Voyage to Alpha Centauri
A novel by Michael O'Brien
Set eighty years in the future, this novel by the best-selling author Michael O'Brien is about an expedition sent from the planet Earth to Alpha Centauri, the star closest to our solar system. The Kosmos, a great ship that the central character Neil de Hoyos describes as a "flying city", is immense in size and capable of more than half light-speed. Hoyos is a Nobel Prize winning physicist who has played a major role in designing the ship.
Hoyos has signed on as a passenger because he desires to escape the seemingly benign totalitarian government that controls everything on his home planet. He is a skeptical and quirky misanthropic humanist with old tragedies, loves, and hatreds that are secreted in his memory. The surprises that await him on the voyage—and its destination—will shatter all of his assumptions and point him to a true new horizon.
Science fiction and fantasy literature are genres that have become dominant forces in contemporary worldwide culture. Our fascination with the near-angelic powers of new technology, its benefits and dangers, its potential for obsession and catastrophe, raises vital questions that this work explores about human nature and the cosmos, about man's image of himself and where he is going—and why he seeks to go there.
Reviews and Endorsements
“Some Sci Fi novels are scientism fiction, worshiping science. Others are science friction, where high tech makes humans lowly. Voyage to Alpha Centauri, though, neither creates a new god nor blames science for our sin. Its narrator excitedly embarks on a 19-year trip aboard a sleek, huge spaceship, only to learn of oppression in the heavens as on earth, with big brothers watching and demanding lying conformity. Michael O'Brien shows us the battle that ensues and its sensational result as he skillfully portrays a clash of world views without end, amen.”
, Editor-in-chief, World magazine
“Ingenious, expansive, and enduringly wise, Voyage to Alpha Centauri is a tour de force of storytelling and moral imagination--sparkling in its humanity, rich in its embroidery, and chilling in its plausibility. It is a parable of an age that could easily become our own, with its concomitant wonders and dangers, an exploration of the most sublime heights and of the greatest depths of human possibility, and a thought-provoking meditation on the ethical limits of knowledge. In Voyage to Alpha Centauri, Michael O'Brien has given us a literary treasure and a deeply satisfying read.”
, Author, A Walk Across the Sun
“Michael O'Brien is a superior spiritual story teller worthy to join the ranks of C.S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh.”
, Boston College