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Non-Stop Paperback – July 26, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP (July 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585676837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585676835
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

SALES POINTS * #33 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written. * 'Our ablest SF writer' Guardian * 'Fascinating reading' Observer * 'A classic of the field' The Encylopedia of Science Fiction * 'Non-Stop was one of the first sf novels I read, and it haunts me to this day. Its gritty reality and wonderful list of characters make the setting seem so immediate and palpable, you can almost taste it' Greg Bear --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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So, the new title "Non-Stop" very cleverly gets around this issue.
J. Sealine
Among my favorite science fiction books are two books published this decade- The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks and The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds.
M-I-K-E 2theD
Final Thoughts I really can't tell more of the plot without completely ruining the experience.
Mithridates VI of Pontus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Larry Gott on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a review on Amazon that says that Aldiss's "Non-Stop" is a SEQUEL to his "Starship". Au Contraire! They are the same book, different editions. Starship was written and copywrited in 1958. Non-Stop was copywrited in 2000, most recently published in 2005.

On the back cover of Non-Stop, it says that "This...[is] Starship...updated for the twenty-first century."

Here is what Brian Aldiss says about the two books:

"For this new edition of an old favorite, I have made some alterations here and there. These occur on 48 pages [193 remain the same]. The adventure remains the same; the characters remain the same; the theme of an idea gobbling up real life remains the same. Only a few words have been changed. But of course a few words make all the difference."

-B.W.A.

So, don't do like I did and get both expecting Non-Stop to be a sequel. My first clue was that the two Table of Contents were exactly the same. Just thought you'd like to know.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Sealine on May 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
It was with great joy that I found and read "Non-Stop", which is an author-revised version of the classic work called "Starship" from 1958. I read the original when I was perhaps 12 or 13, and now I am 49. It was, therefore, a real treat to relive this amazing tale, with a slightly different twist, but with a more mature ability to grasp the brilliance of this work.

First, be forwarned that there are, sadly, a few typos and spelling errors in this edition and even some sentences that are incomplete. (If only I had been his copy-editor! It is so sad that such a gifted writer's publishing house could not do a more professional job on the production side!) On one page the author writes about cutting through the masses of hydroponic plants (ponics) on the lower decks of the ship, but the text reads "ponies" rather than "ponics".

Another thing you must accept with this new edition is that Aldiss didn't change very much, and thus the writing style is still very 50's sci-fi. But that was such a Golden Age for the genre! So, I give him a little slack for that. I'm glad he kept closely to the original theme, style, and character development, since the characters were all very colorful and vivid in the original.

I had always felt that the original title "Starship" gave away the story too soon--that is, being on or about a vessel. When reading the original book, I found it a tad frustrating, as I had assumed that I had picked up a sci-book about a 'starship,' yet the first part of the story seemed to be preoccupied with agriculture and living in tight spaces with ruffians! So, the new title "Non-Stop" very cleverly gets around this issue.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
For me, Brian Aldiss was one of a number of writers in the late fifties and early sixties who began remaking SF in response to what they correctly regarded as the low literary quality dominating the American SF magazines. Editor John W. Campbell, whose tastes dominated the aesthetics of the genre for decades, felt that strong literary qualities -- strong characterization, strong literary technique, and sophisticated dialogue -- detracted from the ideas that were supposed to be what SF was about, and only what it was about. Writers like John Brunner, Brian Aldiss, Keith Roberts, J. G. Ballard, and Michael Moorcock in Great Britain, Stanislaw Lem in Poland, and Philip K. Dick in the United States helped lift SF to something higher than it had been under the pioneering novels of Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein. As others have noted, Aldiss wrote this in response to Heinlein's ORPHANS IN THE SKY, but in its ambitions it was a rejection of the entire American school under Campbell's direction.

Not a great deal happens in this novel. The plot is rather simple, but it is a simple tale told well. The story focuses on Complain, who lives in a tribal structure on what we gradually learn is a spaceship. He and others break away from the tribal group to see what else there is outside the decks upon which they live. I won't ruin any of the story for those who have not yet to read it, but it is sufficient that what they discover is not what they anticipated. There are a host of wonderful twists and turns, marred only by an unconvincingly, unnecessary, and probably obligatory love story.

There are a couple of editions of this book, not just with different titles (STARSHIP versus NON-STOP).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mithridates VI of Pontus VINE VOICE on October 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
A generation ship! Science run amok! A brilliant work from the late 50s which must be read! Brian Aldiss' Non-Stop (published in the U.S. as Starship) is a relentlessly dark science fiction novel written in response to Robert Heinlein's revolutionary yet ultimately unsatisfying Orphans of the Sky. Although I'll read anything with a generation ship, I was completely blown away by Aldiss' first novel. Seldom have I come across anything written in the 50s so dark -- a ship filled with strangely disfigured men, oppressive hallways choked by layers of hydroponic plants, slowly moving primitive tribes who kill their mutated children, regimented rats with their caged partially telepathic animals, disturbing religions spawned from the tenants of various psychologists (Freud and the like), giants scurrying undetected along various hallways and passages stealing children... A nightmare.

A Brief Plot Summary (Limited spoilers)

Owing to the unfolding revelatory nature of this work's plot, I'll divulge only what is necessary to tempt prospective readers. Roy Complain is a member of the Greene tribe that hacks out a semi-nomadic existence in the overgrown hallways of the ship. The tribe knows little of its world. It protects its borders from renegade groups, moves slowly down the hallways, propagating, dying, killing each other in senseless combat, following an unusual religion, exploring the next rooms, burning what could potentially damage the existing power structures... Some members secretly collect shreds of paper, books, odd objects... Roy Complain, after his mate is lost (or killed) out hunting, agrees to head out on a suicidal mission to find the Forward section. This mission, headed by the power hungry priest Marapper, seeks to take over the ship.
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