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on 15 August 2005
Be aware that this isn't really a Larry Niven book - it's Brenda Cooper's work, supported by Niven. As such, it lacks the big hard science we've come to expect from Niven science fiction. What science and astronomy there is is offered rather nervously, and is poorly worked out. Those who see Niven as first-credited author and so expect vintage Niven SF will therefore be disappointed.
That said, this is a good story, driven by rounded, believable characters who are trapped in a very plausible conflict.
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on 14 July 2005
"Everybody" knows who Larry Niven is, but Brenda Cooper?
Who cares, this is a really good story, strong characters, great technologies.
A group of professionals leaving an AI/nanotechnology overrun Earth in a huge slower than light starship the John Glenn. The first of three heading for a planet Ymir. But the John Glenn has a design flaw and is nearly destroyed. It signals the problem back to Earth and then has to find a stellar system to divert to to make repairs and refuel.
The subsequenty story is about the task of surviving and building the resources/equipment to get the John Glenn to Ymri, but there is human conflict. To give more detail would spoil it.
Read it! One of the key perceptions of a good book for me is, do I want to read more. And I do! What happens next? I must know!
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on 25 August 2008
I bought this as it had Lary Niven's name on the cover, but turned out to be Brenda Cooper's first book. She had obtained Niven's help to improve and audit her ideas.
Fortunately though it is an excellant read and you quickly come to care about the lead character and her situation.

As other have said it is a story about a shipwreck and the desperate attemps of the survivirs to achieve their escape from a barren system with no inhabitable planets and go on to where they intended to go. This is one of three ships fleeing an earth destroyed by artificial intelligence and nanites (gey-goo)To do this they use cold sleep to extend their lives(They are fully rejuvenated by nanites each time they use cold sleep) and live in shifts to create a habitable planet for their children to live and work on. the children and their children are to build the machinery to replace the fuel needed to reach their destination. As the ship is full the children are to be left behind so are brought up as virtual slaves to the apparent Gods who are their parents. They deliberately keep their distance and are not affectionate and loving as they know the children will die after they leave as the moon they create cannot exist for more than a century or so without technological maintenance. They are constantly concerned to control technological use as it could lead to the same consequeces as happened to earth.
The book follows one of the children who is the principal character in how the scheme progresses.
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on 6 April 2008
I had great hopes for this book but it turned out to be about a spaceship lost with elements of a desert island but most time taken up in the master / slave relationtionships.

The idea of building a world by crashing moonlets together is original, but the timescale (60,000 years) meant that most crew spent the time 'on ice' - which left me cold. They could have hollowed out the moons much faster.

However, the reason that the ship left Earth (out of control AIs, Cyborgs, etc) I found very interesting. If ever they write a PREQUEL I will gladly read it.
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on 9 August 2011
A mission to a new colony world goes wrong, and the crew decided to have children to develope a new (short lived) world in a remote star system to develop the resource to manufacure more fuel.Then to abandon the kids when they leave and the planet falls apart

Some how i cant belive any one could actually do that

Still a nice story, bu the ending is predictable

Deserves a sequel
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on 25 August 2014
I liked it
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on 7 October 2015
No comment
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