Encounter With Tiber is a work of Speculative Fiction that revolves around the discovery of Humanoid Aliens in the system of Alpha Centauri. While it was Speculatative Science when it was made, and indeed has a bibliography and is co-authored by Buzz Aldrin, it has run afoul of Zeerust. The dates are all off, but it still makes sense if one can add a decade or two to dates. The book has three plotlines, with each one getting a large, separate portion of the book.
The book opens in the "present day" aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. The space shuttle goes down, causing NASA to start thinking differently about space travel. Space "X" is started 10 years early, people start using disposable parts in space stations, and a new telescope is sent en-route to the moon. The scope is just in time to pick up an alien transmission from Tiber, containing the landing location of the Encyclopedia. Cue the space race!
The story also follows the plotline of alien colonists from Tiber who leave from their alien homeworld to visit a nearby planet that looks habitable. They hop on their spaceship and start the long trip over, with what best described as aa sitcom-like social situation. The group enters earth orbit in 3000 BC, sees the primitive human life, and starts a debate whether the stone age beings of the species *homo sapiens* are animals or humans.
The third plotline is aboard the first interstellar spacecraft with humans aboard. The people aboard have a trip time in the years, so they entertain themselves by writing up the histories which make up the other plotlines.
Encounter With Tiber provides examples of
- Bizarre Alien Biology; Tiberians are actually two subspecies, but they both have a lot of similarities. Instead of a single 4-chambered heart, they have lots of smaller hearts and lungs that connect to a blood mixer. They do, however, have something like kidneys and a brain.
- Inertial Dampening: A hard-science version, with the Tiberian crew floating in immersion tanks during periods of high acceleration to mitigate the physiological strain.
- No Biochemical Barriers; Averted. The Tiberians proteins are different from earthly life forms, enough so that they do not get any earthly illness, but similar enough that they can gain nutrition from earth food. However, a major problem they face when they eat that food is protein buildup from what they cant proscess.
- Shown Their Work; The book features co-authorship from Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two men on the moon, and has a multi-page bibliography
- Techno Babble; Averted. If the characters are babbling scientific words, its because they're reading the relevant Other Wiki page.