The Borderland of Sol Summary
In "The Borderland of Sol," from the collection Tales of Known Space, Beowulf Shaeffer finds himself marooned on Jinx, a bizarre egg-shaped planet with an ocean around its middle. He wants to go to earth, where his wife and children await him. Spaceships have been disappearing for no discernable reason when entering or leaving the solar system, and therefore all flights to earth have been suspended. Beowulf's one hope lies with a "freighter" that is actually a disguised warship belonging to Sigmund Ausfaller, a government agent who had previously tried to blow up Beowulf. This history makes for a tense relationship that becomes even more complex with the addition of Carlos Wu, the biological father of Beowulf's children. These three men embark on a perilous journey, facing hyperspace monsters, space pirates, uncharted black holes, or worse as they try to uncover the reason ships are disappearing— and Beowulf tries to go home.