Powered by a revolutionary laser-driven stardrive, the first interstellar spaceship would reach the double planet that circled Barnard's Star in a mere twenty years. Some of the world's finest scientists were aboard that ship, and they would arrive prepared for adventure, danger and-to them, most important of all-the thrill of scientific discovery. But what they would find, both in terms of danger and discovery, would surpass all their expectations.
Unlike so much "far out" science fiction this novel is based on solid scientific reasoning by a world-class physicist. The weird intelligences of Rocheworld are imaginary, but we could start work on Forward's laser-driven starprobe tomorrow.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Sometimes it takes a big book to bring life to a big concept; a much shorter, substantially different version of this novel was published in hardcover in 1982 (paperback from Baen), but that version was rushed to publication before the author was ready. Now, with an additional 50 thousand words-longer than most novels!-Robert Forward offers us the novel that Flight of the Dragonfly should have been: ROCHEWORLD! If you liked Flight of the Dragonfly you'll love Rocheworld
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Robert L. Forward writes science fiction novels and short stories, and science fact books and magazine articles. He is also a consulting scientist specializing in exotic physical phenomena and advanced space propulsion. Dr. Forward obtained his Ph.D. in Gravitational Physics from the University of Maryland. For his thesis he constructed and operated the world's first bar antenna for the detection of gravitational radiation. The antenna is now on display in the Smithsonian museum.
For 31 years, from 1956 until 1987, when he left in order to spend more time writing, Dr. Forward worked at the Hughes Aircraft Company Research Laboratories in Malibu, California in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating with the position of Senior Scientist on the staff to the Director of the Laboratories. During that time he constructed and operated the world's first laser interferometer gravitational radiation detector, invented the rotating gravitational mass sensor, published over 65 technical publications, and was awarded 18 patents.
From 1983 to the present, Dr. Forward has had a series of contracts from the Astronautics Laboratory of the U.S. Air Force Systems Command (formerly the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory) to explore the forefront of physics and engineering in an attempt to find new energy sources that will produce breakthroughs in space power and propulsion. He has published journal papers and contract reports on antiproton annihilation propulsion, laser beam and microwave beam interstellar propulsion, negative matter propulsion, light-levitated perforated sail communication satellites, space warps, and a method for extracting electrical energy from vacuum fluctuations.
In addition to his professional work, Dr. Forward has written over 70 popular science articles for publications such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica Yearbook, Omni, New Scientist, Science Digest, Science 80, Analog, and Galaxy. His most recent science fact books are FUTURE MAGIC and MIRROR MATTER: PIONEERING ANTIMATTER PHYSICS (with Joel Davis). His science fiction novels are DRAGON'S EGG and its sequel STARQUAKE, MARTIAN RAINBOW, and ROCHEWORLD (formerly THE FLIGHT OF THE DRAGONFLY). The novels are of the "hard" science fiction category, where the science is as accurate as possible.
Dr. Forward is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and Editor of the Interstellar Studies issues of its Journal, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Senior Member of the American Astronautical Society, and a member of the American Physical Society, Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma, National Space Society, and the Science Fiction Writers of America.