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I recall everything about this story except the author and title. Humans have evolved in that women now give birth to six or eight babies in one gestation.

Three couples selected to be colonists by stasis sleep to a known world wake up and find that one girl is dead, (although her six babies survive) and they are on a different planet than the one their ship was aimed. When the surviving five adults emerge from their spaceship, they see a multitude of distant floating golden aliens genuflucting to them, then the aliens form a giant golden double helix in the sky, then depart in their own spaceship.

The colonists now decide to make the best of this new world, and populate it. They call it Viridian, as it is green and fecund. There are plenty of dangerous animals on the world. The radiation from the planet seems to indicate the planet is young, but the presence of vertebrate animal life argues otherwise. There is nothing red on the planet except for the albino girl's eyes, and a rare fleeting glimpse of a red mushroom, that vanishes if anyone tries to get closer. In the end, everything is explained.

The names of the colonists are Teague, the Captain, and Alma (deceased) ; Carl and Moira; Todd (the protagonist) and April (albino girl with red eyes).

They name the three moons as Wynkin, Blynkin, and Nod.

I recall plenty more detail, but this question seems long enough! I'll add more detail if anyone thinks it helpful.

  • Oops, forgot to add read it in the eighties – user24830 Apr 13 '14 at 2:22
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    Lots of detail, but if no one remembers in a day or so, add the extra material in spoiler tags if appropriate. – The Fallen Apr 13 '14 at 2:40
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    If you have anything further to add to your question (such as that you read it in the 80s), please don't make it a comment, please edit your question by clicking on the "edit" button at the bottom of the question. – user14111 Apr 13 '14 at 2:40
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    @SSumner Just my opinion, but I think spoilerphobes would be well advised to avoid story-identification Q&As altogether, as they are inherently spoileey. – user14111 Apr 13 '14 at 2:45
  • I've never asked a story-ID, and I've only answered one, so I'm not an authority, but in some cases I think they'd be good. For example, if a story's central plot was a surprise towards the end of the book, it might be good to have that in spoilers and other details not so that those who thought they had read it could confirm by viewing the spoilers and those who hadn't could decide for themselves. – The Fallen Apr 13 '14 at 2:50
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I think the story is The Golden Helix by Theodore Sturgeon

"They called the moons Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and the sun they called—the sun. They worked like slaves, and then like scientists,"

You can buy the book on Amazon or read the first page here

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