It concerns the establishment of the first human colony on Avalon, fourth planet of Tau Ceti. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. April Learn how and when to remove this template message Two hundred colonists arrive on Avalon, having made the year journey from Earth in suspended animation on the starship Geographic. The colonists, selected for their outstanding physical and mental acuity, make a terrible discovery: the suspended animation has damaged their intellect and reasoning skills.
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Actually, come to think of it, I struggle to actually think of any work of literature that has more than one author it seems as if for a book to enter into the annals of greatness the book has to be written by a single author. In fact, when one considers music the same seems to apply, Messing Up the Eco-System 26 January - Sydney Sometimes I wonder whether the more authors a book has the worse it becomes.
Actually, come to think of it, I struggle to actually think of any work of literature that has more than one author — it seems as if for a book to enter into the annals of greatness the book has to be written by a single author.
In fact, when one considers music the same seems to apply, considering Bohemian Rhapsody was allegedly written by a single person though I was always under the assumption that Queen, a four piece band, actually wrote the song, but then again people seem to think that Freddy Mercury actually wrote the song, Queen just performed it. Anyway, as you can probably tell, this book was written by three people, which makes me wonder how a book is actually written by three people — do they write a chapter a piece, or do they just write specific characters?
In either case how is it that they actually put the book together — do they sit down and work it out around some really bad cups of coffee, or do they argue about it around some really bad glasses of wine, and then go away, write their own sections and let the editors work it out. Or is it that they simply draft the outline of the book and then let poor Larry Niven sit down and put it all together.
So, the story is set on a planet orbiting Tau Ceti. The characters had just come out of a hundred year long sleep and are now setting up for a new world on what appears to be a paradise. Unfortunately there was a problem with the hibernation pods and apparently everybody has emerged from deep sleep somewhat stupider. Mind you, if we are talking about the best and the brightest, maybe it is simply the fact that the one thing that they lack is common sense — this seems to always be the case when you put a bunch of academics together, the one thing that they all seem to lack is common sense.
Anyway, they eventually realise that these creatures exist after one of them almost completely destroys the camp, so they decide to go out and hunt the rest of them down and kill them. Well, that turns out to be a particularly smart idea because it also turns out that these creatures have a natural way of keeping their population down — they eat their young. In fact, it turns out that they are like frogs — as babies they start off as fish, but when they mature they turn into these monsters — so, the mature creatures basically eat the babies, which keeps the population down.
However, now that they have basically gone out and killed all the mature ones there is nothing keeping the population down, so they pretty quickly discover that the whole island is swarming with monsters.
Mind you, the other catch was that they only eat their young if there is nothing else to eat, so when the colonists arrive with all their live stock, all of a sudden they have something else to eat. As I mentioned, this book was rather dull and boring, and in fact is the first part of a trilogy. Sure, it did do well to explore how humans have this nasty habit of completely ruining an eco-system with their introduced species.
For instance, the landed gentry introduced foxes into Australia simply so they might have something to hunt, and not surprisingly they have gone and run havoc across the environment. Mind you, the farmers then get criticised by the likes of PETA when they try to cull the foxes due to them causing issues with their live stock.
Mind you, the other interesting thing is that we all know that the colony is going to survive, but then again this novel does play out like a movie, and unless the creators are really clever, we never actually have the protagonists lose.
Okay, they have to adjust the way the colony works, namely that every man gets to have two wives namely because half of the male population was wiped out when they went to war against the monsters — they called them Grendels after the monster from Beowulf , however the colony does manage to survive.
The other interesting thing is that the planet is ten light years from Earth, and they took a hundred years to get there from Earth, and they are talking about advertising for new colonists.
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