The Voyage of the Space Beagle: 09/15/13
The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A.E. van Vogt is a novel comprised of four related short stories, woven together by some connecting text. As the title implies, the novel is about a futuristic ship of explorer-scientists who hope revolutionize mankind's scientific understanding in the same way that Darwin's observations on the Beagle did.
Van Vogt includes multiple points of view to sell his idea of Nexialism (a unifying theory for all fields of scientific study). He gets into the heads of the various scientists and crew as well as the super intelligent, incredibly alien, and of course, predatory and dangerous creatures the Beagle picks up for study.
And that's where things fell apart for me. The monster of the story isn't a sympathetic glimpse into understanding the Other. Instead it's the prototype for any number of B movies — the one who will invariably hunt down the crew and either kill them, mutate them, or impregnate them one at a time.