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Looking for Big Dumb Object books

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Showing 1-21 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jun 2011 23:24:17 BDT
D. Reuben says:
Can anyone suggest any books that have Big Dumb Objects as a main or side part of the story?

The kind of books that I've read are,
Ringworld series
Marrow series
Pandora's star (commonwealth universe series)
Eon series

Would like something on a grand epic scale, story and object.


Posted on 30 Jun 2011 00:52:56 BDT
Anita says:
The Gamestar Wars by William R. Forstchen:
The Alexandrian Ring (another version of Ringworld)
The Assassin Gambit (a 'needle' building)
The Napoleon Wager (a Dyson sphere, kind of)

Also you can try The Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys

I'm sure there are much more, I'll tell you, if something comes to mind

Posted on 30 Jun 2011 10:07:57 BDT
Jon Gritton says:
If you've read Pandora's Star, have you not read the Night's Dawn trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn Trilogy), The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn Trilogy), The Naked God (Night's Dawn Trilogy)) also by Peter F Hamilton? That's a pretty big epic.


Posted on 30 Jun 2011 17:07:31 BDT
Paul Tapner says:
Orbitsville: Orbitsville Book 1 (Gollancz SF collector's edition)

Which has two sequels:
Orbitsville Departure

Orbitsville Judgement

Posted on 30 Jun 2011 17:32:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jul 2011 08:28:21 BDT
Norm Deplume says:
The Heritage Universe by Charles Sheffield is all about BDOs.

Summertide: The Heritage Universe, Book 1 (Unabridged)
Divergence (The Heritage Universe, Book 2)
Transcendence (The Heritage Universe, Book 3)
Convergence (Book4 - I could not find a link)
Transvergence (Heritage Universe)

EDIT: See Anita's post below!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2011 18:54:06 BDT
Anita says:
I strongly second The Heritage Universe!
But your list is a little bit incorrect.
Books 1 and 2 - right, Summertide and Divergence.

Book 3 Transcendence
Book 4 Convergence
Yes, you put that right, but the two books are available in one volume you put as a 5th book:
Transvergence (Heritage Universe)
However book 5 is this:
Resurgence (Heritage Universe)

Posted on 30 Jun 2011 19:31:27 BDT
D. Reuben says:
Thanks guys.

Some really interesting ones that should keep me occupied.

Posted on 30 Jun 2011 21:17:42 BDT
Paul Tapner says:

The Wanderer

Posted on 30 Jun 2011 22:29:08 BDT
Garscadden says:
Banks tends to have them a plenty, but Matter especially.

Posted on 1 Jul 2011 01:31:25 BDT
P says:
I'd wondered about Iain M., myself, and *still* saw your post as a political comment on the financial sector - and a rather good one.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2011 08:34:23 BDT
Norm Deplume says:

Thanks for the correction. I have a vague memory of seeing the omnibus edition when it first appeared and almost buying it but noticing just in time that it was a reprint. That made a change - my usual trick was buying a renamed British edition after reading the American one a year or two earlier.

Posted on 1 Jul 2011 09:37:50 BDT
Jon Gritton says:
I think (one) of the stories in which Banks' comes closest to using a BDO is Excession. A highly featured 'character' being a huuuuuge ship. Not sure it counts as 'dumb' though :). It's a good story, nonetheless, and has a great ending.


Posted on 1 Jul 2011 10:01:17 BDT
both Troika and Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds fit this critera, both are slightly Rama inspired,

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2011 10:09:43 BDT
Garscadden says:
Excession was my first thought, but the object is precisely not dumb :)

Posted on 1 Jul 2011 10:30:39 BDT
Hmm, exceedingly big, and for many in the book it was objectionable, but not necessarily dumb The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle.

Posted on 25 Jul 2011 17:09:03 BDT
Philip Chen says:
Does a mysterious, but mute, object that was accidentally discovered in 1967 buried deep in the ocean with only the tip of the object showing count? The tip of the apparent ovoid object measured about the size of an American football field.

You might want to take a look at my science fiction thriller that is currently, number 37 in Science Fiction > High Tech (Number 39 in Books >>> Science Fiction > High Tech) in the States.

This very realistic science fiction, high tech thriller is about the accidental discovery in 1967 of mysterious, but mute, objects buried deep in the ocean. In 1993, they woke up and started sending signals to deep space. Mike, pulled out of his opulent office high above Wall Street to finish a job he started as a young ensign over twenty years ago, is attacked by gangs of what look like ordinary Americans. On top of all this, he learns that a revered friend has died. Will the death of Mike's friend mean that the secret of the objects will remain forever buried on the deep ocean floor?

A reader's comment:

"This is a great technothriller with a science fiction edge. The oceanic science in this is first rate and even though I felt like I came to the book with a better than average understanding of ocean science, Chen weaved in so much information that I felt like I was learning about the deep ocean environment even as I was swept along in a page-turning plot. Some of the science/naval aspects, combined with the Cold War setting, reminded me of the best of classic Tom Clancy, but it quickly becomes clear that is not simply a Russian submarine lurking under the water.

"There is an interesting mix of characters, including a Chinese man who faces occasional hostility from both white and Asian directions, but this is primarily an idea story, of the kind that sold millions of science fiction and technothrillers, but aren't as much in fashion nowadays. If you like a solid story with a great science edge, Falling Star is a great read, and at the time of this review, at a fantastic bargain price."

This novel is so realistic that it often leaves readers wondering, "if this story might not be fiction at all, but something very real and very disturbing." Noted US book critic Alan Caruba says, "If you read just one novel in 2011, make it Falling Star."

Only one man can save the planet, but he just died.

44 Five or Four Star reviews on Amazon UK and US. 98,250+ words. 354 pages. Still only £0.86 for the Kindle edition

Falling Star | Print

Posted on 9 May 2012 18:08:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 May 2012 18:19:35 BDT
Quornhog says:
"Nightwatch" by Andrew M Stephenson (

Incidentally, the term "Big Dumb Object" appears to have been superseded by "Macrostructure": see (which should provide some more reading suggestions).

Posted on 9 May 2012 22:10:07 BDT
Try Bill Napier's books...can't say what the first one is, but they are all stand alone as far as I know.

But I have to love books that stretch my mind because they are written by an astro-physicist. Looked at the last word and still not sure I've spelt it correctly...perhaps I need to stretch my mind further!!

Posted on 9 May 2012 23:20:28 BDT
A. Bertelsen says:
Frederik Pohl's "Gateway". Great classic from the golden age of SF.

Posted on 10 May 2012 09:23:14 BDT
Ken O'Neill says:
Aside from "Ringworm" (very old SF fan joke) and Rama, if you can find them Colin Kapp's "Cageworld" series, which turns this solar system into 10 concentric Dyson spheres (remember the asteroid belt to get 10), with the planets retained as orbitting bodies cages in the Dyson spheres (which explains the series name without spoiling).

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2015 19:30:18 BDT
Lone Wolf says:
When you say "Dumb" do you mean, lacking in speach.?
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Initial post:  29 Jun 2011
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