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NEMESIS by Isaac Asimov Kirkus Star


by Isaac Asimov

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
ISBN: 0553286285
Publisher: Doubleday

From the author who needs no introduction: a medium-future space drama, often quite absorbing despite the absence of a theme or even much of a plot. In the 23rd century, a crowded Earth and dozens of space colonies are seeking new opportunities for development. One such self-contained colony,' Rotor, bossed by the single-minded, secretive Jason Pitt, disappears from the solar system, having both discovered a hitherto unknown star nearby, the red dwarf Nemesis, and invented hyper-assistance, a drive that moves Rotor at the speed of light. What's more, the Nemesis system boasts a habitable planet, Erythro. As ten years pass back on Earth, various pressures mount to recontact Rotor; agent Crile Fisher is assigned to persuade physicist Tessa Wendel to invent a truly instantaneous hyperdrive--aboard Rotor, you see, is Fisher's daughter Marlene. Now, as regards Rotor, Pitt's desire is to develop a totally independent civilization, so he has told Earth nothing of Rotor's whereabouts, nothing about Marlene (she's acquired frightening mental powers and can read people unerringly at a glance), about Erythro (where Marlene has contacted a colony intelligence), or about Nemesis (five thousand years hence, it will plunge through the solar system). Yet a threatened clash between Fisher's hyperdrive expedition and Pitt's hard-line isolationists fails to materialize, as Pitt sees his dreams die and Fisher realizes that the Erythro-intelligence has claimed Marlene. A low-key, oddly likable performance considering that, despite all the complicated maneuvering, nothing much happens: the old Asimov charm keeps the pages turning.