Tau Zero

Tau Zero - Poul Anderson

Took a while to get into, the characters are a little dry, but it improved. Unlike many examples of hard sci-fi, I found the sciency parts more approachable and readable than the characterizations. There are some truly lovely passages describing the ship's journey, and how it would appear from both inside and outside.

The frequent references to Sweden as a great power were hugely fun, as were the occasional historical and literary references. The idea of sending unrelated people into space, rather than the more common trope of already established couples and/or families, was a different turn and one that I quite enjoyed, it certainly provided some of the tension on board the ship - yet, even in a near future, I don't think people would be quite so civilized about the results (not even the ever pragmatic swedes!) Nor, I think, would people be so calm about the situation they find themselves in.

Worth reading, overall, and I'm glad I did. But it didn't leap onto my list of all time favourites nor is it anything I'll probably read again anytime soon.