This novel is an expanded version of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Stardance novella, which pioneered the concept of zero gravity dance - and even sparked the interest of NASA.
Dancing with the stars: listen to the sequel, Starseed.
©1979 Spider and Jeanne Robinson; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"A major work, not only as entertainment, but as a literary milestone." (Chicago Sun-Times)
I've been a fan of the Callahan Novels, and this isn't them. But oh, boy, is it wonderful.
The publisher's summary is inadequate. This is not just Shara's story, and in fact it goes quite far beyond it. But I shan't spoil it. If you like Spider Robinson, or Robert Heinlein, or indeed well-written sci-fi... this is your book.
This was a wonderful story. Really top notch science fiction.
I must say this however, Spider Robinson is not Robert Heinlein. Spider Robinson is Spider Robinson, and he is akin to the light rock motif within Sci-Fi. He is the Bryan Adams or Celine Dion of this Genre whereas RAH was the Beatles or Rolling Stones or Credence Clearwater Revival or Jimmi Hendrix of the genre. Never the twain shall meet.
With all of that being said this was a really great book. Spider Robinson comes up with a great concept and uses it to the fullest extent in order to put together a brilliantly written novel. Read it and read the sequel. The funny part is that this book was written back in 1979. I was two. But in an alternate future Beta max, which was developed by Sony, beat out the VHS that all us kids in the 80's and 90's grew up watching. But don't worry Spider Sony got its revenge 29 years later because Blu-Ray won the Hi-Def battle. This Anachronism was really humorous to me because it dated the book, but I looked at it like it was an alternate history. Dangit if only Beta max had won we could all be space angels now.
This story was wonderful. It makes the rarely achieved mark of Science Fiction that qualifies as literature. "Stardance" delivers deep spiritual and philosophical view points that inspire self reflection on the state of man without beating you over the head and keeps the story light with humor and cynicism from believable 80's era archetypes that don't hesitate laugh at themselves.
I was skeptical about purchasing a "dance" story. The way Spider Robinson describes the dance sequences, though, is truly breathtaking, and he ties in the political and combative flavors of Sci-Fi that make this a very dynamic listen.
I'm all for nostalgia, but this book was awful. Picture Johnathan Livingston Seagull meets Close Encounters meets River dance, meets Cheech and Chong. All rolled up in a silly tale that reeks of the failed (1965-1975) promise of free love and pot induced euphoric flower power. This might have been good as a novella but it feels stretched thin and full of holes as a stand alone work.
Where Heinlein's books may be dated, they still make you stop and think, this author just makes me giggle.
His reading of his own work was over the top and the voice so character laden that he failed to fade into a role of first person story telling and instead vied for the readers attention like a Greek chorus who steals the show.
I give it two stars for entertainment value, but I don't think it was a laugh that the author was going for.
Spider and Jeanne Robinson's classic Stardance is a novel of discovery. It isn't "space opera", and isn't even "alien contact", though certainly it involves contact with aliens. It's much more about dance and zero-G, than about aliens. I first read this book in the 70's, and I wasn't sure how well it would have stood the test of time, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes it's a bit dated, but still a compelling story, well told and well narrated by Spider Robinson. Usually, authors should not pretend to be narrators, but stick to their writing, but Mr.Robinson does a superb job of narration. All in all, well worth the credit.
I'm an astronomer. Scifi is all I ever read/watch/listen to. (with the occasional epic fantasy here and there, for diversity :)
This story caught NASA's attention? Really? Why, did they laugh out loud in front of the press? It's a pleasant idea, there's no great trauma or suffering in the book and it presents a very optimistic view of our awaiting future. But it's just too perfect, there was no significant effort, or sacrifice, and hence no depth to any of the characters. Carefree people usually grin like idiots and roll their thumbs, they do not come up with deep meaningful thoughts, they do not perform awe-striking deeds that leave you wanting more. That goes for this book too. It's mellow. It's like a children's tale. I only bought this book because it said it caught NASA's attention. I'm sorry now.
This is the second book I tried by Spider Robinson,I will not give him another chance.I heard that his writing style was "like Robert Heinlein" but this HACK should never be compared to Heinlein.
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