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MURASAKI [Hardcover]

Poul Anderson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 1992
After twenty years of travel, the first ships bearing humans arrive in the Murasaki system, where they encounter the inhabitants of Murasaki's two mysterious worlds and where they unravel the mysteries of an alien ecosystem. 15,000 first printing.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A scaled-down verson of Medea, Harlan Ellison's shared-world anthology based on a scientifically created world, this effort is, unfortunately, smaller in every sense. The talent pool (six writers, as opposed to Medea 's 11) is limited to winners of the Science Fiction Writers of America's Nebula Award. Unlike the contents of Medea , these stories are linked and form a novel-like progression. The entries proceed chronologically, starting with the first humans to land on Genji and To no Chujo, the twin planets surrounding the sun Murasaki, and closing with the end of a centuries-long cycle involving both Genjians and Chujoans. Assorted conflicts among and scientific discoveries by the visiting humans constitute the middle sections. Although the contributors--Poulok Anderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Nancy Kress and Frederik Pohl--are all accomplished stylists, one finds little distinctions among their six chapters. If the planet Medea was a playground for writers' imaginations, the star Murasaki seems a pigeonhole that writers must subordinate their imagination and style to fit.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The arrival of human colonists in the Murasaki system to explore and settle the twin worlds of Genji and Chujo forms the background for this shared-world anthology. The six stories by Nebula award-winning authors Poul Anderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Nancy Kress, and Frederik Pohl focus on the effects of human intervention on an alien ecosystem. A pair of essays by Anderson and Pohl provide background information and offer a rare glimpse of the planning stages of this experiment in sf world building. All in all, this satisfying blend of hard sf and expert storytelling should be considered by libraries with large sf collections.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A few diamonds in the rough Feb. 21 2001
By Alex
Format:Hardcover
Murasaki star system contains a duo of inhabitable planets that orbit each other: Genji - a high-gravity world with a dense, soupy atmosphere; and Chujo - an arid, wintry world of canyons and wind-swept plains. Neither is perfect for humans - on Genji they must wear pressure suits in addition to getting used to gravity levels half-again as high as on Earth; Chujo is more forgiving, though it can be intensely cold. Both planets serve home to sapient races: the Ihrdizu of Genji - low-tech amphibians that congregate in small villages; and the humanoids of Chujo - aloof, mysterious beings that ignore the humans entirely. It is here that the first manned interstellar expeditions will arrive, bearing humans of all frames of mind - Earthlings and off-worlders, atheists and philosophers, mystics and iconoclasts...
Instead of being a collaborative novel, "Murasaki" is a mixed bag of science fiction stories that share a setting, each written by a different award-winning author. Mind the fact that the only interesting part is the fairly in-depth world-creation notes (included as appendices), and that the stories are pathetically shallow and lead virtually nowhere...
...That is precisely what I though about this "science fiction novel in six parts" prior to reading the last two parts, which are so refreshingly, profoundly excellent that I almost wept with awe. A mystery of interplanetary proportions is suddenly built up and then revealed in flying colors.
It's really a pity that the rest of Murasaki doesn't follow suit.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I became interested in this book after reading Otherness by David Brin. One of the short stories in Otherness is actually a chapter in Murasaki. The book itself is has a very intruiging storyline and I enjoyed reading much of it. The only problam I had was the mental transition I had to make with each chapter of the book, as they are all written by different authors.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes the work of Brin, Bear, Anderson, Pohl, Kress etc etc etc.. They all wrote parts of it.
A good read.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A few diamonds in the rough Feb. 21 2001
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Murasaki star system contains a duo of inhabitable planets that orbit each other: Genji - a high-gravity world with a dense, soupy atmosphere; and Chujo - an arid, wintry world of canyons and wind-swept plains. Neither is perfect for humans - on Genji they must wear pressure suits in addition to getting used to gravity levels half-again as high as on Earth; Chujo is more forgiving, though it can be intensely cold. Both planets serve home to sapient races: the Ihrdizu of Genji - low-tech amphibians that congregate in small villages; and the humanoids of Chujo - aloof, mysterious beings that ignore the humans entirely. It is here that the first manned interstellar expeditions will arrive, bearing humans of all frames of mind - Earthlings and off-worlders, atheists and philosophers, mystics and iconoclasts...
Instead of being a collaborative novel, "Murasaki" is a mixed bag of science fiction stories that share a setting, each written by a different award-winning author. Mind the fact that the only interesting part is the fairly in-depth world-creation notes (included as appendices), and that the stories are pathetically shallow and lead virtually nowhere...
...That is precisely what I though about this "science fiction novel in six parts" prior to reading the last two parts, which are so refreshingly, profoundly excellent that I almost wept with awe. A mystery of interplanetary proportions is suddenly built up and then revealed in flying colors.
It's really a pity that the rest of Murasaki doesn't follow suit.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting collaberative effort from many authors Sept. 27 1998
By marlan@netscape.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I became interested in this book after reading Otherness by David Brin. One of the short stories in Otherness is actually a chapter in Murasaki. The book itself is has a very intruiging storyline and I enjoyed reading much of it. The only problam I had was the mental transition I had to make with each chapter of the book, as they are all written by different authors.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes the work of Brin, Bear, Anderson, Pohl, Kress etc etc etc.. They all wrote parts of it.
A good read.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader Aug. 3 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A combination that deals with a literal Japanoyanko space race for land rights, basically. It is focusing on the septics, unsurprisingly, but not ignoring that the whole enterprise contained within the political situation surrounding it.

Then, what happens after they get there. The book is put together by multiple writers, to from a narrative.

There are some illustrations of the 'researcher in the field' type, of the local inhabitants, which are pretty groovy.

Murasaki : The Treasures of Chujo - Frederik Pohl
Murasaki : Genji - David Brin
Murasaki : Language - Poul Anderson
Murasaki : World Vast World Various - Gregory Benford
Murasaki : A Plague of Conscience - Greg Bear
Murasaki : Birthing Pool - Nancy Kress

Racing the Japanese to Murasaki, trolls await.

3.5 out of 5

Japanese expedition arrival, sexual relations of human and aliens, and the odd problem with gravity and such.

3 out of 5

Long term mission gets odd cult group while working on one particular local type.

3 out of 5

Snakehounds helping for herding, trolls battle, and a library.

3.5 out of 5

Bloke not the messiah.

2.5 out of 5

Teenage girls of more than one species, a death, and a new leader.

3 out of 5
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