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In the Ocean of Night: Galactic Centre Book 1

In the Ocean of Night: Galactic Centre Book 1 [Kindle Edition]

Gregory Benford
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.15
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Product Description

Product Description

An alien craft appears, exploring the universe, approaching Earth. It is not the first. Nigel Walmsley is ordered to destroy it. But he believes it could hold knowledge that could save a world in which pollution and deprivation rule. Belief becomes obsession as he risks all to stop the ship becoming yet another victim of the authorities' ignorant dread


Set in a world of lunar colonies, cybernetic miracles, fanatic cults, deadly pollution and famine, the first story in the GALACTIC CENTRE CYCLE. This world of social decay is facing hardship, but not far beyond the shores of space comes a mystery, which one man, astronaut Nigel Walmsley is about to touch. From the author of TIMESCAPE.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 503 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0440139996
  • Publisher: Gateway (29 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005K8H0NW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,285 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars start of a great series that went on too long 14 Sep 2011
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
THis inaugurates an extremely ambitious series of scifi novels, which reached six in all. There are many mysterious references that are explained in later volumes, which serve to whet the appetite. Benford maintains a sense of mystery and wonder quite masterfully. In later volumes, it gets deeper and much better.

The plot is that a space pilot, Nigel Walmsley, an iconoclastic Brit. He discovers a remnant of an extremely ancient space vessel, which he disobeys orders to explore. What ensues is a wonderfully enigmatic encounter with an alien intelligence, whose intentions are not clear, though at times it seems menacing. The novel leaves many questions unanswered, in such incidents as a beam of energy that affects the way the Nigel can think, somehow changing the organization of his brain; there is also a signal of a change in the human genome.

The characters are what makes this writing exceptional, even if their sexual predilections (2 f's and one m) are a bit much after a while. Benford is a very good writer, one of the best at hard sci fi, but you do feel at times that he is straining to think up what happens next.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
His first novel is thankfully free of the repetition and indulgences that crept into later novels. It's a reasonably well paced investigative piece of sci fi, though the real storyline does take a while to come out. When wrtitten it wasn't part of any series or cycle of books, that all came latewr with a bunch of sequels. Has a few clumsy turns of phrase and the dialogue is very, very much of the era -- early 70s -- but already you can see him paving the way for later books like Timescape, and his collaborations with Gordon Eklund -- the same fare of ideas shuffled up a bit and re-written for a more mature and discerning audience. This was one of my favourite books of the 70s, the kind of book that will get any new reader interested in sci fi, great to have it out in Kindle, as I lost the original hard-back.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Early Seventies pretentious claptrap 13 Jun 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Or possibly a work of genius. Either way it's about a visit to Earth by an alien ship. The maverick hero is sent to explore it and destroy it. Which he does. A few years later another one arrives. There's something ancient  and mysterious on the moon. There's a new-age religion. And there's a colony of bigfeet. The first hundred pages are a bit dull, enlivened only  slightly by the hero's sexual exploits with his two lady friends. The politics and new age philosophy is all a bit boring and predictable. The storytelling has hints of Heinlein and Arthur C Clark but lacks their skill. Readable but nothing special.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ocean of Details 19 Aug 2012
By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Astronauts discover the remnants of alien technology in Earth's solar system. Soon after this discovery a machine-crewed alien spaceship passes through the solar system and communicates with scientists working for NASA. This machine intelligence gathers a great deal of information about Earth's cultures and technological achievements.

And then it just keeps going, dropping enigmatic references to entire machine civilizations and their conflicts with biological "creatures of essence." As the story continues the protagonists learn more about these alien civilizations and their long-ago visits to Earth. There are some implications for what is likely to happen when they visit again. The outlook is troubling.

I wanted to like this book more than I did because I enjoy the basic ideas in the Galactic Center series, of which this is the first book. My problem was that the book took too long to reveal each interesting new development. I understand the need for character development, but really could have lived without knowing so much about some of the minor characters. However, I do recommend reading the book as necessary background for Across the Sea of Suns.
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