BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Robert J. Sawyer.
©2002 Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"While not perhaps as utterly mind-boggling or stylistically outrageous as some of the A-list classics, [Starplex] is scrupulously rigorous, exciting, surprising, and emotionally involving. In short, all you could ask for in any SF novel, hard or soft. (Asimov's Science Fiction)
"Multiple award-winning Canadian author Sawyer offers an epic hard-science space adventure full of technical descriptions of starships and physics tempered by human concerns. In 2094, scientists on the Starplex study the mysterious artificial wormholes that make space travel routine and convenient. Then the wormholes' creators appear, and the scientists must understand and communicate with them to save the galaxy. Highly recommended for sf collections." (Library Journal)
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"Tribute to Arthur C. Clarke"
I believe this to be a tribute to Clarke by Sawyer. It is written in a similar style to Clarke and Sawyer even mentions one of Clarke's biggest books, Childhood's End. I like all six of the Sawyer books I have read, but if he was trying to write like Clarke, I do not believe he captured Clarke's ability to show the wonder of space. That being said it is still a good book. I believe I am a hard customer to please, but Sawyer has yet to produce something I could give less then four stars to.
There is lots of science in this, especially physics. There is lots of explaining science in this that might turn some people off, but I was not bothered by it. The story includes, Green Stars, Dark Matter, Time Travel, Gateways, Space Biology, Macro Life, a glass man and the word Billions is often used to describe.
A very small part of the book deals with an aging man going through a middle age crisis and how it effects his marriage. Another bigger part is a kind of a "Make Love Not War" theme which I found a little annoying. Bad guys who try to kill you are forgiven and become your buddy. There is also a part of the book where scientist fight a military with makeshift weapons and the scientist come out on top. I found that I little hard to swallow.
If you like this, you will want to read Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. My favorite Sawyer books are Terminal Experiment, Flash Forward and Calculating God. As mentioned before no Sawyer book has disappointed me yet.
"At least as much science as fiction"
Very thought provoking
The inclusion of pretty accurate physics mixed into a good story. The part about how to learn to communicate with a whole different species was worth the price of admission.
This would never make a decent film. The technical physics would be left out.
"The synopsis is misleading"
Slight Spoiler alert!
Not a great book. The story is mostly told in a non-linear fashion, jumping from time to time. The majority of it being told by the main character to a being on an alien ship. The alien ship actually has nothing to do with any conflict in the books universe.
"Mental thrill ride"
I've read most of Robert J Sawyer's books and this is by far my favorite. What made it so interesting is how the author took very big ideas and weave them into a story. Being a student of many science-fiction books he truly brings up some unique concepts and the added to the mental candy.
"One of the best!"
Sawyer does what he does best; captivates me from page 1 and never let go for a single paragraph.
"Great SciFi listen"
Without giving away the plot, the book is a little confusing at the outset. However, stick with it and all will become clear. I thought the author could have provided more details regarding his description of futuristic objects and events. I found it difficult to visualize some of the things in the book. However, the shortcoming was more than offset by the imagination of the author and the flow of the action. A good listen.
Took a little while to get going, but then it was worth it. Nice listen.
"A symphony for the mind"
This was truly an incredible book. Starplex was a rare exploration of the Space Opera sub-genre, and as Robert J. Sawyer intended, did not focus on a military plot as the central theme, but rather, a peaceful group of scientists who's mission was to make peaceful contact with other races via a vast network of 'shortcuts' or stargate type devices. Yes, there is certainly space combat and battles, but what makes this book so different is the anchoring in real science fiction roots -- at it's core it's about science, and the extrapolation and exploration of 'what-if' scenarios. It seeks to tease apart answers to current scientific knowledge.
To say this book was riveting was an understatement. I read it in 24 hours, and wished there was a whole series like it. But alas, this book is, and must be, fully self-contained. Starplex plucks the most melodious strings of science fiction, and turns them into a symphony for the mind.
The various races described in the novel were also fascinating, each with distinct cultures and idiosyncrasies. Sawyer is a man with an incredible imagination.
Almost 20 years after publication this book remains singular and utterly engaging.
"One of his best"
I love Sawyer, only one of his books i have not like, but most of them I enjoy. This one I really loved though. Great story
"intriguing idea, off-putting language"
intrigued by the idea, but put off by constant cursing in Christ's name. Performance was good.
To those who like sci fi yes
The theory of dark matter
I really found it a gripping read and wish there was a squel
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