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Space Skimmer Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1981


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Del Rey (September 12, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345298519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345298515
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,496,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Gerrold is a figment of his own imagination.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Orion E. Hubbard on February 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Space Skimmer is a very good, at times thought provoking, piece of science fiction. It starts out as Mass'-- a short, but

immensely strong young man from a high gravity world-- search for the Empire. Sometime long before this story begins, the galactic Empire had collapsed almost over night and nobody seemed to know the answer why. But when Mass' quest across the worlds of the fallen Empire leads him to the Space Skimmer, Mass soon learns why the Empire has fallen.

I won't be giving anything critical away to say that the Skimmers were an unique type of spaceship designed to revolutionize communications and commerce within the Empire, but things went wrong as Mass discovers. As he travels from world to world, Mass acquires a crew that he really doesn't want and friends that he wants even less.

Gerrold tells a really good story here of what happens to Mass, his journeys from one exciting world to another, and of the Space Skimmer itself, another character in itself. This is a fun read for all science fiction fans and shouldn't be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Jones on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mass, a Streinveldtian, is looking for one of the fabled starships from a time when civilization was far more connected. He finds it, but to make use of it ends up with a crew he'd just as soon dump, including one person trying to take the ship away from him.

Space Skimmer is a very good story--and looking back at it, is a kind of reaction to Star Trek, for which Gerrold wrote the justly famous and hilarious "The Trouble with Tribbles." Space is big enough that there simply can't be a homogeneous civilization like ST's Federation; even with a common human ancestry, different parts will change in strange and different ways. (One has to wonder whether the group-mind Homolkans here gave rise to the Borg.) The trip Mass and the companions he picks up take is fascinating for that reason.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book over 30 years ago in printed form. My copy was falling apart. I found a kindle version downloaded it immediately. When I re-read the book again I couldn't put it down. My original copy doesn't have the book one subtitle that Kindle has. I am very hopeful that David Gerrold would write at least one or possibly many more sequels to this fantastic story.
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By Deonaha Conlin on March 30, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As with many of his other books, this was one of those you can't put down once you get started!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mithridates VI of Pontus VINE VOICE on August 20, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've found that the science fiction trope reconstructing a fallen empire/meandering in the wreckage of an empire one of the most seductive of the genre. The idea of a disconnected landscape filled with the ruins of empire -- giant edifice ever more consumed by vegetation, technology unable to be used, spaceships empty in space -- is so transfixing that I pick up every example published before 1980 that I find. Unfortunately, works like David Gerrold's Space Skimmer (1972) and John Brunner's collection Interstellar Empire (1976) are evidence that seductive trope or not, the delivery is often less than delectable.

I must confess that I picked up the novel because of the cover blurb: "The ultimate spaceship in the hands of a barbarian..." And the intriguing Dean Ellis cover... (Ballantine 1972 edition) Little did I know the blurb should read "the ultimate spaceship in the hands of a barbarian who spouts endless streams of bad poetry, an annoying little prince, random androids who want to be human, and a puff-puppy." Unfortunately, many of the most interesting aspects of the work are "borrowed" (to quote author's thank you blurb) from Larry Niven.

Brief Plot Summary (limited spoilers)

Space Skimmer takes place in a once vast empire comprising of 11,000 worlds. Extremely complicated communication systems were developed (Oracle devices) to facilitate communications across the vast expanse. In the waning days of the empire, advanced spaceships were invented which could travel across the empire at shocking speeds.
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