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The Stars Are Also Fire by Poul Anderson

The Stars Are Also Fire (1994)

by Poul Anderson

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Nicely paced and plotted story with a nicely converged past and present timeline, but like much scifi of this period, it comes to the end trying to resolve metaphysical issues while trying to stay true to it's philosophical materialism and so is ultimately unsatisfying. ( )
  nimrodxi | May 4, 2014 |
Billions and billions of years ago when I first bought and read Harvest of Stars and its sequel The Stars Are Also Fire, I loved those books. I can't remember or imagine why. Before embarking upon a reread I could remember nothing about either book, and that's usually a bad sign--that it didn't make a lasting impression, even though plenty of books--often much shorter and read even longer ago--made a bigger impact.

Usually though, even if I've outgrown a book, I can remember and understand what I once loved in it. Even if I don't remember the book at first, I can get glimmers why. For the life of me I don't get why this book once appealed to me. I didn't connect with the characters and this time around I found the novel tedious, preachy, bloated. With Harvest of Stars I thought it might be the libertarian themes that attracted me--I was a newly minted libertarian back when I first read this and it was fun, even a thrill, to see my beliefs reflected back at me in fiction. Doing a reread of a lot of such books this year, I find few hold up well. It's not that I've changed in my worldview, it's that I have a lot less patience for being preached at even when I agree with the views presented. A liberal friend of mine says if anything she holds books that fit her worldview to a higher standard, because if it fails it's like letting the cause down.

I guess I'm with her in this, but even books of libertarian science fiction by L. Neil Smith, James P. Hogan and J. Neil Schulman I didn't love as much as I once did upon reread were memorable and engaging in ways this one wasn't. It was just soooooooooo slow and after reading a hundred pages, seeing there was still 400 plus pages to go I could only whimper... That makes it quite a bit worse actually than Harvest of Stars, which if it had some of the same flaws, didn't make me so impatient to be done. I should add, I still found The High Crusade a blast, and am enjoying my reread so far of Three Hearts and Three Lions. So it's not that I wouldn't recommend Poul Anderson--just not this one. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jul 20, 2013 |
A gripping and nuanced exploration of humanity's long-term options. Anderson convincingly shows how human imagination and dogged stubbornness eventually knock down the most daunting obstacles. Along with "Harvest of Stars," this is a must-read for anyone interested in technology and politics. ( )
  KevinCudby | May 28, 2013 |
Related to Harvest of Stars
  acherm | Jun 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812530225, Mass Market Paperback)

Larry Niven called Harvest of Stars "a masterpiece."

Now Poul Anderson returns to the same brilliantly conceived future to tell a story of revolution and liberation on the Moon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

On the moon, a war of independence breaks out against the artificial intelligence ruling it. The revolutionaries are Lunarians, genetically altered descendants of human colonists. They are helped in their struggle by two humans--Aleka Kame and Ian Kenmuir--the protagonists of the tale. By the author of Harvest of Stars.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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