Synopses & Reviews
Commanded by a distantly mysterious but charismatic leader by the name of Captain Jocelyn, the Hound traverses the galaxy in an effort to keep open a lifeline between Earth and the first colonies in other star systems. But in the time span of a few crossings, conditions on Earth grow gradually worse and more dangerous, while those aboard are treated increasingly as outcasts and a threat to the powers that control the planet. Against his will, Corday is mercilessly driven by Jocelyn to use his untested intellect and abilities to serve the ship and the beleaguered space colonies. But as events unfold among the turbulent reaches of the galaxy, and during the perilous returns to Earth, Corday discovers a startling truth about his destiny that will give a whole new meaning to man's place in the stars.
"Hubbard (1911 1986) was one of the great pulp writers, and this brief SF novel, initially published in two parts in 1950 by John W. Campbell in Astounding Science Fiction, is one of his finest works. In it, Hubbard embraces one of SF's deepest goals, to explore the emotional consequences of technological advance, by imagining the effect upon star-faring humans of the 'basic equation of mass and time.... AS MASS APPROACHES INFINITY, TIME APPROACHES ZERO.' That is, as those who travel to distant stars at near light speed experience, say, the passing of a year, those left behind will experience the passing of decades, centuries. And so young nobleman Alan Corday responds in horror when, on Earth, he's kidnapped to the interstellar trader Hound of Heaven by order of its notorious Captain Jocelyn, who needs a new officer. Alan resists joining starship society, but when he returns home from several adventures in hopes of rejoining his fiance, he finds her an ancient amnesiac and himself a man out of time, with no real home but that of the cursed starship. In heated prose ('The quivering Hound of Heaven hurled herself on course, blazing bow to bridge with particle flame...'), Hubbard brilliantly evokes the vastness of space and the tragedy of those who would conquer it. The novel's turning point Alan's reckoning with time's implacability is narrated suspensefully, but comes as no surprise; what does impress immensely is Hubbard's handling of the bitter consequences of Alan's realization, as well as his believable detailing of starship society. Readers used to today's bloated SF tomes will appreciate Hubbard's ability to pack an epic into relatively few pages this is indeed golden SF from the Golden Age. (Sept.)Forecast:In an unusual move, legendary jazz master Chick Corea has created an identically titled soundtrack to the novel, also issued by Galaxy. With its enormous marketing muscle ready to tap into the vast Hubbard fan base and beyond, Galaxy should see both the book and the CD flirting with national lists." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Science Fiction/Drama. A timeless and immersing epic of the conquest of spaceby #1 New York Times bestselling author L. Ron Hubbard.
A SAGA OF COSMIC DIMENSIONS
. To the Stars is set in an uncertain, strife-torn future when the first starships of man are traveling across the galaxy but not without extracting a terrible price from their crews. The novel's thought-provoking opening line, "Space is deep, Man is small and Time is his relentless enemy,"
powerfully captures the challenges facing the brave men and women of these vessels, people who must give up their former lives to explore space as entire generations and whole societies come and go on Earth, while those aboard remain essentially untouched by the passage of time in a vessel traveling at nearly the speed of light. "This is indeed golden SF from the Golden Age.”
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Space is deep, Man is small and Time is his relentless enemy.... How far is too far? Alan Corday is about to find out. Corday is shanghaied aboard a craft bound for the stars. . . on a journey at the speed of light, the world he leaves behind fast vanishing into the past. And nothing in the dark, forbidding reaches of space can prepare him for the astounding discovery he will make upon his return from the stars. "This is indeed golden SF from the Golden Age.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review
About the Author
With 19 New York Times bestsellers and more than 230 million copies of his works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard is among the most acclaimed and widely read authors of our time. As a leading light of American Pulp Fiction through the 1930s and '40s, he is further among the most influential authors of the modern age. Indeed, from Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, there is scarcely a master of imaginative tales who has not paid tribute to L. Ron Hubbard.