The Resource Bowl of heaven, Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

Bowl of heaven, Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

Label
Bowl of heaven
Title
Bowl of heaven
Statement of responsibility
Gregory Benford and Larry Niven
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by the discovery of an immense bowl-shaped structure in space that leads to hostile alien encounters and profound revelations about humanity's place in the universe
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Review
  • SF doyens Benford (Chiller) and Niven (the Ringworld series) collaborate on a strong SF series launch. Something goes wrong with Earth’s SunSeeker space expedition, leaving the crew without enough fuel or supplies to reach their destination. Just as things get serious, they spot a curious phenomenon in space: an enormous bowl-shaped object, larger than any planet, cupping and half-encircling a star. Its inner surface is oddly Earth-like, and already inhabited. The Bird Folk watch the humans’ every move, trying to decide whether to allow them to colonize or kill them all. Much of the book is written from the point of view of Memor, the Bird Folk representative assigned to study the humans; Benford and Niven helpfully give her a soap opera of primate behavior to observe, as Cliff loves Beth but sleeps with Irma because she’s more convenient, and the various exploration teams bicker over leadership. While hardly groundbreaking, this is a solid work that will appeal to fans of classic hard SF. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed August 6, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 32, p)
  • An exploratory expedition to a star system with a potentially habitable planet discovers a strange structure apparently bound for the same destination. When a landing party attempts to investigate the object, which resembles an enormous bowl built around a star and is large enough to hold a population of millions, they discover that the structure is inhabited—and the natives are not particularly friendly. Part of the landing party become captives and test subjects, while the rest strike out on their own, attempting to rendezvous with their orbiting ship before they, too, are trapped. VERDICT First-time collaborators Niven ("Ringworld" series; coauthor, Beowulf's Children ) and Benford (Timescape ; "Galactic Center" series) have combined their award-winning talents for storytelling to create a series opener that should find a welcome reception from fans of the authors as well as those who love hard science and mental challenges. --Jackie Cassada (Reviewed October 15, 2012) (Library Journal, vol 137, issue 17, p60)
  • The first full-length collaboration from Niven (Fate of Worlds, 2012, etc.) and Benford (The Sunborn, 2005, etc.), featuring a science-fiction trope, the Big Dumb Object--or, as the authors distinguish it, a Big Smart Object since it's dynamically stable, as opposed to passively stable like Niven's BDO, Ringworld. A sublight-speed starship heading for a habitable planet encounters an astonishingly vast structure: a bowl-shaped construct like a Dyson hemisphere, with a habitable interior surface larger in area than millions of Earths. Even more amazing, this Bowl is being steered towards the same destination as the starship, using an entire star as its engine! The starship needs supplies, so a landing party goes down to investigate. While attempting to gain ingress, the explorers become separated. One group, led by biologist Beth Marble, is captured by the structure's alien controllers, taught to communicate and interrogated. The other group, under Beth's partner, biologist Cliff Kammash, escapes into the Bowl's habitable interior, only to be pursued relentlessly by birdlike aliens. We learn from Memor, the chief alien investigator, that the Bowl has been wandering the galaxy for millions of years, capturing and enslaving other intelligent species and incorporating them into the Bowl's complex ecology--and their debate soon narrows into whether to domesticate the humans or simply exterminate them. There's plenty of gosh-wow value in the exploration of the object itself, while the plot develops along conventional lines. Unfortunately, the humans lack personalities, their interactions remain soap-operatic, and the quality of the writing reflects this. The aliens come across as too dimwitted and sluggish for the sophisticated technology they evidently control, although this may be intentional: A sequel, Shipstar, is promised. BDO or BSO, there's nothing wrong with the hardware; it's the wetware that's disappointingly deficient.(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10145215
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1941-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Benford, Gregory
Dewey number
813/.54
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
  • Niven, Larry
  • Davis, Don
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Bowl of heaven
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Quests (Expeditions)
  • Life on other planets
  • Life on other planets
  • Quests (Expeditions)
Label
Bowl of heaven, Gregory Benford and Larry Niven
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • "A Tom Doherty Associates book."
  • Illustrations by Don Davis
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
905468
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
412 pages
Isbn
9780765328410
Lccn
2012019942
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780765328410
  • (OCoLC)779265095
Label
Bowl of heaven, Gregory Benford and Larry Niven
Publication
Note
  • "A Tom Doherty Associates book."
  • Illustrations by Don Davis
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
905468
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
412 pages
Isbn
9780765328410
Lccn
2012019942
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780765328410
  • (OCoLC)779265095

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