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Dragon's Egg [Paperback]

Robert L. Forward
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 29 2000 Del Rey Impact
In a moving story of sacrifice and triumph, human scientists establish a relationship with intelligent lifeforms--the cheela--living on Dragon's Egg, a neutron star where one Earth hour is equivalent to hundreds of their years. The cheela culturally evolve from savagery to the discovery of science, and for a brief time, men are their diligent teachers . . .

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"Forward's book is a knockout. In science fiction there is only a handful of books that stretch the mind--and this is one of them!"

"Bob Forward writes in the tradition of Hal Clement's Mission Gravity and carries it a giant step (how else?) forward."

"Dragon's Egg is superb. I couldn't have written it; it required too much real physics."

"This is one for the real science-fiction fan."

"Robert L. Forward tells a good story and asks a profound question. If we run into a race of creatures who live a hundred years while we live an hour, what can they say to us or we to them?"
   Author of Disturbing the Universe

"Forward has impeccable scientific credentials, and . . . big, original, speculative ideas."
--The Washington Post

From the Publisher

I joined Random House in 1995 as General Manager for the House of Collectibles imprint. The offices for House of Collectibles are right next door to Del Rey and, since I have a passion for science fiction, I moseyed over and asked Veronica Chapman, a Del Rey editor, for a book recommendation. She asked if I was looking for a fantasy book or a hard science fiction book. I indicated the later and without hesitation she recommended Dragon's Egg.

Wow! What a truly great book! It is so brimming with new ideas and new perspectives that it literally expands your mind. It opens your eyes to new possibilities. Every few pages draw another exclaimation of "Wow!"

