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GODSPEED by Charles Sheffield

GODSPEED

By Charles Sheffield

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-85317-3
Publisher: Tor

 Far-future piratical quest/coming-of-age yarn by the author of Cold As Ice and Transcendence (both 1992), etc. Hundreds of years ago, all ships equipped with the faster- than-light Godspeed drive suddenly and mysteriously vanished, leaving planet Erin isolated and doomed to a slow decline. Now, a few spacemen in battered, disintegrating vessels still scour Erin's system for abandoned technology, volatiles, and other goodies. Then spaceman Paddy Enderton comes to stay with young Jay Hara and his mother; secretive Paddy somehow has acquired technology unknown on Erin, desperately fears pursuit by his former shipmates--and then dies just before they catch up with him. So Jay obtains Paddy's navigational device that hints at ancient treasures hidden in the Maze, the Erin system's huge asteroid belt. Wise old doctor Eileen Xavier sets up the necessary voyage; she and Jay join wily, ruthless captain Danny Shaker--whose crew turns out to be the same mutinous cutthroats from whom Paddy fled. Guided by Jay's device, they first discover a planetoid of girls bred and ruled by a computer; then, several murders later, a Godspeed drive ship that Shaker hijacks--only to disappear as mysteriously as the other Godspeed ships all those years ago. With Shaker's original ship a dead hulk, Jay must find another way to return to Erin with his discoveries. Passably diverting and involving--if you don't mind precarious plots and chirpy 16-year-old narrators.