are two periods of daytime on the inhabited world, and a short night in between, with a longer night at the other end. There is a thin envelope of air, it turns out, linking the two planets, and if someone were to go up in a hot-air balloon he could just about cross over to the other world. But is the journey survivable and could an entire population be evacuated?
This first book in the series is definitely the best. The second, The Wooden Spaceships, deals with large-scale population movement and colonisation. Really Shaw could have left it at that but perhaps he was pushed into writing a trilogy. The Fugitive Worlds is readable but not so good or credible.
Bob Shaw was a Northern Irish writer who was a contemporary and friend of James White and Brian W Aldiss.
I consider his best work to be Other Days, Other Eyes, which is about slow glass.
By keeping the technology deliberately low level, roughly equivalent to 18th-19th century Earth, Bob Shaw manages to keep it in the background to allow the story to flow unfettered.
Consider this; how would you expect people to travel between planets (believably) with such primitive technology? A hot air balloon perhaps?
The protagonists are sympathetic and believable, which makes a nice change from a lot of similar space opera. I pick my ancient copy off the shelf every now and then for a quick look, which always turns out to be a cover to cover read.
The two subsequent books in the trilogy, The Wooden Spaceships and The Fugitive Worlds take the story to a satisfactory finale.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Ragged Astronauts - file under fantasy/science fiction - (first of a 3 book series) by the late N. Read morePublished on 20 Oct. 2012 by Callmerick
On a world in a different universe to our own, rival kingdoms battle for supremacy, but a deadly plague, the pterthacosisis, is wiping out the population. Read morePublished on 16 Oct. 2009 by Blackhorse47