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Leaping To The Stars: Book Three in the Starsiders Trilogy Hardcover – March 6, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This satisfying conclusion to David Gerrold's Dingillian series continues the story of 13-year-old Charles, his idiosyncratic family, and the artificial intelligence HARLIE as they seek a new home in the stars. Before Charles can even board the ship for his new colony world, he finds himself again swept up in adventure and political turmoil. With the voyage finally underway, the focus turns to social conflict as Charles must find answers to disturbing questions about HARLIE--and himself--while a faction of passengers disrupts the voyage with potentially fatal consequences for everyone on board.

This is a young adult novel that older adults will also find appealing. Charles is an engaging and sympathetic adolescent science fiction hero--smart, prickly, wrestling with hard lessons in adult responsibility. Readers new to the series should be patient: backstory is revealed gradually, so as not to interrupt the smooth mix of action and the scientific, philosophical, and religious questions that propel this thoughtful coming-of-age story. --Roz Genessee

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Heinlein's trademark blend of space-bound high adventure and serious political philosophy will feel right at home in the third and final book of Gerrold's series (Jumping Off the Planet; Bouncing Off the Moon) detailing the adventures of 13-year-old Charles "Chigger" Dingillian and his family as they seek a place to call home. On the moon, Charles's HARLIE unit, an advanced artificial intelligence device packed into the body of a monkey, is coveted by Lunar Authority as well as by the revolutionaries who seek to overthrow it. The only option left for escaping these forces is to sign on as colonists bound for Outbeyond, Earth's most distant colony, where the only surety is a life of backbreaking labor but also the chance to finally be free. Once the colony ship Cascade has set off, however, nothing goes smoothly. The colonists, particularly Charles's divorced parents and two brothers, face pressure from Revelationists, a fundamentalist group traveling aboard the Cascade to their own colony on the way to Outbeyond. The Revelationists believe HARLIE is evil and must be destroyed, along with those who possess it and the Dingillians are at the top of the list. If that isn't enough, Charles has his own growing uncertainty about HARLIE's motives. Those new to the series will find the opening tough to follow, but through his engaging adolescent narrator, Gerrold gradually provides enough backstory to clarify without slowing down the action. The appeal to YA readers is obvious, but plenty of adults are also sure to enjoy this thoughtful adventure. (Mar. 15)"The Trouble with Tribbles."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (March 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312890672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312890674
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,038,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Gerrold is a figment of his own imagination.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ginnyk on April 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
These are excellent books - Jumping Off the Planet, Bouncing Off the Moon, and Leaping to the Stars, especially for adolescents and teens. Having read SF for 50 years I found them to be well written, well plotted, believable and interesting - in some ways reminiscent of Heinlein's best juveniles but with more "human" characters (always Heinlein's weakness). With a 13 year old story teller/protagonist, the series touches on such topics as artificial intelligence, sentience, "who am I", good/evil, the purpose/role of government, and economics. It starts with a believable future Earth (nearing apocolyptic status) scenario, the science is believable and fairly well, if lightly, explained. Lots of adventures, dilemmas, rescues, and some romance. And interesting to see how an originally disfunctional family learns to become functional and a family. A "coming of age" tone for the protagonist as he discovers "who am I". Worth reading, and if you want to introduce an adolescent or teenager to SF, this is a good series to start with.
If you are a parent thinking about these books for your child, note that there is a homosexual relationship in the series. I don't find this a problem, but you might.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen-year-old Charles "Chigger" Dingillian and his reconciling family seek a new home. They debate whether to relocate to the Outbeyond, light years from earth. Ultimately they vote overwhelmingly for relocating to the somewhat unknown Outbeyond.

However, the trip across the stars turns dangerous because everyone seems to want Chigger's HARLIE unit, an artificial intelligence device placed inside a monkey. The government, revolutionaries, and revelationists want HARLIE for different reasons. The government believes the device is so superior it will enable them to strengthen their positions of power. The revolutionaries want the unit so they can overthrow the government and take over the positions of power. However, the greatest known peril to the Dingillian brood comes from the revelationists who consider HARLIE as evil and his owners as devils needing eradication. Then there is HARLIE growing in intelligence to the point that even Chigger fears where the AI gadget is going.

LEAPING TO THE STARS is a fantastic concluding tale to David Gerrold's wonderful trilogy starring Chigger and his family. The story line is faster than space travel and will hook fans of the two previous novels from the very first meeting between the Dingillians and Commander Boynton leader of the ship taking them to the Outbeyond. New readers either should try the first two books before this novel or stay patient while Chigger methodically fills in the gaps from events previously told. Science fiction fans will jump, bounce, and leap to the stars with the Dingillian clan trilogy.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on February 25, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Dingillian saga concludes in this third volume. Charles "Chigger" and his family are trying to decide where to go from the Moon. They will take the HARLIE unit with them. Everyone still wants the unit to help survive the polycrisis Earth is having.
But the moment the family makes up their mind, the roller coaster of events takes off again. HARLIE and its abilities represent survival and power for many groups and colonies. Their bids for possession and control drive the Dingillians on.
Once on their way things are still not perfect. Charles may have found true love but religion has reared up and started questioning HARLIE's nature.
Religion, good, evil, and being human are some of the big issues dealt with in this volume. Again Gerrold does a masterful job of blending large doses of philosophy into the action in ways that don't slow down the plot.
The book's end leaves room for further adventures of HARLIE and the Dingillian family. Let's hope we see some of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lemoine D. Beers on February 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the third book in of the Dingillian stories. It is a great book. It has a very Heinlein feel to it. If Robert A. Heinlein was still alive I think he would approve of the story. This story goes over the first two books a little to much, for my liking but if a person has not read the first two books you can still get in to the story and enjoy it. Over all I realy enjoy how Gerrold looks at how and why religion looks at artificial intelligence. I also enjoyed the love story between Chigger and J'mee. Check it out and also check out Jumping off the Planet and Bouncing off the Moon.
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