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Starbound (Marsbound Novel) [Mass Market Paperback]

Joe Haldeman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 4.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (28 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044101979X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441019793
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 709,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Haldeman was born in Oklahoma in 1943 and studied physics and astronomy before serving as a combat engineer in Vietnam, where he was severely wounded and won a Purple Heart. The Forever War was his first SF novel and it won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, a feat which The Forever Peace repeated. He is also the author of, among others, Mindbridge, All My Sins Remembered, Worlds, Worlds Apart and Worlds Enough and Time.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Haldeman never faileth. 3 May 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The greatest living writer of "real" sf has done it again. A fascinating story of human beings in extraordinary circumstances.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Starsend ? 19 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave 3 stars and in retrospect feel this may be overgenerous . The book is not in the same league as "The Forever Wars " saga but in all fairness that would be difficult to exceed . The plot in "Starbound " is somewhat thin as are the characters , if this is a first in series , I wouldn't feel that I would buy the follow ups .
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4.0 out of 5 stars good read - interesting ending 6 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
found the start of the book very slow with lots of interpersonal discussion ... however later in the book these became essential for what happens next and the science fiction starts to get very interesting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't do it for me... 19 Mar 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
While a big fan of Haldeman, this one was just too much (or too little) for me. Actually quite boring and a very disapointing ending for having to endure so little action. The multi first person narrative left me guessing who was speaking and along with the gender-less names and anything-goes sexual relations I was completely confused by the characters. I've never worked so hard to figure out who was doing what to whom and in the end it didn't really seem to matter. Somewhere buried in there was a decent short story but I fear that there is a "Galaxybound" in the works.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocrebound 21 Aug 2010
By James Tepper - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Starbound", the sequel to the most excellent "Marsbound" is actually the second in a planned trilogy according to author Joe Haldeman. The final book in the series will be called "Earthbound" and is due out next year some time (see interview with JH at [...]

Regardless, whereas Marsbound, written from the perspective of a spunky, sparky, horny and clever young woman, Carmen Dula, who is forced to accompany her family to Mars was sharp, interesting, funny (Carmen's dialogue mostly), fast-paced and great SF, this sequel is dull, listless and just sort of slogs along. Carmen is back but does not even remotely resemble the Carmen of Marsbound, even though only a few years have passed. This time she, husband Paul and a handful of others, including a couple of Martians are on their way at subliminal speeds to the home world of the über-advanced "Others" who almost destroyed the all of mankind in Marsbound to try and make peace or die trying.

The story is all told in first person, and in many cases it is difficult to tell for several paragraphs or pages who is narrating. I found this disconcerting. The story is also boring - basically 7 humans plus two four legged, four armed Mr. Potato Head-horse hybrids stuck in a tin can for 6 years. Nothing of note happens, no great discoveries, some psychological problems but....

The meeting with the Others is anticlimactic and problematic from a plotting point of view. Without giving anything crucial away, I had a problem with just exactly how a race of super-advanced but ultra-slow moving and thinking life forms could possibly respond to events on a human time scale. We are just way, way too fast even for their thought processes so how could they possibly respond to things that happen over the course of a few years, let along near instantaneously? Just didn't make sense.

The ending was very abrupt and also didn't make much sense from a physics point of view, but of course it was intended to pave the way for the last in the trilogy I suppose.

I am a huge fan of Joe Haldeman and this is the first of his novels that I didn't think was great. Certainly do not read this one without first reading Marsbound - this one is not stand-alone - and don't read this as your introduction to the great SF of Joe Haldeman. Try "The Accidental Time Machine" instead. Perhaps the final entry in the series will pull everything together. I sure hope so.

JM Tepper
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow pace, poor ending 22 Feb 2010
By R. Terrell - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This sequel to Marsbound introduces some new characters and the point of view alternates between characters throughout the book. However, I didn't find the new characters, or their POVs, to be especially engaging. I also thought the pace of this story was quite slow, and the ending was totally unsatisfying.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earthbound 9 Feb 2010
By Baslim the Beggar - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well, that is what I expect the title of a third book to be. This is a pretty good science fiction book, maybe even a great one, but I was crushed by the ending. Not that the ending is illogical or something that would be totally unexpected. But prospects look bleak.

As for everything else in the story, it is pretty darn good. There is a new character who is quite interesting, plus there are a couple of "Martians". There is high tension (Is this mission doomed? Are we going to screw up and get humanity blown away, or have they done it already?) Spaceships, new worlds, aliens, Oh My! Seriously good science fiction.

<later edit: I have snipped out a comment about varying the acceleration when getting close to lightspeed. That took longer than I expected, so I removed the comment. My revision was prompted by a comment. (Thanks))>

Something not mentioned in the book is the sudden lack of tides and its effect. The gravitation effect of a circumscribing sphere of dust is definitely not the same as a large moon. That's a major quibble.

I feel that technical things like that Haldeman could have sorted out by talking with folks at MIT where he teaches.

BTW the effect of the onset of 1g flight on the Martians was slightly amusing, but seemed plausible, given what we already knew of their method of um, waste disposal.

Unlike another reviewer, I had little troublee figuring out who was narrating each chapter. The voices were sufficiently different to figure out within a paragraph.

I wonder if Haldeman deliberately makes the Others act like Moonboy's foster father -- extreme punishments are us. Perhaps someone will come to help us, too.

It is a great story, I had the feeling early on that this could be another Hugo winner. I just hope a third volume will relieve the situation.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC SF LIVES! 14 Jan 2010
By Julia Sullivan - Published on
Joe Haldeman's in vintage form once again with this novel of far-space travel. The second in a trilogy (following 2008's MARSBOUND) that traces the interactions of humans and Martians (trust Joe, it really does make sense) with mysterious, super-high-tech alien beings called the Others.

As usual with a Haldeman book, there's a lot of fun world-building and cool imaginary machines. The characterization is also strong, and a diary/ship's log structure helps convey different points of view from the motley interstellar crew.

All in all, a delightful adventure and a page-turner that's old-school but not stuffy. Looking forward to book 3!
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