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Starplex Mass Market Paperback – Jan 11 2002

3.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (MM); 1st thus edition (Jan. 11 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441003729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441003723
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #622,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Entertaining and episodic, Starplex is a tale of interstellar exploration and adventure rather like a reconceptualized and debugged Star Trek. In the twenty-first century, the human race has both developed faster-than-light travel and contacted nonhuman intelligent races. Starplex, under the command of Keith Lansing, is one of the contact makers. Lansing faces hostile crew members, the personal and cultural idiosyncracies of nonhumans, the problems of first contact, and a marriage that may be deteriorating. No one, probably including Sawyer, will claim great originality for the yarn. Technically, it is good rather than great, yet it emphatically works, will draw readers, and may be the opening of a long-running series. Roland Green

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sawyer's foray into space opera and space adventure is a fun book to read, but lacks the depth of (human) characterization and philosophical thought that are the strengths of his later works. The book's strengths include
1. the Ib Race -- a brilliant construct
2. the dark matter entities
3. the enigmatic glass man
4. the tightly woven plot threads
5. an interesting twist on the gateway concept
The book's weaknesses include
1. a weak protagonist
2. too many "Star Trek"-like devices (tractor beams, force fields)
3. uneven treatment of the human-Walhal (the pig creatures) dynamics.
Unlike many of the (harsh) negative critics below, I found the book quite enjoyable, even if there is some hand-waving here and there. It's not like that hasn't been done before in SF. And just to set the matter straight, Sawyer does NOT imply that laser beams are visible (he clearly states that the computer animated the laser fire in a holographic display) and he does not say that a spaceship swerves to avoid direct laser fire; what he does say is that a spaceship maneuvers to avoid another, spinning spaceship which happens to be firing a laser.
The book is enjoyable science fiction. The key word in this phrase is fiction.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most of Starplex is a very dull read, packed with dense physics discussions that become tedious for the science-impaired. The book picks up in the last 100 pages, but it was never an edge-of-your-seat read, and I never really cared about any of the characters. The entire thing was like an episode of Deep Space Nine or Babylon 5, only with more scientific mumbo-jumbo. What was the most farfetched moment of the book is when a little shuttle thing launched from Starplex takes out a huge battle cruiser with a geological laser that miraculous hits some fuel storage tank and POOF! goes the bad guy ship.
What's interesting is that if you read Starplex and then read "FlashForward" by Sawyer, you can see where he plagiarizes himself. Both novels feature a balding, middle-aged Canadian who will potentially receive the magic potion for immortality and live out the rest of time in some kind of mechanical body. I didn't like that element in either book, it seems completely rediculous for one novel, let alone two.
Overall, Starplex is not a bad book, but it's not great either. And if you need a cure for insomnia, just read the first first chapters and you'll drift right off into dreamland.
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By A Customer on Feb. 25 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all, I would like to remind some of the other reviewers that the point of the book is to be a STORY and NOT a scientifically documentation of the future. If you think its a problem that some scientific details are wrong, then perhaps you can name a book where every detail is perfect. If you can do so, then I will agree with what you say. The book was interesting and was accurate enough for me. The next thing you comlain about is how the character only things about adultery and his best friends death. Obviously you don't know what it's like to lose someone, otherwise you would realize that it's a hard thing to get over, and for the adultery bit, well, if you were contemplating cheating on your wife, then I assure you that you to would spen a great deal of time thinking about. So what you to be UNrealistic, is actually what the main character WOULD be thinking. Another complaint is that the plot is a copy of Star Trek. Maybe your right, but this was ten times better than Star Trek, because I hate Star Trek and I love this book. You complain about the Waldahudin, and how they are designed, but do you really think an alien race will be thought provoking and in-depth just because they're aliens? No, it's bull and you know it. Aliens don't follow a schematic, they are the author's creation, and he/she can do whatever he/she wants with them. This was an excellent book, maybe even my favourite of all time, and if Mr. Sawyer ever reads this review, I hope he realizes that SOME people actually appreciate good writing, unlike some morons I can think of.
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