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The Black Hole by Alan Dean Foster

The Black Hole by Alan Dean Foster

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This is a used book in Excellent condition...186 pages, none of which are missing or damaged in any way...Dust cover is included and in Fair condition...

About the story:

The five people aboard the deep-space life-search ship Palomino had considered themselves lucky to be part of the expedition-Captain Dan Holland and his first officer Charles Pizer because of the professional challenge, the significance of such a mission....Alex Durant and Kate McCrae because they were scientists embarking on humanity's ultimate quest...and Harry Booth, a journalist, because it might have been the story of a lifetime. Might have been.
Unfortunately, after 18 months of extensive exploration, they had drawn a blank. There wasn't a single alien civilaization to be found in that sector of the galaxy; not a vertebrate; nothing higher than a few inconsequential microbes and some peculiar chemical reactions on scattered worlds. The Palomino was heading home now, and only one member of the expedition remained untouched by a sense of failure:

Vincent, the ship's robot, had never been programmed to register or express disappointment. He was, however, superbly equipped to deal with the more practical concerns of interstellar exploration-and it was one of those concerns which caused him to issue a general call that brought his human companions to the ship's command center.

There, on the viewscreen that displayed stars and other phenomena in gravity-wave schematics, a dark oval shape surrounded by tightly bunched lines was plainly visible. The lines resembled those on a topographic map, except that they represented increasinly powerful regions of gracitational force.

Nothing the figures supplied by the Palomino's computer, Pizer let out a low whistle, and Vincent responded solemnly, "yes, sir. That is the most powerful black hole I have ever encountered."

Tfhe robot then turned on the ship's hologrphier, transforming the black oval's image into a three-dimensional cosmic drama. In addition to the material being drawn from the surface of a doomed sun nearby, asteroids, meteors and nebulaic gases were being sucked into that vast gravity well, emitting tremendous bursts of X-rays and gamma rays as they vanished. The ship's company watched in awe-until Vincent interrupted to inform them that he had picked up something of still greater interest.

It was an unmoving object with a remarkably regular enormous spaceship of unknown origin! The observers on the Palomino were exhilerated; their long search had finally borne fuit, and they were eager to learn more about a mystery ship that could remain stable so close to a black hole.

They never considered that some mysteries are better left unsolved.

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