Summary and book reviews of Starfarers by Poul Anderson

Starfarers

By Poul Anderson

Starfarers
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Nov 1998,
    383 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 1999,
    512 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Poul Anderson, one of science fiction's most treasured visionaries, returns with a new masterpiece. Starfarers is the story of an expedition into the far reaches of the galaxy, where answers to mankind's greatest questions await.

The saga begins when evidence of an advanced civilization is discovered by SETI astronomers. "Trails" observed in the sky are thought to be from starships traveling at the speed of light, an enigma that spurs scientific minds until this breakthrough is achieved by mankind as well. An expedition is then mounted and an eclectic team of scientists chosen to journey into the sector where the intelligent life is allegedly located. But because the destination of the starship, Envoy, and her crew is 60,000 light-years away, the time required to reach the point of origin of the signals and return is 120,000 years--longer than Homo sapiens has been on Earth. And though the crew is ready to face the ramifications of such a trek, no one is prepared for what awaits them at the outer edge of the cosmos--or back at the planet they once called home.

Starfarers is a story of patience and immediacy, but most of all of courage. It is a saga for anyone who has ever felt the emptiness of life on Earth and found the missing substance in the spaces between the stars. Poul Anderson's latest is the story of those who see the future in a clear night's sky and are ready to journey into it armed with both insight and passion.

Excerpt
Starfarers

"Look yonder." The man pointed northeast and aloft. "That very bright star in the Milky Way Do you know it?"

"Yes," answered his son. 'Alpha Centauri. The nearest to us. it's two, really, and a third that is dim."

Don Lucas Nansen Ochoa nodded, pleased. Juan was barely past his seventh birthday "Now look up from it, a little to your right. That other brilliant one is Beta Centauri."

"Is it close, too?"

"No, it's far off Almost seventy times as far, I have read. But it shines thousands of times as bright as our sun. Most of those we see are giants. Else our eyes could not find them across their distances."

Man and boy sat their horses for a while in silence. They had drawn rein after leaving well behind them the house and its outbuildings, walled off by a cedar grove. The autumn air rested cool, still, and altogether clear. They had light enough without a moon, stars crowding heaven, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
San Francisco Chronicle.

For readers who miss the kind of fast-paced, idea-rich science fiction that Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke produced at the height of their powers, this is just the ticket.

The Washington Post

Anderson, far more than many new science fiction writers, takes the trouble to envision a genuinely strange, complex future for mankind.

Author Blurb Stephen R Donaldson
Anderson has produced more milestones in contemporary science fiction and fantasy than any one man is entitled to; but he writes with such integrity and imagination that it's impossible to begrudge him either the esteem of his readers or the admiration of his peers.

Reader Reviews
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Starfarers, try these:

  • 3001 jacket

    3001

    by Arthur C. Clarke

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind - and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again

  • Darwin's Children jacket

    Darwin's Children

    by Greg Bear

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    The chilling portrait of humankind on the threshold of a radical leap in evolution continues in this provocative tale where "survival of the fittest" takes on astonishing and controversial new dimensions.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  115Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson
  2.  20The Arsonist:
    Sue Miller

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.