I wish I could say, "I liked the book so much, I bought the company." But next best thing did happen: I became General Manager of Del Rey. (Please note that your results from reading this book may vary.) Thank you, Veronica, for this fantastic recommendation which I whole-heartedly pass along to one and all.
                                                --Tim Kochuba, General Manager --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragon's Egg Oct. 17 2001
As you'll read a plot synopsis and some specific puffs and pans of the author's writing abilities in the other reviews, I'll stick to what I have always found to be the most intriguing part of the book: The Cheela. They become people. They develop a self awareness, personalities, an intriguing society, ethics, science, and sufficient patience, tolerance, and appreciation of a totally alien race of beings (humans) to make contact in a mutually beneficial manner.
Yeah, there's a bunch of "hard" science in here, but not as much as some of the other reviews make it seem. I disagree with the reviewer who thinks the author pokes some fun at humanity as he tracks the Cheela. Instead, it seems he presents some strong moral lessons along with the Cheela's history, and invites the reader to compare how we (humans) have faced the same challenges. As allegory, this is a superb story.
The writing at the beginning is a bit dry, but don't give up on it. As the plot and narrative style unfold, the pace picks up, and the story blossoms.
This book is best appreciated by the young and impressionable.
I first read it when I fit into that category, and for many years its insights haunted my reality. When I went back to it, still many more years later, I wasn't as bowled over by some of the revelations as I had been the first time through. Partly, this was because I'd explored the author's ideas in greater depth from the perspectives of other disciplines, and partly because there's a tinge of cynicism that creeps in over the years.
For all that, I still rate it as one of my top ten books of all time (and I've read thousands). Admittedly, it didn't make it there because of an elegant prose style.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very worthy SF read! July 12 2001
Robert L. Forward has written an absolutely wonderful account of an alien life that simply has not been done as well as this in any other SF book I've read.
To set the tone, picture a neutron star. This is simply one of the most hostile astronomical bodies out there, something that man can orbit only with the most sophisticated equipment and technology, but from which man could learn a lot about the universe. So, when one such star is within reach of a human spacecraft, we go.
And find life on the surface of the star.
In dealing with the development of the alien race, the Cheela, Forward has crafted a magnificent piece of SF. It's unfortunate that the sophistication that he shows in regards to these aliens doesn't quite shine through with the human characters in the story. Often the humans come off flat and a little less then interesting, but this is completely overshadowed by the Cheela. Playing with notions of relative time, alien forms of perception, and with a SF ending that puts most other "alient contact" books to shame, "Dragon's Egg" is required reading for any fan of SF.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "BORING"!?!? Oh, please... April 20 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hey, Mr. "waksman@netvision.net.il", you must be out of your cotton-pickin' gourd! Dr. Forward is (or at least was) a research scientist at Hughes Research Labs in Malibu. He is exceedingly well known for his unique ideas and concepts on the subject of how to carry out expeditions beyond our solar system, especially as regards the necessary means of propulsion. If memory serves, this was Dr. Forward's first published novel, and the first time I read it, I was absolutely enthralled by its detail, and by the remarkable expanse of Dr. Forward's imagination. Yes, the book provides you as up-to-date an account of "...the scientific aspects of neutron stars..." as you're likely to find outside the preeminent scientific journals, but that is a very long way from being its only merit. It also provides the most imaginative view I've ever read concerning the real fundamental nature of _life_; intelligent, self-aware, creative _life_; life which, in this particular story, must evolve (and does so very plausibly) in a physical setting so radically different from our own species' native habitat as to make the very prospect of paying a visit thereto (which Dr. Forward's human characters _do_) so daunting as to itself require the most resourceful and imaginative application possible of the best our current science and engineering has to offer. (The near-future extrapolations Dr. Forward employs fit the continuity of this perfectly.) Perhaps you were disappointed because Dr. Forward does not possess the narrative panache of, say, Robert Heinlein or Isaac Asimov --- SO WHAT???? If you found the story boring, either your own imagination is flaccid, or you didn't read the same book _I_ did! Read more ›
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Forward presents amazingly full-blown alternate realities to his readers gift-wrapped as sci-fi novels. Included for your $$ value is the research scientist's world-renowned expertise in the field of gravitational astronomy and radiation. My entire family agrees that Dragon's Egg and its sequel Starquake provide moments of profound enlightenment, immaculately constructed science, and the thrilling possibility of communication between vastly different species. I cannot recommend it too highly. [I wish others would abide by the review rules. Some sneer at the honest reviews of others, assuming a pseudo-intellectual, 'I know better than thou' stance. What purpose is served by printing the negativity of people who are incapable of producing a coherent review, let alone an entire novel that thrills millions?]
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Money Shock
This is a great book! The price being charged for the electronic edition is ridiculous however. Until the publisher sees some sense stick with your public library.
Published 7 months ago by Jamie
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
I first read this back in 1984. It's a great book. It's about a team of scientists who go to a distant star to observe the
local inhabitants. Read more
Published on June 14 2004 by Blair Colquhoun
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sci-Fi
The opening bit of the Cheela's story is a tad slow and the ending, while providing perfect closer is also a tad hokey. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by Sarah Sammis
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably Forward's best. . .
I've read quite a bit of Robert Forward's "hard" science fiction. It all began with this book. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2003 by David Zampino
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just science fiction
Dragon's Egg is a great read because it is more than just science fiction. Forward makes some powerful statements (sometimes rather amusing) about humanity. Read more
Published on June 19 2001 by Douglas Welzel
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best hard science fiction books.
Robert L. Forward is one of the best hard science fiction authors and this is his best work. Watch as a civilization of aliens no bigger than a mustard seed go from early tribes... Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2001 by Michael Valdivielso
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Science Fiction
This book was recommended to me as a truly hard science fiction book. In this respect, I don't have any complains. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2000 by Daniel C. Sobral
5.0 out of 5 stars My first and one the best Sci-Fi book I read!!!
This book was the first Sci-Fi book I ever read. It was loaned to me by a friend of mine in university. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2000 by iamcdn
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Hard SF!
Let us be clear: This is a Hard Science-Fiction novel. The plot is driven by the science. If deep characterization is a requisit for you enjoying a novel, you will NOT enjoy this... Read more
Published on March 23 2000 by Andrew X. Lias
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just Si-Fi
Most Si-Fi books look to life and situations that will, or could, arise in the future but this is so much more. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 1999 by Rolf B Green
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