Starfarers

Starfarers

by Vonda N. McIntyre

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

$5.99
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553563412
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/1994
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 4.33(w) x 7.09(h) x (d)

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The Starfarers: Book One: Starfarers Quartet 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
leahsimone on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Starfarers, by Vonda N. McIntyre, follows the story of several people who have applied for passage on the Starfarer, a spaceship designed to make first contact with aliens, unaware that the U.S. Government intends to coop the ship and turn it into a military stronghold. The premise hooked me but I found most of novel was devoted to setup and therefore had a distinct first-book-in-a-series feel. There was a lot of character back-story, traveling between land and space (time in the transport) and working out living arrangements on the spaceship.Despite this, the story is told from multiple viewpoints, which helped give it a sense of scope, and characterization was diverse and interesting. Among the characters there is a ¿large woman with a plane face¿ who is the alien contact specialist, a ¿diver¿ who has been genetically altered for life in the sea, a black woman who is a genius and involved in a polyamorous relationship with two other characters, a ¿sensory artist¿ who has growths all over her face and a famous old cosmonaut recluse. McIntyre does a good job of developing the characters and describing their motivations. By the middle of the book, I was invested enough in their individual stories to be curious about what would happen to them.Occasionally, the narrative became mired in the descriptions of the environs but the scientific explanations were interesting without being dense or overdone. Most of the novel takes place in the sea, on a transport or on the spaceship and despite brewing political upheaval these settings fostered a feeling of distance from earth and it¿s concerns. It wasn't until the last third of the novel that the U.S. Government truly feels menacing as it beings to encroach on the character's freedom and the Starfarer mission. It was at this point that I became truly hooked by the story. The ending is exciting and it leaves off on a great cliffhanger. I will definitely read the next in the series. Recommend.
abatishko on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I received this omnibus book through the Early Reviewers program. I took a good long time to try and get through it, but I finally just had to give it up. The author's style did not appeal to me. There were multiple things that struck me as unrealistic and ruined me immersion. I was also put off by what felt like the author pushing their social and moral views on me (it didn't feel like an established part of the setting, but rather things put in the story for meta-reasons). I can see that some people might enjoy this book, but I didn't care for it at all.
ddupont on LibraryThing 22 days ago
This is another review of the four-book omnibus.I wanted to enjoy this more than I did. I love the fact that the cast of characters isn't just white men -- many of the main characters are women, and the crew consists of Canadians, Americans, Russians, Pacific Islanders, East Asians, etc.Unfortunately, especially for a four-book series, the plot is too vague. The world-building is great, but time after time I was irked by a plot thread that was dropped, picked up, and then dropped again.
moniqueleigh on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Note: I received this as a review copy from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.This is an e-book reprint in omnibus format of Vonda N. McIntyre's Starfarers Quartet, originally published in the late 1980s - early 1990s. In a nutshell, what if first-contact were handled by academics? The research starship named Starfarer has been designed as a university campus under international control, but the US government wants to re-purpose it as a military station. In order to escape this fate, the academics, including the Alien Contact Team, decide essentially to steal the ship. The next three books continue the story with what they find in alien systems, dealing with shortages from having left so precipitously, and the emotional tangles from having multiple people in close quarters who don't always necessarily like each other very much. The science is well-done throughout the books. The environmental concerns of a space-faring community are covered quite nicely, as well as how easily that environment can be disrupted. I can't speak to the hard science of the form of travel, but it certainly seems consistent with what I remember of cosmic string theory in that time (anybody with more current knowledge care to chime in?) The genetics research seems to at least be in line with the time period, and nothing stood out as being too overly dated upon reading in 2011. McIntyre's AI/intranet is a bit dated to anyone familiar with today's social networking, but it still reads as a rather fond retro bit of tech.On the emotional side of things, it is absolutely wonderful to see so many non-White Male American characters. More authors should try it. Full disclosure, I'm a white female American, so it's entirely possible that someone actually from the cultures discussed in the book might see issues that I don't. Even so, it's refreshing to see such a diverse cast and how that not only doesn't detract from the storytelling, but actually seems to enhance it, allowing the reader multiple perspectives. I found each character's emotional journey to be quite well developed. Sometimes, the journeys felt a bit slow, but that's often the way life works.While the first book could be read on its own, I wouldn't recommend reading any of the others alone as they are quite dependent on the reader's familiarity with previously-described physical & personality descriptions. The last book ends with something of a cliffhanger as much as the earlier books do, making me wonder if there were meant to be more installments in the series. This is good in the "leave 'em wanting more" school of thought, but it can be frustrating when you realize there isn't more.
david7466 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Fun and creative, this is a series that can take you places for an escape.
scifiguy7 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I received a special ebook edition for early review which is a compilation of all four books in the Starfarer's Saga series; they all flow quite naturally and almost seemlessly into one another, so I would not recommend it to someone who is not willing to invest in the entire series now that it is complete and all books in the series are available.It is an enjoyable space adventure which borders on Space Opera. The reading is a bit slow at times with all the character development as it is generally more character driven than plot driven. The basic plot idea is scientsts on Earth's first FTL starship attempt to escape a poilitical environment which seeks to weaponize the ship and use it for in-system monitoring instead of its intended interstellar first contact mission.
jhoddinott on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers programme, and whilst I do like science fiction from time to time, I probably would not have come across this book otherwise.This is a long read - not surprising for a quartet - but the stories did not feel discreet enough to be able to read the four books individually over a longer period. If I had been reading them at the time they were written I don't think I would have bought book two as I did not feel particularly hooked on the story until I was into book two. This does not have the depth and intricacy of a Peter Hamilton for example.Overall I enjoyed the books, they weren't great, but I did enjoy them. For my taste there was a little too much sex and personal angst, it started to get in the way of the story really. A more interesting aspect is what the books say about expectations of technological advances. They were only written in the early 90's, but even so the descriptions of the internet seem slightly quaint.I won't be rushing out to find more books by the same author, but if sci-fi is your thing then I'd recommend giving this a go.
reading_fox on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Superb. Thoroughly enjoyable example of what SF should be like. Interesting characters living in a novel environment with clever technologies in thebackground to support it. A clear inspiration of science and politics commenting subtly on the society around us today. The plot isn't original, it feels very much like a retelling of Greg Bear's famous Eon although it does actually differ substantually in several areas. Where Eon is stilted and badly dated, despite only being written a few years apart, this sparkles with fun characters and a much more relevant political scenario - that is likely to remain relevant in the future too. Mankind is preparing to visit the stars, a drifting Cosmic String provides the necessary FTL possabilities, and at vast expense a giant spaceship consisting of two rotating cylinders has been constructed (this is the bit that feels very Eon-esque). However in the time taken to complete this world-wide project, the political support on Earth has altered. New powers have arisen, and the old powers wish to subvert the new project to helping them maintain the status quo. The scientists on board are not amused. We bounce around between various characters, not a style that usually appeals to me, but it works well enough here. Victoria is our main protagonist part of the alien contact team - just in case - but also physics and astronavigation. Her partners and the relationship between the three of them provide much of the characterisation of the story. SD sauvage is the other principle character. She applied and was declined before being re-invited and nearly declines herself. Only a secret that she learns from the genetically altered divers and the Ocra family around her, allows her to consider the possabilities space offer her. Her last minute acceptance to the program provides plenty of cues for explanations. The character intereactions are superb, whether it is the lover's banter between Victoria and her family; or the artists and journalists responding to events; or even the Grandparents in Space program to provide stability, all are well crafted with joy and wit, and incitefulness that bring out the vivid descriptions of the world. I'm eager to try out the rest of the quartet and see whether this degree of joy can be continued.
LBrary on LibraryThing 22 days ago
This review is for the e-book edition, which included all four books in the series.I usually love a sci-fi book to throw me in the middle of a new world, without any explanations, and let me figure it out. But after a couple hundred pages of the first book of the series, I still felt as if I were missing large parts of the story, parts that the author assumed I knew. I couldn't find a way to connect the future depicted to any imaginable timeline. The pleasure I get from learning about the book's environment though immersion never came, as the pieces just wouldn't fall into place. I probably would have continued reading, except that I also felt as if the characters were complete strangers to me, even halfway through the first book. Perhaps in this case, the e-book format was against me in enjoying this series. But in any case, I just didn't want to devote more time to reading something I wasn't enjoying.
RTG101564 More than 1 year ago
I have read this book several times and I enjoy the entire series. I wish they were available for one of my Nook devices.