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The Ballad of Beta-2

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The Ballad of Beta-2

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Author: Samuel R. Delany
Publisher: Orion Books, 2012
Bantam Books, 1982
Gregg Press, 1977
Sphere, 1977
Ace Books, 1971
Ace Books, 1964
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Book Type: Novella
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Generation Ship
Human Development
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Synopsis

Centuries ago, the Star Folk had left Earth on twelve spaceships on a generations-long mission to colonize the distant stars. Ten of the ships had reached their destinations. Two had failed-and nobody, in the hundreds of years since the disaster, had the slightest inkling of what had happened.

Joneny, a student of galactic anthropology, was assigned the problem. It had seemed routine to him. Just some faster-than-light travel to the two wrecked ships, a bit of poking around, and then writing up his findings.

But he was ill-prepared for what he found in space at the site of the two ancient wrecks. One, the Sigma-9, was not subject to the laws of time-stasis (the only exception to a universal law), and it was covered entirely with a mysterious green fire that shimmered so much that it seemed alive! And the other ship, the Beta-2, was nowhere to be found. Only a fragment of a mysterious poem could possibly provide a clue.


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