Picks and Pans Review: Encounter with Tiber

updated 09/02/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/02/1996 01:00AM

by Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes

You gotta feel for Buzz Aldrin. He earns a doctorate in orbital aeronautics from MIT, spends years flying for the Air Force and, on that memorable day in 1969, coolly coaxes the lunar lander onto the surface of the moon. Then what happens? Neil Armstrong gets all the glory.

But 27 years after becoming the second man to walk on the moon, Aldrin is taking a giant leap of his own. His first novel—an epic adventure story written with respected sci-fi novelist John Barnes (Orbital Resonance)—is a triumph. The drama begins in the early 21st century with a mysterious radio beacon from the Alpha Centauri system—undeniable proof that intelligent life exists in outer space. Unlike the aliens packing multiplexes this summer, however, Aldrin's Tiberians are not bent on destruction. Instead, their signal provides the location of ancient Tiberian colonies on the moon and Mars.

The heart of the book is the emotional saga of one space-traveling family, three generations of whom venture out in search of the Tiberians. Undaunted by time or tragedy, they remain steadfastly committed to their dreams of space exploration—dreams that Aldrin himself helped spark. (Warner, $21.95)

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