The Dark beyond the Stars

3.57
For two thousand years, the starship Astron has searched the galaxy for alien life -- without success. Now, just as the ship is falling apart, the only direction left to explore is across the Dark, a one-hundred-generation journey through empty space.

The ship 's captain -- immortal, obsessed -- refuses to abandon the quest. He will cross the Dark, or destroy the ship trying.

Only Sparrow, a young crewman uncertain of his own past, can stand against the captain, and against the lure and challenge of the dark beyond the stars ...
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Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published March 15th 1992 by Tor Books (first published 1991
Original Title of the Book
The Dark Beyond the Stars
Number of Pages
416

Community Reviews

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gave it

Sab told me she was reading a ook where this guy wakes up with amnesia and starts having lots of gay sex in space.

There 's a lot of casual, same sex fooling around, but it 's in a culture where " gay " does n't have any meaning and sex has no taboos attached, so there 's no feelin of tension.

gave it

And not all of them involve him.By this point the ship has been on a journe of two thousand years and has not been successful at finding any sort of life, leading the crew ( who unlike the Captain, are n't immortal) to wonder if there is any life in the universe at all besides themselves.

Sparrow begins to think he was involved in it somehow but the depths of the " how " of it are where the book finds its strength.Giving Sparrow a variation of amnesia right off the bat manages to make the ook work on several levels, as we 're forced to experience the ship with his new eyes, learning the culture that has come about during the oyage, the little understandings and quirks that start to develop when people are free of influences they used to have and start to make up their own.

Watching the ship go through their own sustained rituals over the course of the book, the clockwork routines and the variations of our old understandings gives the ook a feel not unlike that of Peake 's fantasy classic " Gormenghast ", as all the main protagonists and side characters flit their way through a crumbling ship ( Thrush makes a good analogue for Steerpike, albeit not as lethal), locked into a closed system that depends on everyone doing their jobs exactly as they always have been, right at the point where things are starting to go off the rails.

not that I want everybod to talk like " A Clockwork Orange ") only prove how much detail Robinson has put into the novels, not only giving us a fairly functioning if constantly running down starcraft, but also a logical view of how people might feel that their two thousand year mission into futility might be a waste of their time.

Its a nice change from the usual SF trope that insists life must be out there somewhere and easily found, and as much as the Captain insists hey guys, its out there, all the crew knows is that they 're staring at a dark expanse of space that sure does n't seem like it might have company.I 'm not sure the climax has the impact it should but given all the clues we were dangled in the pages prior it all holds together and manages to wrap up on a satisfying note, giving us the rare actual saga that does n't need to be five thousand pages long.

gave it

I definitely recommend this! Second Read: I knew where the nove was going, so I did n't get any of the benefits this time around, but I still enjoyed it a lot:)

gave it

The essa was also incredibly inclusive, especially for being written in 1991.Also I 'm now thinking about belief in a whole new way, and the overall adventure and mystery of this ook was superb.

gave it

Like Star Trek, Robinson commits the error of picturing it as having an " edge " with lots of starts on one side and a black void beyond.Oh, and they recycle bodies to recapture " trace elements " and " mass ", yet they land on barren planets with sulfur and iron.

gave it

I find bizarre aliens and physics much more intriguin in their own right than case studies in how people come to ter with " The Big Questions ".

None of motivations or actions of any of the characters felt forced.I also really liked that the answer of whether or not the crew actually encountered alien life was left open ( mostly!).

gave it

And there 's a whole lot of gay/bi-sexuality going on and none of the characters thought it was anything unusual.

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