Like the original Star Trek series, the Daedalus is on a multi-year mission to visit remote planets and check on previous colonization attempts. But the intricate plots and scientific detail go far beyond anything in Star Trek. Each planet visited has a unique ecosystem and evolutionary history which Stableford (a biologist himself) brings vividly to life. Alternate evolutionary paths provide fascinating turning-points for plots, and the problems encountered by the Daedalus's crew make exciting stories.
"Not a bad book; narration could be better"
In a galactic culture that extends from quasi-utopian worlds, like New Alexandria, to vermin-infested slums, like Old Earth, starship pilots have become the great romantic heroes of the day. When Star-Pilot Grainger is rescued from a shipwreck, he finds himself pressed into reluctant service to fly the Hooded Swan, the prototype of a new kind of interstellar ship. He's also picked up an alien parasite that's determined to share his brain....
"An old favourite in a new format."
Before the hyper-space vessels could go from planet to planet, stations had to be set up. And that meant manned spaceships cut off from Earth for decades. The explorer vessel Ariadne had gone toward galactic center and was considered lost - until its call came in appealing for a xenobiologist. Their new world was all swamp. As far as could be seen, there was no intelligent species. Yes, this was alarming because all inhabitable planets so far discovered had thinking inhabitants.
The planet called Dendra seemed too good to be true: one vast forest world, marvelous climate, few dangerous beasts, a balanced hospitable ecology -- all should have speed out a good place for a human colony.
Grainger war der beste Pilot der Galaxis bis zur schrecklichen Havarie seines Raumkreuzers im Halycon-Nebel...