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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1994 by Spider Robinson and Jeanne Robinson

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

I first read this on the 12th February 2002.

Rand Porter has been offered the job of a lifetime as a resident artist in the orbiting luxury Shimizu Hotel. His brother is already there and he knows they'll work together very well.

There's a problem though: the job is also a lifetime commitment, if he stays there for the duration of the contract, he'll no longer be able to live in Earth's gravity. He desperately wants to go, but his wife, Rhea, is very reluctant to leave her family hometown of Provincetown, Cape Cod.

In space, the Stardancers - benevolent superhuman human-alien symbiotes - continue their good works, slowly improving humanity's lot on Earth.

Some people, very powerful people, loathe the Stardancers and the effect they've had on earth civilisation and progress. They feel that mankind, with its faults unremedied, was better and stronger then than the sheep-like humanity that is developing under Stardancer influence. They're determined that the Stardancer yoke must be thrown off, and mankind freed.

This is the third book in the trilogy of which I believe I've read "Stardancers", however the book can be read quite pleasantly stand-alone.

I wasn't impressed with the (human) telepathy which was introduced simply to solve a plot problem. I was unimpressed with all this dance stuff. I don't hold with the premise that dance should be the most communicable art-form between alien species. I would have thought, if I'd thought about it, that dance being a product of culture and complex physiology, would be one of the less likely forms of communication. The zoning-out offered by trance-dancing surely isn't so important to mental health that a mother would encourage her daughter to join in thrice-weekly sessions. Maybe I just really disliked Rhea, Rand's wife.

The novel is readable and does have some moments of excitement but it's too old-fashioned, wishy-washy, New Age and soft-around the edges for me. However, I am now inspired to read Spider's "Telempath" once more - I first read it more than twenty years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Loaded on the 10th April 2002.
Cover of Starmind
Cover art by Patrick Turner

Reviews of other works by Spider Robinson:
Night Of Power