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The Star Dwellers by James Blish

The Star Dwellers (1961)

by James Blish

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Heart Stars (1), Haertel Scholium

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Showing 5 of 5
An exploratory mission from earth clashes with dangerous and mysterious aliens, coming away much worse for the encounter. Who are we going to send to investigate? The Hardy Boys!

The Star Dwellers is a quick read that offers a few interesting ideas and a concept that had the potential for a reasonably intriguing Star Trek-TOS-like first contact scenario, but it doesn't really do much with them. More fantasy-fulfillment-for-scientifically-inclined-adolescent-males than hard science in this one. ( )
  clong | Jun 8, 2016 |
A good tale, rather simple and typical of the period. But the cover is quite odd. ( )
  WLFobe | Dec 5, 2013 |
Not sure what to make of this one. Mostly aimed at the Hardy Boys audience, it lacks a bit of the technical science that I like from Blish, but it still is a decent enough story. Blish always seems to have some point to make about his times, in this one he has quite a rant about the poor education of such impressionable young minds. He advocates, if that is the right word, a crash course education where children are force fed as much information as possible as quickly as possible. This leads to an elite Cadet Corps where a teenager in the program is assigned as an apprentice to an adult member of the government. So, man has developed an interstellar space drive (as usual) and are early in the exploration game, having discovered a few life forms of questionably intelligent life forms, make a big discovery of interstellar life in the Coal Sack nebula. The life forms like living in the space drives on the ships and in nuclear power plants on earth. Anyhow, the point is that a younger person can apply wisdom if they are properly educated and a treaty is signed with these very foreign and abstract life forms, some of which are as old as the universe. A bit open ended though. ( )
  DirtPriest | Jan 8, 2011 |
YA novella about a group of young Space Cadets who intstitue first contact with ancient energy aliens described as a cross between a lightning ball and a shrimp in appearance. A simple satisfying story. ( )
  arthurfrayn | Jul 16, 2008 |
Run of the mill man meets alien fare. A bit soppy. ( )
  Fruitbat_SF | Jan 2, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Blishprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hay, ColinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The sunlight was bright indeed in the Washington office of Daniel Hart, Secretary for Space; but this was one of those days when Jack Loftus found it dreamlike, all the same.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Inhabitants of Terra nicknamed them "Angels"

They were exquisitely beautiful, these shimmering, fiery creatures, highly intelligent and playful. Yet they were awesome, too, considering that the youngest were four million years old, and the oldest had probably participated in the First Cause,which had given birth to the whole universe.

To young space cadet Jack Loftus fell the overwhelming responsibility of negotiating a treaty with them - a treaty which could mean the life or death of earth and mankind.
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