Does anyone know the name of this book?

Joined
Dec 1, 2008
#1
Hi everyone i've just joined this forum

There's a book I'm trying to find only I can't remember the name. I do however remember the plot quite well.

It's set on a distant planet with a society ruled by a sort of priest elite who i think were called Scribes or something like that. The planet is very inhospitable; all the naturally occuring water is said to be poisonous and metals are in very short supply and have to be recycled. There is though a legend that when a new brilliant star appears in the sky metals will suddenly become widely available.

The hero of the story thinks all this is bunk. He's sure natural water can't be poisonous and that metals must exist in nature somewhere. He goes on a series of adventures but is finally caught by the scribes and learns there's much more truth than he thought in the legend. it turns out that all the planet's inhabitants were from earth and were stranded on the planet when earth's sun went nova. Because the planet has no metal deposits they have to recycle what they brought from earth. The Scribes are trying to synthesise metals using nuclear reactions. if they can't suceed by the time the nova that was earths sun becomes visible it will be too late; the colony will no longer be viable.

In the end the hero becomes a Scribe himself to take part in the research to synthesise metals.

Does anyone know the name of this book?
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
#3
I'm pretty sure it was not Asimov, In fact I have a feeling the author was female although I'm not certain of that. Thanks for making the suggestion anyway
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#4
davidlm, welcome! (y)

The description's first paragraph had me thinking I may have come across it but the rest of it is unknown. Sorry. :(
 

screenersam

This is news, Vincenzo, NEWS!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Location
Maryland
#5
'Children of the Star' by Sylvia Engdahl? (the leaders were called 'Scholars')

'Terminus' in Asimov's 'Foundation' trilogy had no/little metal, as did the dinosaur world in Blish's 'Case of Conscience'. as I recall they used ceramics and trees (!)
 

Omphalos

Orthodox Herbertarian
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
#6
'Children of the Star' by Sylvia Engdahl? (the leaders were called 'Scholars')

'Terminus' in Asimov's 'Foundation' trilogy had no/little metal, as did the dinosaur world in Blish's 'Case of Conscience'. as I recall they used ceramics and trees (!)
Ceramics and static electricity. The roots of the tree rubbed up against some material and generated electricity, which they used to send messages to one another.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
#7
'Children of the Star' by Sylvia Engdahl? (the leaders were called 'Scholars')
That's it. that's the one!

I looked up this author on google and it seems what I read was the first book in the "Children of the Star" trilogy called Heritage of the Star in the UK. I didn't know there were sequels. i really must get the whole thing

Thanks so much
 

screenersam

This is news, Vincenzo, NEWS!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Location
Maryland
#8
Ceramics and static electricity. The roots of the tree rubbed up against some material and generated electricity, which they used to send messages to one another.
good catch. I read this about 25 years ago and don't have the best memory of it. favorite part is where the dino that has something like a cable news show each night tells his audience, 'we're not going to discuss news tonight; instead we're going to make some'. cool line! interesting book.
 
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