Abalt Barca was a telepath. Stranker was a convicted murderer. Neil Markan, Desmon Pess and Maen Dtrin were revolutionary students. They shared one desire. They believed in life. Captain Stevon was a space commander whose existence was ruled by one fatal error of judgement. Rise Zani was a sycophantic journalist. Professor El Stongo's obsession with science obliterated all else. Gret Kober was a noted astronomer with a questionable private life. These four were cowards, thinking life cheap, but death cheaper. These nine had been consigned to travel millions of light years to the edge of the universe and back. The Venturi XV was to complete the trip in one month with every moment of the voyage recorded in complex memory banks. The programme included the certain death of the human cargo. From the outset it was apparent that their own self-hatred and distrust of each other would lead them to attempt to annihilate each other. But without warning they underwent a torturing physical and mental experience. In the aftermath they realised they had only two options left: to struggle for life, no matter how vainly, or to face the worst of all unknowns - death.
Used availability for Leonard Daventry's Twenty-one Billionth Paradox
November 1972 : UK Hardback