This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Bright Morning Star by Simon Morden

Bright Morning Star (original 2019; edition 2019)

by Simon Morden (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
Title:Bright Morning Star
Authors:Simon Morden (Author)
Info:NewCon Press
Collections:ebooks, Working on
Tags:Fic, SF, !ER, __make_cover, _import191016

Work details

Bright Morning Star by Simon Morden (2019)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

English (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (2)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There’s good storytelling here and I can see this one on Netflix as a movie. (I’ll just throw the idea over there to pick up.)

This is the most interesting story of first contact I read in a while.
A Probe of unknown origin is sent to planet Earth with a very complex but straightforward mission: survey, collect and report. According to its limited data, presents itself to the reader as a tourist simply taking photos of things and places of interest, storing them and sending them home for everyone to remember. To him, everything is alien, whether its an organism or fabricated. Addresses us using the pronoun you and its aware enough to say I. Honestly, it was the best and most relatable approach and keeps paying off throughout the book.

Unfortunately, it lands in the middle of a warzone, facing situations out of his control and out of his purpose. Its functions are highly adaptable but the goal is one and one only, and that’s what makes the whole plot interesting. Everything it does is with the purpose of exploration even if it looks or sounds cold and uncivilized. It acts and sees the world akin to what we think of a genius level child.

It may be a tale of discovery but its also a Coming of Age story of a Robot.

While witnessing and experiencing the worst and the best of humanity, he’s forced to improvise towards our behavior and the reader can expect it to be as analytical as possible, but also as simple and fluid to understand. It uses some technical language and when it comes to observing living organism interactions, he unashamedly uses Darwinian language, mainly dominance. Because on an evolutionary level that’s what we do all the time: whether we try to win an argument or simply smile, its an unconscious game.

The scale of the story slowly increases to the point of Game Theory and the nuances of geopolitics, and I feel this is important to add. Simon Morden loves to keep the reader guessing, and to those more familiar with sci fi and real space science, you’ll keep guessing about where these events stand on the Fermi Paradox, but also uses real and actual events to portray a very plausible reaction to first contact in a cultural and political sense.

I think the best way to enjoy this novel is to not read too much before hand. I feel the synopsis is perfect. At least worked for me. However, I feel like some things must be put out there because as a reader I also like to know where I should embrace, forgive or keep distance.
That said, while I always avoid spoilers, I’m going to give some fair criticisms (probably too strong of a word) that might tell a tidy bit too much:

- Its clear it happens in present day or at least a very near future and has reference to current controversial and real situations like Fake News, Government secrets, war climate and even certain politicians everyone talks about. There’s even a couple jabs about “owning someone (women)” that the Robot doesn’t understand.

- Its not necessarily preachy and keeps up with the logic of the Robot so to speak, however, I still see the views of the author (or maybe the mainstream world?) in there. The moral of the Robot seems to get more and more partisan, and not just in a survivalist/explorer sense, but the author seemed fit to name some personalities and situations but leave some of the Robot’s most immediate (world building) interactions unnamed and vague. It looks like a mix of “I’ll take an opportunity to criticize this guy” with “I’m avoiding going specific here not to create a ruckus”. I feel like it should get personal in all aspects, specially when its established many things are the same as the reader’s real world.


Its a plausible First Contact tale mixing well the (violently) cautious and (naive) good nurtured nature of humans.
The book is bloody and shocking enough. Portrays violence in a gory enough way. It shows war and body language in a very consistent manner, getting to the right amount of politics. I found the text fluid and sometimes humorous, reminding me of a few AI movies. Uses technical terms but nothing that makes you think too much.
It keeps you very entertained though, not only because of the idea it portrays but how slowly but surely the events unfold to bigger ones. A bigger scope with bigger consequences. Its like watching a child learn, grow and having a bigger impact on the community.

Morden takes advantage to mention a few of the pros and cons of our current technology, although leaving the sentence to the ones wielding it.

The only issue I had was it came to a point where I felt some specific details were being left out while others blatantly were not, (9th paragraph) but for the sake of what? Why was that? There was no reason for the Robot or organisms it interacted with to ignore it. It almost felt like there was a “He Who Must Not Be Named” in the room, at times. I can see and empathize why some points might become controversial once it started naming them, but it still felt selectively cautious.

Regardless, I give this book a solid 4 starts. I did love this tale and it read like drinking water.
Recommending it to sci-fi fans, maybe specifically fans of First Contact and ET movie. If you looking for a real life approach (not Hard Science though) to modern human reaction to aliens, I’d point you to this one. ( )
1 vote Igor_Veloso | Oct 17, 2019 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Simon Morden's book Bright Morning Star is currently available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: No ratings.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 138,918,041 books! | Top bar: Always visible