HULL ZERO THREE
Generation star ship stories form a genre constrained by conventions both rigid and formal, ones established as far back as Leinster’s Proxima and Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky and as recently as Baxter’s Mayflower II and Bear’s Dust; with very few exceptions, such vehicles are doomed to suffer mission-threatening calamities and mutinies long before they reach their destination. Hull Zero Three remains comfortably inside the boundaries of the subgenre, cheerfully recombining elements that will be reassuringly familiar. Bear fans may welcome this as a return to form for this now venerable author.
Thousands of years in the future, Sanjay wakes without memories. Guided by a small girl, he soon learns that the chaotic and dangerous setting he finds himself in is a generation ship, that he himself is not what he assumes himself to be, that two factions are quarreling over the fate of the ship and that the ship has wandered into a nest of supernovae. As the clock ticks down, Sanjay and his companions must race to salvage the situation before the dispute ends with the complete destruction of the vessel and all on board. (ORBIT, Nov., 320 pp., $19.95)