Nineteen light years from Earth, on Sigma Draconis, an international space team stumbles upon the first evidence of another highly advanced civilization in the universe.
Tragically, however, the Draconians are extinct and have been for a hundred thousand years. What mysterious disaster destroyed man's nearest neighbour in the colossal emptiness of space? And will the same fate befall Earth?
The answers, as Earth degenerates into squabbles, paranoia and self-destruction, are vital. But how to begin the almost insuperable task of cracking the enigma of a long-buried and utterly alien culture?
One of Brunner's best, and that's saying a lot. A more traditional style than Stand on Zanzibar or the Sheep Look Up, Total Eclipse has believable characters and a plot that keeps you guessing. A groupof scientists are on an alien planet trying to figure out why the civilization disappeared. They explore the ruins and piece together little clues. The ending changes the whole focus of the story, leaving you numb.
Talking and more talking
Sorry, but I had to fast forward through about 40% of this. It’s a book of eternal conversations between smart people (of various fields) trying to figure what happened to a race of aliens who built a telescope on a planet that takes two years to travel to from Earth. There are a couple of developments as you go through the story that are interesting, but the payoff never really comes, imho. The ending is well written given the plot developments. This is my first Brunner Novel.