Sail 25 by Jack Vance:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

“Henry Belt seemed a man of a different species. His face was broad, flat, roped with cartilage and muscle, with skin the color and texture of bacon rind. Coarse white grizzle covered his scalp, his eyes were crafty slits, his nose a misshapen lump. His shoulders were massive, his legs short and gnarled.”

“He leaned back in his chair, surveyed the silent group. “You’ve heard stories about me. Why haven’t they kicked me out of the service? Incorrigible, arrogant, dangerous Henry Belt. Drunken Henry Belt.”

“The voyages average about two years long: how can a man stand it? There’s only one who could: Henry Belt. I’ve got more space-time than any man alive, and now I’ll tell you a secret: this is my last time out. I’m starting to wake up at night to strange visions.” Select an invention:

Solar Sail (Light Sail) - propulsion for spacecraft
A form of propulsion for spacecraft; a sheet of lightweight material reflects light from the sun or other light source.

 

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