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Star Colonies [Mass Market Paperback]

Edward Gorman , John Helfers , Martin Harry Greenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Daw Books (Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886778948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886778941
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,338,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good anthology 7 Mar 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Star Colonies is an anthology of thirteen science-fiction short stories. The theme of this collection is (obviously) human colonies on other worlds. Some deal with human interaction with natives of various forms, some deal with planet-wide superminds, but all are well written and thought provoking. Sadly, unlike many anthologies I have read, this book contains no one story that leaped out at me because to its excellence. But, the stories are all solidly written and enjoyable to read. Overall this is a very good book, and I recommend it to you.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of colonization stories 13 July 2003
By Scott R. Lucado - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When we think of humans exploring and colonizing outer space, each of us has his or her own ideas about what it might be like. This collection of thirteen stories gives some very different perspectives from some top-notch writers.
Some of the entries are better than others, to be sure, but none of them is bad. Even if you find one not to your taste, it's short enough that you don't have to put up with it for very long.
One advantage to this sort of book is that it can give an introduction to a writer with whom you may be unfamiliar--and it's a lot cheaper to buy a collection like this than it is to buy 13 separate novels!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Bland Stories with a Few Gems 16 May 2001
By Randy Stafford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Exploring and colonizing the stars is the theme, a classic science fiction idea. But only a couple of stories here have any chance of becoming classics. Many are bland and mediocre.
Two classic science fiction tales, A.E. van Vogt's "Far Centaurus" and Arthur C. Clarke's "The Sentinel, provide the inspiration for a mediocre story and a bland story. The mediocre one is Robert J. Sawyer's "The Shoulders of Giants" with a starship racing to a frontier already settled by humanity. The bland story is Eric Kotani's "Edgeworld" with its discovery of an alien artifact.
Also on the bland side are Jack Williamson's "Eden Star", with family conflicts played out on a planet with light-worshipping aliens, and Edo van Belkom's "Coming of Age" about colonists who discover that their children are doomed to permanent pre-pubescence. The weakest story, in terms of originality, is the entirely predictable "Full Circle" by Mike Resnick and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Even humor can not save this old plot about futilely trying to get rid of one noxious pest by importing another.
On the marginally interesting edge of the spectrum are Paul Levinson's "The Suspended Fourth", about a planet where birdsong may hold the key to avoiding disasters, and Alan Dean Foster's "The Muffin Migration", another of those stories where colonists rue ignoring the natives' advice about the local fauna. Dana Stabenow's "No Place Like Home" has a few plot holes but its black humor and mean-spiritedness make up for it in a tale weighing the relative values of human life and that of alien bacteria.
Both Allen Steele's "The Boid Hunt" and Tom Piccirilli's "I Am a Graveyard Hated by the Moon" are character centered stories. The Steele tale is a deadly coming of age story and an examination of courage before and during a hunt for alien predators. Piccirilli's mixture of virtual reality, nanotechnology, characters who think they're gods, and landscapes haunting characters doesn't quite work but is an enjoyable story reminiscent of Roger Zelazny.
Peter Ullian's "The Vietnamization of Centauri V" is not a strict retelling of the Vietnam War on an alien world but, rather, how three soldiers are differently affected by the carnage around them to which they sometimes contribute, sometimes balk at. Its plot may not be that original, but it rings psychologically true.
The best stories of the anthology, both very much worth reading and both sharing settings from their authors' novels, are Robert Charles Wilson's "The Dryad's Wedding" and Pamela Sargent's "Dream of Venus". Set on the same planet as the setting for his BIOS, "The Dryad's Wedding" features a woman's whose memories and personality were re-set by a trauma that almost killed her when she was sixteen. Nineteen years later she is set to again marry her old husband. Wandering the planet Isis, with its ecosystem lethal to any one not genetically engineered to live there, she has began to notice some strange things . . . like a mound of talking spiders. Set in the same universe as her trilogy about terraforming Venus, Sargent's "Dream of Venus" is about the conflict between artistic integrity and political realities. Rich, aimless, and young Hassan hopes producing a propagandistic "mind-tour" on the Venus project will be a ladder to the kind of Earth-side job his father wants for him. He's partnered with brilliant Miriam, a poor woman from the North America provinces. She has something different in mind other than a simple celebration of the centuries-long terraforming project.
This collection is worth reading despite the bland and predictable tales. There are enough interesting, if flawed, stories here, and a couple of very good ones, to make it worthwhile.
5.0 out of 5 stars Want To See What Homesteading In The Cosmos Will Be Like? Then Take A Ride With "Star Colonies!" 8 May 2013
By Josh Justin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The writers and editors at DAW Books have pieced together another outstanding anthology! "Star Colonies" takes a look at the not-too-distant future, a future where Humanity has shipped out and set up shop throughout the galaxy. This anthology--like other DAW anthologies--has short stories hopping allover the emotional spectrum.

One of the editors--John Helfers--penned the introduction. I usually am not very moved by what anyone says in an introduction to a book--but not this time! Helfers wrote an inspiring "lift off" for the book, discussing the highs, lows, and dreams of the space program. However, it is his passion and enthusiasm for exploring this idea that really propels the reader into the 13 short stories by some of the best Science-Fiction writers out there.

I enjoyed the stories for many different reasons, but I will place the magnifying glass on my favorites. "Coming of Age" (By Edo van Belkom),"The Vietnamization of Centauri V" (By Peter Ullian), and "The Boid Hunt" (By Allen Steele) were three of the more sobering stories. They dug deep into the tragedies that can happen out there in the galaxy--life can be just as hazardous on different planets as it can be here on Earth. Science-Fiction has always been a beacon of optimism, but reality will always creep in somehow. These three stories exemplified that concept very well.

"The Muffin Migration" (By Alan Dean Foster) was another one of my favorites. Foster has the ability to build new civilizations with the snap of his thumb--he is definitely one of the heavyweights in Science-Fiction! This story is no exception--"The Muffin Migration" reminds us that you when you're guests on a planet, you better listen to the natives. It's their turf, so their insight will always be valid!

"Full Circle" (By Mike Resnick and Kristine Kathryn Rusch) was likely my favorite story. It was funny, the sarcasm appropriate at the right times, and the story reminded me of something we might see in Washington, D.C., with all of the problems politicians bring on themselves! "Full Circle" shows how fixing one problem often leads to a new problem, and another problem, and another after that. Add a funny freighter pilot to the mix--and you have one whopper of a story. Resnick and Rusch did a fine job!

This is not the only DAW short story anthology I have ever read--but it is one of the best! I highly recommend the book to Science-Fiction fans looking to see what life could potentially be like one day--pioneering across the stars!
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good anthology 20 Jan 2013
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Star Colonies is an anthology of thirteen science-fiction short stories. The theme of this collection is (obviously) human colonies on other worlds. Some deal with human interaction with natives of various forms, some deal with planet-wide superminds, but all are well written and thought provoking. Sadly, unlike many anthologies I have read, this book contains no one story that leaped out at me because to its excellence. But, the stories are all solidly written and enjoyable to read. Overall this is a very good book, and I recommend it to you.
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