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Dark Inferno/Lifeboat

Lifeboat (Ballantine, 1972) / Dark Inferno (Michael Joseph, ditto)

Novel, 65000 words

With the spaceliner Eurydice's nuclear reactor near explosion point and Captain Collingwood on the sick list, what started as a routine voyage to Ganymede suddenly goes wrong in almost every other possible way.  Mercer, the new-boy Medical Officer, is responsible for herding anxious passengers into the dinky three-person plastic survival pods that lack proper controls and, without adequate insulation, soon become overheated.  After quite some time in the space-travel game, it seems odd to me that nobody has designed a better 'lifeboat' or found how to regulate the internal temperatures of these vital craft.  Having said that, however, White never wrote a more vivid novel about people under extreme stress (not excepting The Watch Below).

Synopsis by graham Andrews


First Publication:

GALAXY, NY, January & March 1972

First Book publication:

Michael Joseph, London,  2/10/72 


Publication History:

Ballantine No 02797-3-125, $1.25, October 1972 as Lifeboat

Transworld/Corgi, London, No )-552-09438-2, February 1974

Ballantine, 2nd printing, No 3-28693-6-195, March 1980


Foreign Publication:

URANIA No 645, May 1974 as Naufragio Transparante

GOLDMANN SF No 0207, pb edition, September 1975 as Das Swarze Inferno. Previously in hardcovers, mid-1974

KOSMOS S-F Bocker, Sweden, 1976 as SOS Fran Rymden

Mondadori No 834, 1978 as Naufragio Transparante

Uitgeveri Scala, Rotterdam, ISBN 90-6221-441-, 1976, as De Buitnste Duisternis

Moewig UTOPIA Classics No 62-157, 1984 as Das Schwarze Inferno


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