Vonda N. McIntyre...
...The Starfarers Quartet
The starship Starfarer prepares for Earth’s first interstellar voyage. Its diverse faculty includes J.D. Sauvage, the alien contact specialist; the other members of the alien contact department: Victoria Fraser MacKenzie, Satoshi Lono, and Stephen Thomas Gregory; J.D.’s friend Zev, the diver; a world-famous sensory artist; Crimson Ng, paleontologist and performance artist; Miensaem Thanthavong, Nobel laureate; General Nikolai Petrovich Cherenkov, cosmonaut, hero of the Soviet Union and (in the eyes of the political entity that swallowed up his homeland) war criminal; Griffith, the man from the GAO who says he’s an accountant; Infinity Kenjiro Yanagihara y Mendoza, the gardener, among other things; and Florrie Brown, the first member of Grandparents in Space.
But political conditions on Earth are shaky and delicate. As J.D. her colleagues eagerly anticipate their departure...
... EarthSpace cancels the deep space expedition.
So what do they do? They do what any red-blooded multi- national starship faculty & staff would do.
They steal the starship.
Easton Press; Ace Books, 1989; Bantam Spectra 1994. ISBN: 9780553563412
The starship Starfarer plunges into the Tau Ceti system, its computer web crashed and its surface penetrated by a nuclear missile. J.D. Sauvage finds evidence of an interstellar community... but will it welcome Starfarer, or drive human beings away?
Easton Press; Bantam Books, 1991; Bantam Spectra 1994. ISBN 9780553288506
J.D. Sauvage encounters Nemo, a squidmoth. It has one trait in common with human beings: they all are outcasts.Bantam Spectra, 1992; Bantam Spectra 1994. ISBN 9780553292237
The starship Starfarer and its faculty and staff encounter the Four Worlds, their sponsors into Civilization. J.D. Sauvage, alien contact specialist, meets the four different peoples of the Four Worlds: the charming Largerfarthings, the mysterious and demanding Smallerfarthings, the whale-eel Orchestra of Largernearer, and the unique, lonely Smallernearer. Performance artist and paleontologist Crimson Ng grapples with ethical problems when the Four Worlds representatives take her archaeological art project all too seriously. Victoria Fraser MacKenzie, Satoshi Lono, and Stephen Thomas Gregory struggle to keep their family partnership from fragmenting under the strain of love, fear, and unacknowledged grief.
And the cosmic string is moving again.
Bantam Spectra, 1994. ISBN 9780553560268
Comments about the Starfarers series
“A very human story in a very exotic setting, Transition solidifies Vonda McIntyre’s position in the vanguard of American science fiction writers.”
— Mike Resnick
“Transition is a must for those who enjoy scientific extrapolation and interesting people.”
“A fine novel of adventure.”
— Greg Bear
“McIntyre is a master SF stylist, creating well-rounded, believable and distinctive characters, and she excels at lush descriptions that allow the reader to visualize the action.”
— Publisher’s Weekly
“With this third novel, Starfarers clearly becomes the most important series in science fiction. The rich cast of characters and their fascinating psychological interplay, the fast dramatic pace, the wit and brilliance of both scientific and social imagination, and the sheer beauty of the invention — wait till you meet the squidmoth! — make Metaphase the most exciting and satisfying science fiction I have read this year.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin