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Starman's Quest by Robert Silverberg
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Starman's Quest (edition 2012)

by Robert Silverberg

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515229,653 (3.5)1
Member:jimleask
Title:Starman's Quest
Authors:Robert Silverberg
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012), Paperback, 132 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:ebook

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Starman's Quest by Robert Silverberg

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Review: Starman's Quest by Robert SilverbergWhen you pick up a book written in 1958, especially by a 19-year-old writer, you expect it to be out of date and perhaps even a little weak. But I loved this book. It's short and tight, but masterful as Robert Silverberg always is.I may be biased. Silverberg, without a doubt, is my favorite speculative fiction author (Orson Scott Card is second). But this story resonated with me and it holds up even sixty years after it was written.The story of 18-year-old Alan Donnell, a spacer who serves on his dad's ship, Starman's Quest introduces us to a future Earth very different from our own. When the ship returns to Earth after a journey which passed like months for its crew but equalled nine years on Earth, Alan leaves to search for his missing twin brother Steve. Anxious for adventure, Steve had jumped ship the last time they ported on Earth, and Alan is anxious to see his now 26-year-old brother, forever altered by the differences of time on Earth vs. time in space.It is Alan's first time in an Earther city, and he finds it fascinating. When his spacer outfit and cultural ignorance bring unwanted attention from locals and the Police, he only manages to escape with the help of a gambler named Max. Max seems to be eying his as a protegé, and ends up tutoring Alan in the culture and resources needed to find Steve.After Max and Alan return Steve to their father's ship, Alan decides it's his turn for adventure. Alan has long dreamed of building a faster than light drive based on the drawings of long lost (and ridiculed) scientist and hopes to one day track down his lost diaries and continue his work.Silverberg's work is no doubt aided by his own proximity in age to his main character. Alan's point of view as a teen discovering Earth and its culture for the first time comes off as very authentic, and we experience everything along with him. For science fiction, this is a great way to introduce the futuristic elements unfamiliar to us, and it's amazing how many of those resonate even today as future possibilities well within our imagination.Silverberg comments in a brief note at the beginning that the book is not his best work but will be of interest to those curious about his early career. I think the writing style his fans have experienced in his later works is clearly recognizable here and readers, fans or not, will enjoy the book. It's size makes it a fast read, so it's a good introduction to Silverberg for any who haven't discovered him before.I highly recommend Starman's Quest> and know you'll enjoy it as much as I did. ( )
  BryanThomasS | Nov 7, 2011 |
The novel reads like a collection of short stories. The transfer from the early storyline to the final engineering breakthrough is somewhat non-sequiturish.
  ari.joki | Aug 24, 2010 |
We learn the distinction between and the history of the slower-than-light ‘Lexman Drive’, and the theoretical and as yet undeveloped hyperspacial ‘Cavour Drive’. We learn that Alan has a dream to develop the latter and open up the stars. Yet the bulk of the book is dedicated to the location of his brother and his acquisition of the funds to facilitate development.

Complete review at: The Great Gnome Press Science Fiction Odyssey, and a close-up examination of the book itself.
( )
  raisey | Feb 10, 2010 |
One of the few books I`ve read multiple times - I first met sci fi as a kid and for some reason I always remember this particular book . I`ve ran into it 2x in the 20 years or so since I read it first and had to read it both times. I might have to read it again so I can write up a credible review ( )
  kasualkafe | Feb 21, 2009 |
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27444/27444-h/27444-h.htm

A very early Silverberg novel, and actually a pretty reasonable one.

A boy, part of twins and part of a group of spacefarers is separated from his brother and sets out to track him down.

They both come from the small group of professional space travellers - an isolated community because of the 'Contraction' time effects when travelling an appreciable percentage of the speed of light.

""For transporting perishable goods—such as the dinosaur meat brought back from the colony on Alpha C IV to satisfy the heavy demand for that odd-tasting delicacy on Earth—the Valhalla used the most efficient freezing system of all: a compartment which opened out into the vacuum of space."

Tracking his brother down takes him into the professional gambling dens and more, as well as leading to greater discoveries.

Definitely readable. If you like the flavour of the early Heinlein or Norton books then you will likely enjoy this.

http://freesf.blogspot.com/2008/12/starmans-quest-robert-silverberg.html ( )
  bluetyson | Dec 14, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0696809532, Hardcover)

The complicated problem of time lags and speedups in space travel brings about a conflict between twin brothers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:13 -0400)

The complicated problem of time lags and speedups in space travel brings about a conflict between twin brothers.

(summary from another edition)

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