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Starplex

Written by: Robert J. Sawyer
Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Twenty years after the discovery of artificial wormholes launches Earth space exploration to unforeseeable heights, Starplex Director Keith Lansing investigates a mysterious vessel that soon threatens the station with intergalactic war.

BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Robert J. Sawyer.

©2002 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"While not perhaps as utterly mind-boggling or stylistically outrageous as some of the A-list classics, [ Starplex] is scrupulously rigorous, exciting, surprising, and emotionally involving. In short, all you could ask for in any SF novel, hard or soft. ( Asimov's Science Fiction)
"Multiple award-winning Canadian author Sawyer offers an epic hard-science space adventure full of technical descriptions of starships and physics tempered by human concerns. In 2094, scientists on the Starplex study the mysterious artificial wormholes that make space travel routine and convenient. Then the wormholes' creators appear, and the scientists must understand and communicate with them to save the galaxy. Highly recommended for sf collections." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Robert J. Sawyer never fails to intrigue

After reading a number of Mr. Sawyer's novels I can state that his imagination is not surpassed by any other author. I love the way he makes us consider how we might respond in these new surroundings he has built for us. #Audible1. His main characters often feel like an average man or woman which has been thrown into extraordinary circumstances. I sometimes wonder if he has already been to the future and is allowing us to glimpse that future.

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Amazing story from the great Robert J. Sawyer

Sawyer beautifully, and logically, lays out the methods for world peace in a fantastic hard science fiction story. This should be required reading for all world leaders.

The voice actor does a great job with voicing the characters in a way that keeps them straight in the listeners mind.

Absolutely worth a read or listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Potter O.
  • 2012-06-01

At least as much science as fiction

If you could sum up Starplex in three words, what would they be?

Very thought provoking

What did you like best about this story?

The inclusion of pretty accurate physics mixed into a good story. The part about how to learn to communicate with a whole different species was worth the price of admission.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

This would never make a decent film. The technical physics would be left out.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jared
  • 2010-01-21

The synopsis is misleading

Slight Spoiler alert!

Not a great book. The story is mostly told in a non-linear fashion, jumping from time to time. The majority of it being told by the main character to a being on an alien ship. The alien ship actually has nothing to do with any conflict in the books universe.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2012-06-23

Tribute to Arthur C. Clarke

I believe this to be a tribute to Clarke by Sawyer. It is written in a similar style to Clarke and Sawyer even mentions one of Clarke's biggest books, Childhood's End. I like all six of the Sawyer books I have read, but if he was trying to write like Clarke, I do not believe he captured Clarke's ability to show the wonder of space. That being said it is still a good book. I believe I am a hard customer to please, but Sawyer has yet to produce something I could give less then four stars to.

There is lots of science in this, especially physics. There is lots of explaining science in this that might turn some people off, but I was not bothered by it. The story includes, Green Stars, Dark Matter, Time Travel, Gateways, Space Biology, Macro Life, a glass man and the word Billions is often used to describe.

A very small part of the book deals with an aging man going through a middle age crisis and how it effects his marriage. Another bigger part is a kind of a "Make Love Not War" theme which I found a little annoying. Bad guys who try to kill you are forgiven and become your buddy. There is also a part of the book where scientist fight a military with makeshift weapons and the scientist come out on top. I found that I little hard to swallow.

If you like this, you will want to read Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. My favorite Sawyer books are Terminal Experiment, Flash Forward and Calculating God. As mentioned before no Sawyer book has disappointed me yet.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • VitualBuyer
  • 2015-11-10

Mental thrill ride

I've read most of Robert J Sawyer's books and this is by far my favorite. What made it so interesting is how the author took very big ideas and weave them into a story. Being a student of many science-fiction books he truly brings up some unique concepts and the added to the mental candy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Torbjørn Pettersen
  • 2015-09-02

One of the best!

Sawyer does what he does best; captivates me from page 1 and never let go for a single paragraph.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cougar
  • 2012-01-01

Great SciFi listen

Without giving away the plot, the book is a little confusing at the outset. However, stick with it and all will become clear. I thought the author could have provided more details regarding his description of futuristic objects and events. I found it difficult to visualize some of the things in the book. However, the shortcoming was more than offset by the imagination of the author and the flow of the action. A good listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • 2011-02-27

Worth it

Took a little while to get going, but then it was worth it. Nice listen.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Just a Guy
  • 2015-02-10

A symphony for the mind

This was truly an incredible book. Starplex was a rare exploration of the Space Opera sub-genre, and as Robert J. Sawyer intended, did not focus on a military plot as the central theme, but rather, a peaceful group of scientists who's mission was to make peaceful contact with other races via a vast network of 'shortcuts' or stargate type devices. Yes, there is certainly space combat and battles, but what makes this book so different is the anchoring in real science fiction roots -- at it's core it's about science, and the extrapolation and exploration of 'what-if' scenarios. It seeks to tease apart answers to current scientific knowledge.

To say this book was riveting was an understatement. I read it in 24 hours, and wished there was a whole series like it. But alas, this book is, and must be, fully self-contained. Starplex plucks the most melodious strings of science fiction, and turns them into a symphony for the mind.

The various races described in the novel were also fascinating, each with distinct cultures and idiosyncrasies. Sawyer is a man with an incredible imagination.

Almost 20 years after publication this book remains singular and utterly engaging.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • TheJerMan
  • 2019-10-06

Science, morality, and a wonderfully clever story.

The scientific explanations are fascinating, the story is multi dimensional, & the inner turmoil that leads to a discovery of one's own moral understandings.

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  • Thomasina Gurule
  • 2019-06-22

Gosh

This is undoubtedly the best time travel book ever! I don’t care if it is from 1996 I can’t imagine a better explanation of the future of our universe. I have loved Robert Sawyer’s every book.