Help me ID this book - I only remember one plot point
July 17, 2008 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Single plot point - can you help me remember this book?

OK - so I am drawing on the meta-mind for a book I read when I was young. What I remember in addition to the single plot point below is 1) that it was a children's or young teens book, 2) it was science fiction, and 3) it must have been published before 1985, since I think I read it before then.

Here's (drum roll) the single plot I remember:

- children in a spaceship heading for the Cygnus constellation (nebula, 'system,' black hole, etc... but definitely Cygnus).

I was reading a book not too long ago and it mentioned Cygnus - and I immediately was hiy by the single memory of a book - the memory is what I wrote above...

Thanks, all - am on a search to re-read some of my favorite books from childhood and this mighta shoulda coulda been on the list!
posted by dyerfr to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
Methuselah's Children?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:40 PM on July 17, 2008

Maybe The Watchers of Space by Nancy Etchemendy?

There's a review and short description written by Orson Scott Card here.
posted by Pachycerianthus at 5:10 PM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Nope - that's not it... I am not certain if, in the book, the plot carries through to the children's arrival at Cygnus constellation or not. Seems to me that it takes place primarily (or exclusively) on the spaceship.
posted by dyerfr at 5:11 PM on July 17, 2008

My 'that's not it' comment was directed at kuujjuarapik. Am looking for Watchers of Space info now...
posted by dyerfr at 5:17 PM on July 17, 2008

This is a shot in the dark, but could it be "Rite of Passage" by Alexi Panshin?
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 5:42 PM on July 17, 2008

The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh? Another shot in the dark. It's told from the point of view of a young girl and her family traveling to a new planet (there is a space-ship portion, but a lot of it takes place at the new planet.) I couldn't find out if they were traveling to Cygnus or not, but I thought you might recognize the title.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:26 PM on July 17, 2008

HMMM - neither Rite of Passage nor Green Book seem quite correct (operating mainly from the titles and brief descriptions on Amazon.

We're in the right genre and subject matter (kids in space...). Oh well, this may go down as a futile search... the Watchers of Space is ringing a bell, but cannot find more info on it other than what Pachycerianthus linked to...
posted by dyerfr at 6:43 PM on July 17, 2008

Do you recall anything about the cover? What color it was, was it hardback or paper...that kind of thing.
posted by iconomy at 7:24 PM on July 17, 2008

Orphans of the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:40 PM on July 17, 2008

Captive Universe by Harry Harrison
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:52 PM on July 17, 2008

It sounds like Pachycerianthus is on the right track. Was the spaceship shaped like a wagon wheel? Here's a q and a from Loganberry Books Stump the Bookseller (scroll down):

Q: I am looking for a book I read in the early 80's or late 70's. It is about a boy who lives in a wagon wheel shaped space station. He goes outside the station and meets up with Orion from the constellation, and Cygnus. I think he battles a blob at some point, and I think Cygnus dies in the battle, then he goes back home to the space station. Thanks in advance for any help.

A: Nancy Etchemendy, The Watchers of Space, 1980. Illustrated by Andrew Glass. It's about a boy (William?) who has to go outside the spaceship and defeat bad guys before he can find a planet for his people. He works with Orion in the process. A sequel is The Crystal City, where he and his sister meet some alien spiders.

And the WorldCat description: "With their starship disintegrating as they search for a new planet, the sole survivors of Earth seem doomed until young William meets the Brotherhood of Watchers."
posted by iconomy at 7:54 PM on July 17, 2008

OK - At this point I am not quite 100% sure, but think that Watchers of the Sky is the correct one; and thanks to iconomy for the added information!
posted by dyerfr at 1:56 AM on July 18, 2008

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