Starplex PDF Ò Paperback

  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Starplex
  • Robert J. Sawyer
  • English
  • 09 January 2016
  • 9780889954441

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StarplexThough written in 1995 this Hugo nominated story is stylistically like those of the older 'golden age' era of the 50's rather than the sophisticated character driven sort of modern type The likes of editors such as Campbell Jr or Frederik Pohl of Galaxy and IF would surely have jumped at serializing a story like this It's good fun old fashioned fast paced 'spaceship scifi' with creative aliens grand battle scenes worm holes in this case actually termed short cuts time travel green stars popping out from nowhere This also has much of AC Clarke's optimism and sense of wonder to it yet Sawyer manages to make it all his ownThe pros are not uite as polished as they are in later Sawyer novels but the ideas are plentiful and the scope as astronomicalA very entertaining earlier effort by Robert J Sawyer The Aurora Award winning science fiction novel Starplex is back in print Human space exploration has expanded uickly over the last twenty years as they have made use of newly discovered artificial worm holes No one knows who created them and they bring the far reaches of the galaxy tantalizingly closeDiscovery however is outstripping understanding and when an unknown vessel – a ship with no windows seams or visible means of propulsion – arrives the already battle scarred Starplex could be the starting point of an interstellar war Pretty good albeit super short It's impressive that Sawyer can pack as much in to a 300 page novel as would take other authors 5 600 pages But despite the amount of action and uestions and answers it still felt like it was lacking something Maybe taking a slightly slower pace would have lent the action and revelations a little weightHoly crap though what action There are a handful of big space action seuences and a particular battle scene in the back half of the novel was jawdropping in its inventiveness It makes battle scenes from recent space set movies eg the JJ Abrams Star Trek movies look simplisticOther things I liked The alien races were pretty well fleshed out as were the dolphins slightly different from the uplifted dolphins of David Brin's books and not actually uplifted There was a real sense of discovery in the titular ship's mission and adventures There was a number of cool astrophysical and alien mysteries The physics employed by the author was pretty sophisticated and didn't talk down to the audience There was a particular conversation view spoilerwith a character from the far future about how life on earth will continue to evolve in the next 10 billion years hide spoiler This was a good intorduction for me to Robert J Sawyer I definitely plan on seeking out of his booksThis the first one of his I have read concerns life aborad Starplex a huge inster stellar habitat crewed by four races Human;Ceteceandolphine;Walhudin and IbsI found some of the science a bit hard to follow cosmology; dark matter etcetc but the interactions of the four species working together was very well done The novel showed clearly the advantages and problems of having four radically different species with differing viewpoints attmpting to co ordinate in the StarplexI particularly enjoyed the Walhudin precisely because they were NOT likeable by most human standards Realistically ifwhen we meet aliens they will not all be cuddly or cute or admirable but we will still have to deal with themSo a very dcent tale good world building; interesting aliens and an acceptable plot A good solid three star advdenture with some thought provoking ideas suitable for any SF fan This was a stereotypical sci fi book of old fun science shallow characters and anthropomorphized aliens Now I remember why I never read sci fi as a kid it was kind of bad back then and this novel is a throwback to those times While Sawyer tries to make the main character feel like a real person his efforts are mainly around the captain of the ship wanting the pretty young scientist instead of his wife no new insights or even any new thoughts on this rich subject just the plain old storyline of pretty girl smack dab in the middle of an old guy's mid life crisis And try as he may to avoid making all the aliens really just humans in alien costumes Sawyer still gives them all human like feelings going so far as to try to pull our heartstrings with dark matter babies Seriously It felt like a farce I will read all the Hugo nominees I really will At this point I'm just under half way done and for the very first time I've bought a membership so I can vote on the awards Hopefully that'll mean I'll read last year's books this year and not two or three years hence which has pretty much been the way it's gone for the last little while When you mostly get books out from the library you're either on a ton of wait lists or you're content being a little bit behindNote The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision hereIn the meantime you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook I stopped reading at the line she was an Asian beauty This was written in 1996 No one trapped several decades behind their own time should be speculating on the future Storyline 35Characters 25Writing Style 25World 45How art thee similar to Star Trek? Let me count the ways Thou art the Federation's Commonwealth's pride of fleet on missions of first contact goodwill Thou has an alpha bridge crew whom is active for every major encounter An interspecies crew thee maintain providing regular cultural confrontations Boldly thee go where no one has gone before Take an entire season of Star Trek extract all the exciting discoveries and crises inject them into a 289 page book and you have Starplex I exaggerate of course but only slightly This did indeed have a succession of wondrous and dramatic developments far than should have been possible in novel of this length This made for a fun and easy read but was far less satisfying than it could have been I in fact enjoy Star Trek thus the comparison is not entirely unfavorable Starplex however read as if it were written for television audiences and it incorporated all the regrettable devices associated with that medium a small company of characters take on multiple and overly broad roles to simplify the story and cast ordinary events are ratcheted up to the level of drama so viewers readers stay tuned personnel are faced with crisis decisions which they appear entirely unprepared for despite the fact that they would have been repeatedly faced with the problem before even drama inappropriately placed and melodramatic interpersonal scenes keeping in touch with our sensitive side and a completely unjustifiable disordered timeline to be edgy One might be able to condone these elements in a television series because of the format and audience but I expect consideration and a higher regard for readersStarplex despite the obvious similarities to Star Trek does provide something above and beyond the television series Its hard science fiction attributes at first read as info dumps I began to appreciate them as the book went on Though they were often ill placed and broke momentum Sawyer was than adept at succinctly conveying complicated processes Best of all however was that the book was actually about something about real astrophysics uestions This will not be regarded as the scientific answer to those technical uestions but it was a fun story built around legitimate physics phenomena That along with the thriller and discovery attributes made for a memorable story and enjoyable read I thought this novel was tons of fun I listened to Sawyer’s novel Factoring Humanity a couple weeks ago and it couldn’t have been different from this one Factoring Humanity is an intimate near future story that deals with big ideas but seen sort of on a small scale Starplex on the other hand is a big action packed space opera Sawyer is great at both of these kinds of science fictionThere are things in this novel that seem kind of ridiculous dolphin fighter pilots dark matter that well that’s a surprise but I was enjoying myself so much I was open to all of it Can’t wait to read the rest of Sawyer’s workI listened to this in audiobook and thought the reader did a great job 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 knowledgeTo 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 mindThe various races described in the novel were also fascinating each with distinct cultures and idiosyncrasies Sawyer is a man with an incredible imaginationAlmost 20 years after publication this book remains singular and utterly engaging

About the Author: Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers He is the only Canadian and one of only 7 writers in the world to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids and the 2006 John W Campbell Memorial Award for MindscanRobert Sawyer grew up in