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The Silent Stars Go By

The Silent Stars Go By: Ballantine, 1991

The Silent Stars Go By

Ballantine, 1991. Novel, 189,250 words.

James White's own favouritie James White novel.  He got the catchy title from listening to 'O, Little Town of Bethlehem' at a carol concert*  The parallel-universe Hibernian Empire has risen to supreme power, with the help of applied Old World technology (Hero's steam engine, etc.) and new World natural resources (Brendan the navigator pre-empted Columbus by some five hundred years).  Now the starship Aisling Gheal and its crew extend Oirish manifest destiny to outer space.  Healer Nolan, an unbeliever in the priest-kings of Gor -- sorry, Hibernia -- finds himself pitted against the ultra-conservative Monsignor O'Riordan.  I lapped it up.  Mind you, I also think that Darby O'Gill and the Little People is a piece of grim documentary realism. 
*"WHEN IRISH SPIES ARE SMILING" makes for a somewhat less dignified back-cover blurbette.

Synopsis by graham Andrews


First publication:

Ballantine/Del Rey, ISBN 0-345-37110-0, September 1991

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