- Publisher: Random House Pod
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552159646
- ISBN-13: 978-0552159647
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
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Ship Who Sang Paperback
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Top Customer Reviews
See also "Honeymoon" in McCaffrey's _Get Off the Unicorn_ for the tale of one of Helva's missions to Beta Corvi that didn't make it into this book.
"The Ship Who Sang" - Helva is unusual in that she developed her particular hobby while quite young: moving from a passion for Shakespeare, to grand opera, to overcome the technical difficulties in learning to sing. But there's a reason shellpeople don't consider themselves handicapped in any way...
"The Ship Who Mourned" - Helva has just endured the funeral of her beloved brawn partner; only to be expected, given the difference in their lifespans, but that doesn't help the sharp edge of her grief. MedServ's usual lack of sensitivity has sent her straight back out to carry physiotherapist Theoda to treat the survivors of a plague that left the few surviving victims paralyzed. And Helva sees more mourning than her own...
"The Ship Who Killed" - MedServ has assigned Helva a 3-year mission and a new brawn (temporary, but for the duration of the mission) with an unusual twist. Nekkar's entire population has been left sterile by a radiation flare from their star, and Helva and Kira now have Assignment Stork: delivering thousands of embryos to Nekkar from worlds all over known space.Read more ›
That said, THE SHIP WHO SANG is marvelous on many levels. Ms. McCaffrey has said that what she does best are love stories and Helva is as heroic yet soft-hearted as anyone could wish. As a silly little escape from the realities of the working world, this book succeeds. As a homage to her father, she overwhelms.
In a purely sci/fi vein, McCaffrey took the concept of cyborgs to a great extreme at a time when artificial heart valves and kidney transplants were in their infancy. The first functional pace maker didn't debut until 1960. The first of the Helva stories that make up this book came out in 1961. THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN didn't appear until twelve years later, when Helva and her peers (shell people) were already the elite of space exploration, single-handed managers of major metropolis's and coordinators of space mining platforms. STAR TREK didn't boldly go here until 1966! While it's not Jules Verne, this ain't too shabby!
I see the Helva stories as perfect to spark high school discussions. McCaffrey's unified galaxy, Central Worlds presaged our current move to a global economy by forty years. Her social consciousness emphasizes the need for the arts in a civilized society and serious issues like euthanasia, drug use and civic responsibility are all major themes. The entire concept of social protestors evolving into 'Dylanists' should set the stage for historical discussions of the Viet Nam Era and extrapolating Shakespearean universality into alien societies should do the same.Read more ›
Helva is one of many born with physical birth defects which trap a briliant mind in a useless body. Science has a solution, hook the brain to something beyond the limited body. Hence the creation of "Brain" ships, stations and cities. Combined with a mobile "brawn" partner, these "brains" have abilities far beyond what a "normal" human could achieve. Called "shell-people" because their physical forms are encased, they experience the fear and prejudice of others' ignorance, as well as the full range of their very human emotions. Their special abilities when "hooked into" a space ship or station control don't diminish their very human traits. Helva's adventures, along with the other B&B teams, give everyone something to enjoy and discover.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read this book several times over the years. As a 35 year old, I notice some of the imperfections in the writing, but they are very minor and do not detract. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kyle I. Campbell
This is a good short book. First read it several years ago in college as a bit of escapism after finals. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mark A.
One of my favorite books, I've read it numerous times in the last 25 yearsPublished 8 months ago by Lisa F.
This is the beginning of the Brain Ship series, and introduces us to the back story and the 1st of Ms McCaffrey's heroes I first read this wonderful book in the 1980s. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Margaret M. Roberts