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In the Ocean of Night (Galactic Center Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Gregory Benford
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $10.99
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
This price was set by the publisher

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Book Description

A classic novel of man's future and fate, written by the eminent American physicist and award-winning author of "Timescape."

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

* #27 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written. * Winner of the Nebula and John W. Campbell Awards. * 'Science fiction at its very best' Anthony Burgess * ' . . . a rarity: a scientist who writes with verve and insight, not only about black holes and cosmic strings, but about human desires and fears' New York Times * 'In the rapidly shrinking world of hard SF, Benford is justa bout the best now at work' Th

Product Details

  • File Size: 890 KB
  • Print Length: 452 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 044661159X
  • Publisher: Aspect (July 31, 2007)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001JK9BQO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,616 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Galactic Center Kindof Starts Here January 17, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the Ocean of night is the first book in a six book series called the Galactic Center Saga - one of the best known and beloved epic hard science fiction stories out there.

I'm only reviewing two books in the series: In the Ocean of Night and Great Sky River and I've attached a broader review of the series to these two reviews that I hope might be useful to the reader.

In the Ocean of Night presents us a world that is out of balance with humanity crowding earth and having too much of an impact on the world from an ecological standpoint. The book focuses quite a bit on the personal lives of the people in the story and in their development so this book is an unlikely starter for such a fantastic story that is told in the last 4 books of the series but in an interesting way many of the same themes are here. The book In the Ocean of Night was first a novellette published on IF magazine back in 1972 and then it was expanded into a full length book. So interwoven into this whole story of human overpopulation and 1960s style alternative lifestyle parameters (or natural lifestyle parameters depending on your inclination), the author weaves the beginnings of what will be a fantastic story set against the center of the galaxy. In the Ocean of Night though takes place on Earth mostly and you have to plow through the people and ecology and personal life stuff to get to the about 20 or so pages of interesting hard sci fi (for me).

The second book Across the Sea of Suns is truly a fantastic work of science fiction though and a true mystery tale and then there is a hiatus and flashforward 30,000 years to the events of Great Sky River (the first book I read of the series). So to me the first two books were almost prologue material albeit very interesting prologue.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambition that exceeds the writer's ability February 18, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Entombed in this 420 page novel is a decent hard sf short story about Earth's first contact with robotic aliens. Unfortunately, Benford takes on the ambitious task of marrying his traditional space alien story with a literary story about human relationships and the meaning of life, a worthy project he is not equipped to bring to a successful conclusion. So, the interesting alien encounter plot is buried under hundreds of pages of tedious domestic drama (the main character, a British-born astronaut, has a menage a trois marriage, and one of the women is terminally ill) and political infighting (the astronaut is a Bob Dylan- and John Lennon-loving rebel who refuses to play the dishonest games of the warmongering bureaucrats and religious fanatics in the U.S. government.) Benford gets an "A" for effort as he unleashes literary allusions, unconventional prose techniques, and scads of metaphors and similies, and piles on chapter after chapter about the sex lives, religious beliefs, cocktail parties, drug use, day trips to the beach and vacations of the astronaut and his circle, but the characters are uninteresting and the only parts of the book that really work are those two or three dozen pages in which a character is in the cockpit of a space ship or Lunar craft. Too bad.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Serious attempt gone seriously wrong September 4, 2008
By 2theD
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow! in a very bad sense. What was heralded as Benford's flagship series turned out to be a slow boat to nowhere. Only about 10 pages are actually worth reading and are interesting: an alien intelligence flies near earth and wants information about the civilization, but scampers off when humans throw a nuke at it (go figure!).
The rest of the book is filled with inane thoughts which just run page after page and provides nothing the the characters or plot. The plot never picks up, it just drags on and on until the end when the "bombshell" idea of Benford's turns out to be the most ridiculous plot-twist or terrible joke gone terribly wrong. It's so bad, my jaw went slack and thought to myself, "Oh my god, he can't seriously be going in this direction."

