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The Spheres of Heaven Hardcover – Feb 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; First American Edition - 1st Printing edition (Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671319698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671319694
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,971,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Dawn was breaking on Earth, and it could seldom have been more beautiful. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Charles Sheffield is a mathematician and physicist and has been the past president of both the American Astronautical Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America. He has also been the chief scientist of the Earth Satellite Corporation.
He also writes a dam' fine science fiction opera! A very fine read & something I enjoyed immensely. Science fiction is richer because of Sheffield's talent.
I'm looking forward to his next endeavor with baited breath. His background allows him to bring the concepts of science to light in a new & imaginative way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not very good 27 Jun. 2010
By small review - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book because a friend told me to read it and I felt guilty saying no. As it was, it took me from August 2007 until January 2008 to finish the 532 page book. After September 2007 it was relegated to bathroom book status where I reluctantly read it when there was nothing else to do. I'm happy I finished the book (because it's now over).

The book wasn't bad, but I can't say it was good either. It was easy to read, so there's that. The human characters weren't overly annoying, but they were also barely there. Each character got anywhere from a paragraph to a chapter of description earlier on in the book, but these descriptions were apparently supposed to carry the characters through the whole book because they were barely developed beyond those early blurbs. I didn't think that worked too well, especially since the characters felt like cardboard caricatures as a result.

My friend was enamored with the weird aliens, but they just annoyed me. Three types of aliens are all against violence of any kind, but the fourth, new alien is all for violence. In fact, the fourth type of alien, a lobster type creature, are bent on taking over Earth and the human race. So while the humans are trying to protect themselves, the three allied aliens prattle on about how they must remain non-violent. Blah, blah, blah, they figure things out in a kind of inventive way and there you go.

If someone liked very base sci-fi, then this one might be enjoyable, but otherwise, I'd steer clear and not waste your time.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A little slow to start but well worth the wait 22 Feb. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Imagine being forced to accept a mission to an unknown place, where 3 previous expeditions vanished without a trace and being told you could not use violence in any form, even in self defense. Hard to imagine isn't it.
Sheffield's book takes a little while to set up the story but slowly builds the tension and steps up the pace until finally you are so into the book you suddenly realize you've been reading for hours and didn't notice the time passing. The story involves humans and three other intelligent species and their effort to investigate what is called a "link" to another star system. Who and what they find their is so intriguing that you can't help but pause and consider what YOU would do were you in their shoes and faced with the same situation.
The ending was very obviously written to allow a sequel but also written so that the book can stand on its own. An excellent adventure tale with none of the violence and destruction common to many other sci-fi novels currently on the market. A wonderful change and very fun to read.
I'm going to look into more of Sheffield's books now.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting - ending is set for a sequel 7 Oct. 2013
By Mark Huth - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sheffield has a bunch of interestingly flawed characters as usual, and by working together they manage to form a team that is quite capable. There is a lot of history among the characters, and the book is short, so the back story is mostly just hinted at. Not Sheffield's best, but a fun read, none the less. The science is credible, assuming it is actually possible to jump through hyperspace or whatever.

I get the feeling that this might be the middle book of a trilogy, but haven't been able to confirm or disprove that. We seem to get into the middle of already existing characters.

The alien consortium shuts down human access to the hyperspace links, isolating Sol's system and ruining the plans of several traders. But something strange has happened, and the non-violent aliens decide they need the humans to do some exploring. The strange, recently discovered link leads to the multiverse, and the discovery of another, very nasty alien race. {warning, spoiler follows} - By working together and playing a bit of poker with the new aliens, the lost explorers return to home, while the aliens are diverted to another part of the multiverse, where one of the old heroes awaits rescue. The end.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Spheres fo Heaven 4 Dec. 2001
By JH - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I first ordered Spheres of Heaven, not knowing it was a sequel, and subsequently ordered the first book, The Mind Pool. I was glad I did and was pleasantly re-introduced to science fiction after a long time away from this genre.
The Spheres of Heaven, continues (and evolves) with the adventures of Chan, and introduces a new character, the self effacing mechanical genius, Bony, who is ordered around by an incompetant and lazy captain whom you cannot wish enough bad things upon.
The book bounces back and forth between their two adventures in alternating chapters, forcing the reader at the end of each to want to race through the following chapter to pick up where they left off. This creates a self perpetuating "mad rush" of reading, making this book the quintesential "page turner"!
The supporting characters are well thought out and each is interesting enough to warrent their inclusion. So too, are the aliens. This writer even makes the computers and other technology interesting and vital characters in this book.
I'm back to reading sci-fi again, and I attribute this to the craftmanship apparent in Sheffeild's books.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Chan Dalton's back. 29 July 2001
By "phyed-rautha" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
We're back in the "Mind pool" universe. Humanity's not allowed to enter any Link - the way to the stars, because of it's ability to think of and perform violence - even against sentient beings, a thing that is unthinkable to the STELLAR GROUP.
A lone link is opened for our race, apparentlly it is'nt controled by the aliens, but nothing thet goes through does'nt come back or sends any signals back. The stellar group calls upon the famed Chan Dalton to explore the link, in exchange for the lifting of the quarantine on humanity.
Besides his assembled crew he chances upon a single representative of each of the alien races, and that prohibits the possibility of dealing with whatever they find with any form of violence - even in self defence!
The book reads fast and is as flowing as any Sheffield product, but I must say thet the spirit of "The Mind Pool", with it's striking contrasts between human, tinker-composite, pipe-rilla and sellora's angel, was not reproduced in the same vivid action or dialogues. Still a good read, mind you, but I felt as if the tension thet was built was'nt released in a stisfactory way. I would recommend it read only after "The Mind Pool", for a more exciting introduction to this fascinating aliens and universe.
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