Nathan Arkwright is a retired science fiction writer with a huge fan base. His books never stopped selling thanks to the popular series and the television show that was based on the books.
After many years of writing Nathan is now old and knows he is dying. His daughter stopped talking to him long ago and because of that Nathan has only met his now adult granddaughter just a few times. But he still has his three close friends who he met decades earlier and who share in his vision.
Nathan believes that the Earth won’t be around for much longer. He doesn’t know how it will die, maybe humans will destroy the planet or maybe aliens from another world will attack, who knows but Nathan wants to make sure human life will go on forever.
His dream is to send a spaceship in search of an Earth-like planet where humans can survive but that will be almost impossible to accomplish now since there’s no interest in the space program any longer and the government would rather spend the money someplace else. But Nathan has money, a lot of it, all from the proceeds of his books. When he dies he made sure all of his money is put into the Arkwright Foundation, a foundation that he created to make sure human life will be able to colonize another planet.
His granddaughter is soon brought into the Foundation and thus begins the many Arkwright generations who brings Nathan’s dream to fruition.
“Arkwright” by Allen Steele is an astoundingly good science fiction novel that spans centuries. It starts with Nathan and ends hundreds of years later on a different planet. In between, readers see how Nathan’s legacy is built up by his granddaughter and all his great grand children that come later.
There is some science in this book but mostly the novel is all about the plot and how Nathan’s family fights to see Nathan’s dream, now their dream, happen.
Filled with great ideas and easy enough for non science fanatics like myself to follow, the novel takes readers on an incredible journey into the future.