Starplex Mass Market Paperback – Jan 11 2002
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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.
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 GreenSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Sawyer always mixes tech and science with a hugely imaginative story. Very inventive dialog between alien races and overall very good Science Fiction writing. He never disappoints.Published 7 months ago by Kingstonian
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. Read morePublished on April 2 2011 by darcmarc
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 28 2001
At first glance, it may seem like a hard SF reformulation of Star Trek. Then you realize the tachyon beams, warp speed, subspace disturbances, ... Read morePublished on July 24 2001
Upon reaching the stars, mankind discovered wormholes. Artificially generated, these tunnels allowed transport from one part of space to areas light-years away. Read morePublished on July 14 2001 by Jonathan Burgoine
Starplex is good as Hawking, Wheeler, and Thorne. Rob Sawyer's gedanken experiments on dark matter, wormholes, black holes, time travel, etc. Read morePublished on May 27 2001 by ANTHONY STJOHN
Most of Starplex is a very dull read, packed with dense physics discussions that become tedious for the science-impaired. Read morePublished on March 11 2001 by PT Dilloway
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! Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2000 by Robert
Boring, juvenile, absurd...the list goes on and on. Reads like an el cheapo ripoff of Star Trek. Particularly moronic are the aliens.Published on Aug. 17 2000 by omarbukka