I have enjoyed Niven's previous literary works (and concepts) and can appreciate his vision of concept and ideals being written throughout this one story. I am unfortunately unfamiliar with any of Benford's style of writing to make any sort of comment outside of comparisons in writing style with what is Niven's. (anything that isn't what I am already familiar with).
It doesn't always make a fair assessment of a writer's talent.
The story I found interesting if not familiar in concept to the Ringworld series, yet Bendford tends to add an element of morality and lessons dictated through the psychology of his characters (the aliens) in contrast to what we already know of "man".
"Maintaining the status quo" and how mankind (beings limited by time) then interacts with such an ideal.
Not a must read but interesting none the less if only for the imagery it portrays through the use of just the right words. They lead if not forcefully, then directly down a certain imagining of what they are trying to create as writers; the image in your mind of the world, creatures and people. An enjoyable read if only on the basis of literary talent between these two writers. Sometimes its not the story but how well it is told...
I am, hmmm, 'tentatively' waiting for the second in the series, if only for the curiosity created by the first.
fun old school sci-fi although it was very hard to actually envision the size of the bowl that they found in space.
awesome old school science fiction. great plot and characters
Abrupt ending and somewhat disjointed writing make for an underwhelming book from two "masters of SF". I haven't read much of Benford's work but I love Niven's earlier works, which makes this particularly disappointing...
I am upset with how this book ended so suddenly with no real segway into the sequel, but overall, fairly well written, intriguing, and thought provoking.
Formulaic, uninspired, and worst of all, part one of a series. I hold a grudge against every SF author who contributed a glowing blurb for the cover. This is a stinker.
I was truly disappointed in this book. Benford is better than this! The book is really about a half-book, meant simply to sell others in as series. In order to stretch this short story out into a book, Benford uses long, boring, and unintelligible soliliqys into the thoughts of the principal elien character. Not really "bad" reading, but I wouldn't pay for it!
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