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Arcturus Landing Mass Market Paperback – 1978

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books (1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441028934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441028931
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,189,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on October 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This out-of-print chestnut from the golden age of SF is an enjoyable story if you happen to come across it in a library or used book store. But on the other hand there's no need to search too hard, because Gordon Dickson did better in his books that are still in print. This one is a fairly typical future/outer space action yarn about the human race's quest to invent a faster-than-light device, without which the planet will continue to be quarantined by a federation of much more advanced aliens. However, the heroic inventor and his stereotypical sidekicks run into sabotage and obstructionism from a powerful corporation that has a stake in keeping the human race isolated and primitive. That's the one unique aspect of this otherwise typical novel, as Dickson explores themes of power, knowledge, and control. His future technologies and the personalities of his alien races are also engagingly creative. But unfortunately the novel doesn't try too hard to break out of the pattern of action and suspense that was typical for SF at the time, and the story wraps up too quickly for the important themes to be explored in any real insightful way. [~doomsdayer520~]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Brooks VINE VOICE on September 4, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Arcturus Landing by Gordon R. Dickson

This is not a very entertaining SF novel. In fact this reader found it uninteresting and, well, bloated. What I mean precisely is extended passages of dialog, meaningless plot convolutions and logical and scientific inconsistencies. Most discouraging is that the author, Gordon R. Dickson (1923-2001) has written much better over his long career.

The story of Earth being quarantined by the Galactic Federation until humanity can developed a FTL space drive is just lame as a story idea in my estimation. Perhaps Dickson intended this as a social satire but I'm not buying that either.

My readers antenna should have gone up when I read that "Arcturus Landing"(1978) had been previously published as "Aliens from Arcturus"(1956) as part of an Ace Double novel. Well, not only had it been previously published but it has been expanded from 160 pages to 213 pages. I cannot comment on"Aliens from Arcturus" not having read it, but it is apparent to this reviewer that the extra pages added little to the entertainment value of the story.

I usually enjoy Dickson's SF novels but this is not one of them - not recommended unless, of course, you are reading all of Dickson's works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 18, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with the customer who said that Arcturus Landing is not Dickson's best, but it wasn't the worst book I've read recently either.

The concept was good. Humanity makes contact with an advanced alien civilization, only to be told it is not ready to join the Federation yet, and must prove its readiness by achieving faster-than-light travel capability. In addition, the aliens have imposed a time limit, and if humanity fails to achieve an FTL drive within that time limit, the aliens will break contact completely and let Earth fall back into isolation and economic collapse.

The problem with this book is that the characters are much too thinly constructed and stereotypical (and in some cases so outlandish as to be caricatures, such as the protagonists' completely unbelievable alien friend Peep). The events and dialogue are childish and implausible, and nothing is ever explained to great detail (the few explanations are awkward), leaving you with the feeling that this was Dickson's freshman effort. I don't know if it was.

Still, Arcturus Landing is mercifully short, has plenty of action, and kept me mildly entertained for a few hours.
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