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The Bowl of Heaven by Niven and Benford

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    I ve finished Niven and Benford s Bowl of Heaven. The story starts maybe 100 years in the future when the Sunseeker is launched toward the star named Glory,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2012
      I've finished Niven and Benford's Bowl of Heaven.

      The story starts maybe 100 years in the future when the Sunseeker is
      launched toward the star named Glory, which is 40 light years away. The
      Sunseeker is a Bussard type ramscoop that is expected to get up to about 10% light
      speed.

      Sunseeker is heading to Glory to colonize and also investigate anomalous
      gravity waves.

      Partway thru the voyage Sunseeker comes upon a strange object - a bowl shap
      ed construct partly enclosing a star. The star is making flares that move
      it and presumably its gravitation tugs it along. The bowl roughly like
      Ringworld, about the same size, and rotates so centrifugal force generates
      gravity. The star's flares go thru a hole in the bottom of the bowl.

      The Sunseeker pilots thru the hole in the bottom of the bowl, sends down
      landers and the landers are captured by aliens. Predictably, some humans
      escape and the aliens pursue them. About the only interesting part of the
      story is that the bowl and Sunseeker were heading toward the same star.

      I checked the book out of the library and was glad I hadn't spent anything
      on it. It was disappointing. The plot line was predictable. The
      characters didn't have much in the way of personalities. Their dialogue was
      wooden. There was a lot of just sloppy writing. For example, the Captain of
      the Sunseeker is bemoaning the fact that they haven't heard from Earth since
      they left and a few pages later he goes down to review the latest batch of
      messages from Earth. Some of the aliens have something called an
      Undermind, maybe a Jungian collective unconsciousness, but at that point I didn't
      care.

      On the last page we learn that there will be at least 1 sequel.

      I really expected more from both Niven and Benford, since they are both
      good writers in their own rights, but this collaboration was sloppy and
      disapppointing.



      Chris

      (I reject your reality and substitute my own)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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