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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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Review

"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!"
--ARTHUR C. CLARKE

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

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

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

"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?"
--FREEMAN J. DYSON
   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
Format:Paperback
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Money Shock Jan. 26 2014
By Jamie
Format:Kindle Edition
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book June 14 2004
Format:Paperback
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. The book begins with a native noticing that
his planet's sun is going to swallow his planet. Then it continues with the crew of the St. George, as they study the
natives who live on the star. They're like amoebas or paramecia. It's not life as we know it. These are life forms, that after all, live on a star. Dr. Forward, who'd worked for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on the unmanned mission that dominated the 1980s___Voyager.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sci-Fi June 6 2004
Format:Paperback
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. It reminded a great deal of The Listeners by James E. Gunn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Probably Forward's best. . . Oct. 2 2003
Format:Paperback
I've read quite a bit of Robert Forward's "hard" science fiction. It all began with this book.
Forward describes the conditions under which life might actually evolve on the surface of a neutron star -- and what that life might look like.
An extremely imaginative book which might be difficult for some who prefer more character development and less real science, but for those who wish to really have their minds stretched, this book is a good place to start.
Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very worthy SF read! July 12 2001
Format:Paperback
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.
'Nathan
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4.0 out of 5 stars More than just science fiction June 19 2001
Format:Paperback
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. During the development of the cheela (the lifeforms on the surface of the neutron star) he frequently pokes fun at humanity. For example, the development of cheela religion is a well done jab at our society.
Personally I thought the book spent too much time developing the cheela and not enough time getting the reader familiar with the humans hovering above the star. You don't really learn much about the humans until very late in the book. I guess I was hoping to know more about them, their motives, etc. All in all it was a very worthwhile read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best hard science fiction books. Feb. 27 2001
Format:Paperback
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 to faster-than-light spaceships in one book. This is a first in a two book series.
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