Arkwright by Allen Steele
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nathan Arkwright is a seminal author of the twentieth century. At the end of his life he becomes reclusive and cantankerous, refusing to appear before or interact with his legion of fans. Little did anyone know, Nathan was putting into motion his true, timeless legacy.
Convinced that humanity cannot survive on Earth, his Arkwright Foundation dedicates itself to creating a colony on an Earth-like planet several light years distant. Fueled by Nathan's legacy, generations of Arkwrights are drawn together, and pulled apart, by the enormity of the task and weight of their name.
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A very enjoyable book that will appeal to ardent sci-fi fans with it's many references to golden age science fiction personalities, places and events. The first half or so of the book follows the life and growing career of sci-fi author Nathan Arkwright, and it's from here that both his grand idea and the story grow out to become quite a grand tale.
The book follows the family of Arkwright through successive generations with whom we witness the building of humanity's first interstellar spaceship which is to go to and build a human colony on a world many light years away. It's a fun and interesting journey.
The story is more character driven than action driven, and this is okay because the characters are well crafted and fit the story well. What happens along the way, i.e. the action, was enough to keep me interested if not enthralled. The basic idea of the story really appeals to me, and has heaps of that "sense of wonder" element that keeps me so hooked on sci-fi.
Overall a good book by an author whose books I have found myself enjoying immensely.
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