Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Ed Sheeran egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals BestoftheYear Shop Now HTL
Shipstar: A Science Fiction Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $27.99
  • Save: $6.00 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Shipstar: A Science Ficti... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Shipstar: A Science Fiction Novel Hardcover – April 8, 2014

131 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Bowl of Heaven Series

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$5.99 $3.38

$21.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Shipstar: A Science Fiction Novel
  • +
  • Bowl of Heaven
  • +
  • The Goliath Stone
Total price: $61.88
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Masters of artifact-based world-building, Benford and Niven have created a fascinating structure, the Bowl, and added politics, varied alien societies, and advanced technologies. The first team sent down to the Bowl escapes with the help of some snakelike aliens. The other team has escaped Folk custody and flees across the Bowl, aided by the Sil, another humanoid species. Assumptions are challenged; a threatening message comes in from Glory, the SunSeeker’s original destination; and the secret origin of the Folk comes out. There are creatures living in and on the Bowl beyond human imagination, with their own goals, and the Folk have overstepped their role as enforcers of equilibrium among the many species of the Bowl. The humans are a disruptive influence, too chaotic for this closed system, and by the end of the book, everything will be different on the Bowl and the SunSeeker. From its origin, in a vast engineered world, to the concluding social upheaval, the story is a solid adventure and entertaining speculation on the lives of alien creatures. --Regina Schroeder

About the Author

GREGORY BENFORD is professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, and lives in Irvine. Benford is a winner of the United Nations Medal for Literature, and the Nebula Award for his classic novel Timescape.

LARRY NIVEN is the author of the Ringworld series and many other science fiction masterpieces. His Beowulf's Children, coauthored with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765328704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765328700
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By RobR on May 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
When Bowl of Heaven came out I gave it an over eager 4 star rating. In retrospect I should have been less generous.

I'm a life-long Niven fan and I have enjoyed Benford, especially his Galactic Centre novels, and so I was expecting more. I've tried to figiure out why Shipstar and it's forerunner, Bowl of Heaven, haven't worked as well as they might and I can only come to the conclusion that as collaborators they weren't able to quite gell.

The story isn't too bad, but it never reaches any really sort of inventiveness, we've seen all this before. And the plot is pretty ordinary. That said, there's somewhere to explore and one or two of the characters are more interesting than I previously thought.

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the read, but not as much as I'd have liked.

I just hope that Niven has one more gem up his sleeve before he has to hang up his writing 'boots'; maybe a stand alone, written by him, exploring some very strange galactic location, or one final collaboration with Pournelle... One can dream.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By robert johnston on April 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you think you know your tech sci-fi stuff, here is a story to expand your imaginings. It is the only tech sci-fi that I've read that provides CAD modeling illustrations at critical technical concept junctures to describe what it would otherwise take a 1000 words to explain poorly. The story has the legs to follow in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke's Rama saga plus Stephen Baxter at his best. This kind of mental fodder entertainment is hard to find and it pops. The first installment of this story, The Bowl of Heaven, was badly panned by reviewers. I didn't read it because of the hammering. At first ... I wasn't getting in to Shipstar and was thinking the Bowl of Heaven reviewers had nailed it. Then about 50-100 pages in, it hooked me.

Any sci-fi that pushes the boundaries of basic concepts gets my attention. Shipstar does that on many levels with theory made manifest, a crisp narrative, and reasonably well developed characters. The book is carried by the author's extrapolations into far future technology, the fringes of today's theoretical speculation.

This is a step function change-up on the static dynamics of the Dyson-sphere or Ringworld-like constructs. Shipstar is an ancient, dynamically integrated sun and semi-sphere relic ... thus ... the `Shipstar'. The relic is propelled through the galaxy using the star as the engine. The Shipstar has magnanimously collected whole civilizations into its near-Earth habitable construct where there exists sentient rules and hierarchy. The relic has the surface area of tens of thousands of Earths and remains only sparsely inhabited by the relic's strange collection of 'adopted' life forms.

The human ship that stumbles up on the relic is a deep space expedition that happens on the relic.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Clay Kallam on June 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
In the afterword to “Shipstar” (Tor, $27.99, 415 pages), co-author Gregory Benford (with Larry Niven) refers to the massive Bowl that is the main topic of this book and its predecessor, “Bowl of Heaven,” as a Big Smart Object. And in so doing, Benford pretty much reviewed both of these books – which by the way, should be read back-to-back, as if they were one volume. The authors don’t fill in any blanks, and in fact I had completely forgotten two major characters were married until it was brought up during the final pages of book two.

Regardless, though, these two volumes are in fact one Big Smart Object, with a lot of what passes for the plot being discussions of how the Bowl (an incredibly massive object that cruises the galaxy) works, and how a jet from its accompanying star is generated and controlled. The characters fade into the background as the technical ideas flow, and then Benford and Niven add more and more aliens to the mix to further muddy the waters, and distance the reader from the supposed protagonists.

Then again, folks don't buy Benford/Niven books for nuanced characters and subtle shades of emotion -- those who have bought Benford/Niven books in the past, though, know what to expect.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By some hoser, eh? on March 4, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Sigh. The parts that are in the authors' areas of expertise are quite neat and interesting. The mechanics of the Bowl are original an imaginative. The way that the Bowl is set up to be managed is as well.

But... the story is rather repetitive, which the authors telling you the same thing multiple times. The authors also seem to have forgotten what the characters learned on several occasions, as well.

There is lot of speculation on how things evolved in the book, but unfortunately, not only is that speculation beside the point, but in many cases, it does not reflect current thinking by evolutionary biologists. The books would have been much better without this... and shorter.

The authors also state that evidence of a technic civilization over 100 million years ago would be wiped out by subduction. Uh, basic geology disagrees with that. Not all tectonic plates will subduct. Just think about it ()minor spoiler): if all tectonic plates subducted, then we would not have any fossils of dinosaurs or anything before them... but we do. and lots of fossils.... even going back to the pre-cambrian. Some of those fossils are amazingly detailed, allowing us to see the impression of the skin of animals.

Given that Gregory Benford is a university professor, i would have expected a LOT better; e.g., if he just attended some introductory courses at the University where he works, he would not have made so many BASIC mistakes.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Shipstar: A Science Fiction Novel
This item: Shipstar: A Science Fiction Novel
Price: $21.99
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: sails of glory, terry shames