Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Big Jump - Leigh Brackett


Number of words : 40000
Percent of complex words : 6.4
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 10.8


Fog : 6.9
Flesch : 78.0
Flesch-Kincaid : 5.1

: The Big Jump - Leigh Brackett



Planet of the Solar System with many shipping lines having bases there.


Earth's satellite.

New York

USA City.

Barnard's Star

Site chosen for interstellar test, not being sure of Alpha and Proxima Centauri.

Barnard II

Planet of the Transuranae.


Arch Comyn

Discovers what is going on with the Cochrane's project, and goes with the ship after avoiding an assassination attempt. Falls for Sydna Cochrane.

Sydna Cochrane

Granddaughter and sister and cousin and interested in Comyn. A woman that can handle herself, but not too keen on spaceships.

Will Stanley

Married into the family, husband of Sydna's cousin. A louse.

Peter Cochrane

Runs the company, brother of Sydna and grandson of Jonas.


Drive inventor makes The Big Jump possible. Comes back from the Transuranae mission a walking dead man.

Paul Rogers

Astrophysicist on Ballantyne's ship. Friend of Comyn.



Also on Ballantyne's ship, stays at Barnard II.


Also on Ballantyne's ship, stays at Barnard II.


Also on Ballantyne's ship, stays at Barnard II.


Provides Comyn information of transuranic elements.

Jonas Cochrane

Corporation president and Cochrane patriarch.

Simon Cochrane

Another of the younger Cochrane generation, travels on the second trip to Barnard II.

Sally Cochrane

The Aunt.

George Cochrane

The uncle and lawyer.


Sydna's escort. Jealous of losing her to Comyn.


Security for the Cochranes.


Cochrane engineer.


Cochrane engineer.


Cochrane cousin, wife of Stanley.


Girl of Simon's.


Ex-employee, attacks a Cochrane party.

Doctor French

Physician on ship.


Ship engineer on mission.


The Big Jump

Term for making the successful leap to interstellar space and back.

Groom's Theory

Principle used for the Ballantyne drive: "Groom's theory, on which Ballantyne built his drive, was that the so-called light-speed barrier was real, and that matter achieving faster-than-light velocities would shift into another
plane of atomic vibration, or matter-state, creating a closed vacuum in the continuum in which energy could be neither gained nor lost. Hence, the mass-propulsion field, the ship feeding onitself, as it were, using the kinetic energy stored up in the original acceleration. The drive works, but whether or not that proves the theory, we don't know. There's a very interesting
distortion of time ...""


The Transuranae

"They weren't things. They were life, a form of life inconceivable except among the alien elements of a transuranic world. Life, I think, seated in linkages of energy between atoms infinitely more complex than uranium. Life, self-sufficient, perhaps coeval with our universe, and able to impregnate our cruder, simpler tissues with its own transuranic chemistry ..."
Comyn thought again of what Vickrey had said: the fountainhead, the beginning.
Someone said grimly, "I know one thing: no one's getting me back there, for anything."
Peter Cochrane said, "Relax. Nobody's going back to Barnard II." Note story The Shadows.

Others came from fifth planet of Barnard's star, of eight to this planet of the Transuranae on Barnard II and were changed, and didn't make it. A whole spacefaring civilisation.


Cochrane Company

Transport and spaceship building company. A family dynasty.

Inter-World Engineering

Comyn's old employer.

United Tradelines

Rival spaceship company.


Ballantyne drive

Breakthrough propulsion for interstellar travel, named after the inventor.


The Cochrane company wants to get the jump on The Big Jump to interstellar space, and make lots of money. There's a slight problem with their first trip to Barnard II though. The Ballantyne drive works, but what they found on the planet destroys people.

Arch Comyn, also in the industry but quit his old company was friends with Paul Rogers, astrophysicist on Ballantyne's ship and mission to Barnard II. He wants to find out what happen, and his nosing around has Cochrane in-law sending people to try and kill him. Comy meets and fancies Sydna Cochrane in the process, and her old boyfriend, now on the outs gets killed in an attempt on Comyn.

Stanley's weaselness comes out on the ship, discovered by Peter and Simon Cochrane and the others, including Comyn.

At Barnard II. A strange race known as the Transuranae seduces people into staying, and slowly destroys them, too much exposure leaving people the walking dead, like Ballantyne.

The C's all return, rather disappointing tycoon grandfather with the news, but not Sydna.

3.5 out of 5

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