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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative realities
Robert J. Sawyer's book "Starplex" was one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking, and mind-twisting books I've read in a long time.
To begin, Sawyer is an excellent writer. Plotting, dialogue, and human drama aspects are all well-represented here. He also never loses sight of using humor, awe (in its truest sense), human limitations, and philosophical...
Published on Sept. 28 2001 by jburton75

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable but Uneven Space Opera
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...
Published on May 14 2002 by Keith


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable but Uneven Space Opera, May 14 2002
By 
Keith (Huntsville, AL, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Starplex (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative realities, Sept. 28 2001
This review is from: Starplex (Mass Market Paperback)
Robert J. Sawyer's book "Starplex" was one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking, and mind-twisting books I've read in a long time.
To begin, Sawyer is an excellent writer. Plotting, dialogue, and human drama aspects are all well-represented here. He also never loses sight of using humor, awe (in its truest sense), human limitations, and philosophical twists to create realities that are at once far, far away, yet understandable.
I'm sure Robert J. Sawyer has his critics - every writer does. Bottom line here, though, is that Sawyer has created his own voice with which to tell great stories (science fiction and otherwise), and Starplex is one of his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading, Dec 8 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Starplex (Mass Market Paperback)
This book has a little bit of everything. Mr. Sawyer's imagination is excellent. The story-line is a little weak in a couple of areas (thus, no 10); however, overall, the writing, characters, and plot are far above average.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a must for any and every sci-fi fan, April 2 2011
This review is from: Starplex (Paperback)
Part 'Star Trek', part 'Stargate'... This is one of THE BEST sci-fi novels EVER : full of hard science, drama, action, mystery... you name it.

It is absolutely EPIC in it's scope and width...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another intelligent SF novel from Sawyer..., July 14 2001
By 
Jonathan Burgoine "bookseller" (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Starplex (Mass Market Paperback)
Upon reaching the stars, mankind discovered wormholes. Artificially generated, these tunnels allowed transport from one part of space to areas light-years away. Their creators are unknown.
In Sawyer's "Starplex," a human and alien crew set out to explore the wormholes, finds that something is coming through the wormhole back to meet them. The age of discovery may be over, and it may be war.
As always, Sawyer's characters are the strength of this work. Kieth Lansing comes alive on the page, and internal struggles against bigotry and other human failings are sharp enough to draw blood. The alien races are very well developed, especially the "Ibs," (Integrated beings, of which individuals are made up of various living organisms that bond symbiotically).
What I could have done without, however, was the Dolphins. Over-cute and just a little out of place in this novel, we find that Dolphins have always been intelligent, and it just took us a while to clue in. It's somewhat clunky.
The plot itself is well thought out and puts the notion of an Alien "Culture Clash" to new heights. The scientific mysteries of the story also set a high simmer, and the outcomes of the various interwoven plots (another strength of Sawyer) are all very satisfying.
Though the inclusion of the dolphins made me wince, I'd still reccommend this one with no real regrets. It's enjoyable, the characters are solid, and the plot is formidable. Canada's king of SF does it again.
'Nathan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Starplex, May 27 2001
By 
ANTHONY STJOHN (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starplex (Mass Market Paperback)
Starplex is good as Hawking, Wheeler, and Thorne. Rob Sawyer's gedanken experiments on dark matter, wormholes, black holes, time travel, etc. are as good as those of any theoretical physicist alive today. And he writes the best science fiction there is today, to explain things we may never truly understand, but shall forever enjoy thinking about.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Snoozeplex, March 11 2001
By 
This review is from: Starplex (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful, Oct. 21 2000
By 
Robert (Tucson Arizona) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Starplex (Mass Market Paperback)
Frankly, I'm surprised at some of the reviews of this book. It looks as if some people just want to attack this poor man. This book is great! The aliens are very original, and their physical appearances differ more from humans than a couple of forehead wrinkles(a la Star Trek). Also, their personalities are different enough from humans that you can tell they are aliens, but not so different that you can't identify with them. The book is well written, and the plot is very good. It has multiple twists and turns that leads to a surprising ending. Trust me, if you see this book and like good science fiction, BUY IT! You're doing yourself a favor.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile, Aug. 9 2000
By 
Ed Hotchkiss "Pegleg Ed" (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Starplex (Mass Market Paperback)
Given the Hugo nomination and others' reviews, I expected more from this book. Some time is spent developing the main character, but most of the other players are bland, colourless props. The science is interesting, but I frankly did not care what happened to anyone. Good character development and a well-developed plot need not be sacrificed on the altar of Science, as shown by such authors as Mary Doria Russel and Michael Swanwick.
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2.0 out of 5 stars His Worst Book, June 13 2000
This review is from: Starplex (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this when I was reading all the Hugo nominees that year and this was the most disappointing. I felt that this did not belong on the same platform with the other nominees. This book appears to be an obvious attempt to "do Star Trek right" with a non-military starship, alien races who are truly alien, and real adult characters. Unfortunately, as previous reviewers have written, Sawyer does not pull this off and we have a novel about a university director contemplating an affair co-mingled with the worst of the Star Trek movies.
The entire novel seems inconsistent from scene to scene and is sometimes amazingly illogical which carries through to the ending. I cannot write too much about it without giving away some of the book but someone makes an awe-inspiring, illogical, bad, mundane, much more than life-time committment.
He can be a good writer and people should enjoy his other works more.
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Starplex
Starplex by Robert J Sawyer (Paperback - March 15 2010)
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