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Poul Anderson


The Boat of a Million Years
Year 1989
Publisher Orbit
ISBN 074740609X



Early in human history, certain unique individuals are born who live out their normal span wothout ageing and live on, undying.  We follow several of them as individuals for more than 2000 years, for they do not band together but survive as loners. 

Hanno the Phoenician is an explorer and adventurer who travels and learns.  Tu Shan is an Oriental sage.  Rufus is a Roman oaf who becomes Hanno's sidekick for more than a thousand years.  Aliyat and Svoboda are women who survive by sexual favours or strength.  Through their adventures, we skim human history until, at the end of the twentieth century, their immortality is revealed and the whole human race begins a research programme that finally attains the miracle of eternal life, and thus utopia on Earth is created.

But the few natural immortals, the survivors of history, find themselves alienated from this new humanity, perfect, unchanging.  And so they band together for the eternal adventure of space exploration.




'A searing ride through our human past and future ... Makes us feel the passions of these few immortals, and wonder at where destiny eventually takes them'
David Brin


Framed by Florida greenery, Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off from Launch Pad 39B.



Credit: NASA

Discovery Lifts Off
Framed by Florida greenery, Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off Launch Pad 39B at 10:39 a.m. EDT on the historic Return to Flight mission STS-114. On this mission to the International Space Station, the crew will perform inspections on-orbit for the first time of all of the Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panels on the leading edge of the wings and the Thermal Protection System tiles using the new Canadian-built Orbiter Boom Sensor System and the data from 176 impact and temperature sensors. Mission Specialists will also practice repair techniques on RCC and tile samples during a spacewalk in the payload bay. During two additional spacewalks, the crew will install the External Stowage Platform-2, equipped with spare part assemblies, and a replacement Control Moment Gyroscope contained in the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure.

NASA Image of the day archive





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