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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: #603,327 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: 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
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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book because it was a Hugo nominee. I concluded the author (I certainly can't call him a writer!) must have had a lot of friends who voted for him. It reads like a juvenile parody of a bad science fiction novel by the sort of literary critic who despises science fiction without reading any.
The plot is a poor attempt to duplicate "Star Trek," with a pretension to greater scientific knowledge and psychological complexity.
The scientific pretension is evident in the long, complicated digressions Mr. Sawyer makes to explain the physics of the novel. It is *ALMOST* enough to make you think that he cares, at least, about good science, even though he shows no concern for anything else. But that's an illusion, rapidly dispelled by the way Mr. Sawyer cheerfully ignores real science when it gets in the way. As the previous review noted, spaceships rarely "swerve" in space fast enough to avoid on oncoming laser "bolt." And the convenient time-travelling that is thrown in to help the protaganist out of his difficulties towards the end of the book have to be read to be believed.
Mr. Sawyer attempts to show psychological complexity by providing the internal thoughts of his central figure. Unfortunately, his central figure doesn't seem capable of thought, greatly undermining this effort. He meanders through the book, considering adultery--AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE. It's as if, having given the figure (I don't say character) the single subject to think of, Mr. Sawyer couldn't devise anything else for him to consider.
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