Tiemscape, another book by Benford, was well accepted. I didn't like that book either because it was also full of banal thoughts and dinner parties. I don't wanna read about wine when the earth is on the verge of collapse.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of a machine-intelligence horror tale. February 9, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this first volume of a six volume story to be the most interesting. It immediately hooks you and leaves you wondering just where you're headed. Walmsley is a character you soon root for and have confidence in. This volume becomes integral and significant to the final one, which is a grand and awe-inspiring finish to a dark, fascinating and addicting series. You may have trouble locating names of all six novels in the order they were released, as follows: In the ocean of night, Across the sea of suns, Great sky river, Tides of light, Furious gulf, and Sailing bright eternity.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not great, but i couldn't put it down! March 8, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I hate the term "page-turner" but this book was just that. Even though I was never particularly impressed with the book, I found that I constantly needed to know what was going to happen next.

The future painted in this world, is suprisingly beleivable considering the year the book was written. However, the world is not painted as clearly as in a Gibson book, so a lot of it is left to your imagination. Usually I HATE when authors write foggy, unrealised future speculations, but for some reason it didn't bother me in this book. You can tell that the state of earth in the future is only a secondary aspect of this book.

The prose are pretty good throughout the book. At times it seems like Benford is unnaturally pushing himself to be poetic, but in the end it winds up being a lot better than 90% of the sci-fi writing out there.

The plot, while incredibly gripping, had some serious pacing issues. It almost seems like the events in this book could have filled three equally long novels. Now that I've finished the book though, I've come to realise that this entire book is like the back story for the next ones to come. It kind of stands on its own, but i feel like i would be jipped if I didn't read the next ones in the series.

Despite my criticisms, and I realise I am a very picky sci-fi reader, this book was thoroughly entertaining and worth the read. It didn't change my life or anything, but I have a feeling that it is all going to pay off in the next books in the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but really BAD scan
This is for the Kindle version. As far as the story goes, I read it years ago when it first was published, and reading it again now, it's still great Sci Fi. Read more
Published 14 days ago by StephenC
1.0 out of 5 stars Painfully bad science in this "sci-fi" book... but it's the 1st in a...
There are a few troubles with this book:
1) It is extremely dated (written in the early 70's). That must be the reason that almost all of the biological "sci-fi" bits... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Aaron S.
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth Reading
I had read good reviews for this book, and I really wanted it to succeed with me. Ultimately, Benford's tortured writing style (for God's sake, man, start a NEW PARAGRAPH when... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Weird Ralph
5.0 out of 5 stars To Each His Own
This is a classic example of why each person is an individual (and also, ironically addresses one of Benford's themes in the novel). No two opinions about this book are the same. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie Pagitt
4.0 out of 5 stars hard core science fiction
Even after the 3rd re-read, the book has not dated. Yes, Benford missed several of the technologies, these do not distract from the book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by NEAL P. VAN VOORN
2.0 out of 5 stars Ummm.
The characters say "Ummm." All the time. They say it all the time. IT'S KILLING ME!!!

Published 3 months ago by Michael M. Willey
4.0 out of 5 stars My Comments
At times a bit tedious and overly philosophical but nevertheless a good blend of hard science (at least at the time it was written) and tantalizing fiction. Read more
Published 9 months ago by W. Thomas Amen
5.0 out of 5 stars MORE OF THE STORY
Published 14 months ago by matthew murphy
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh
I was hungry for some good scifi so I researched up this one. I was unfamiliar with the author, but he seemed to have amassed some following, so I figured that meant something. Read more
Published 14 months ago by craigr1971
3.0 out of 5 stars Reentry.
This was my first kindle book, besides the kindle manuals, and I found the reason again why I like reading sci-fi. Read more
Published 21 months ago by JMcD
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More About the Author

Gregory Benford, author of top-selling novels, including Jupiter Project, Artifact, Against Infinity, Eater, and Timescape, is that unusual creative combination of scientist scholar and talented artist; his stories capture readers - hearts and minds - with imaginative leaps into the future of science and of us.

A University of California faculty member since 1971, Benford has conducted research in plasma turbulence theory and experiment, and in astrophysics. His published scientific articles include well over a hundred papers in fields of physics from condensed matter, particle physics, plasmas and mathematical physics, and several in biological conservation.

Often called hard science fiction, Benford's stories take physics into inspired realms. What would happen if cryonics worked and people, frozen, were awoken 50 years in the future? What might we encounter in other dimensions? How about sending messages across time? And finding aliens in our midst? The questions that physics and scientists ask, Benford's imagination explores.
With the re-release of some of his earlier works and the new release of current stories and novels, Benford takes the lead in creating science fiction that intrigues and amuses us while also pushing us to think.

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