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Spinneret Kindle Edition

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Length: 352 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The vision of an enlightened technocracy in this novel typifies the attitudes that have won both fans and detractors for Analog magazine, where this and many of Zahn's other works have appeared. If that vision seems a throwback to another era, with it comes a welcome hardheaded sense of story construction. As a very late entry in the universe of spacefaring civilizations, humankind must settle for the leavings of the older races. But the seemingly worthless and metal-free planet of Astra has a surprise that makes it the envy and target of better equippedand better-armed aliens. This is millenia-old machinery that forges metal of unknown elements. If this narrative is overshadowed by more substantial books on the theme of exploring and deciphering ancient alien artifacts, it is nonetheless a light, brisk and entertaining yarn. Paperback rights to Baen. December
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“Brisk and entertaining.” —Publishers Weekly

“Brings together exploration for new stars, racial tensions, Third World activism and a group of vanished aliens with a high-tech twist.” —United Press International

Product Details

  • File Size: 4062 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (October 16, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 16, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094ANU18
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,902 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Timothy Zahn is the Hugo Award-winning author of more than a dozen original science fiction novels and the bestselling Star Wars trilogy Heir to the Empire, among other works. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"An Earth-type world complete with water and a breathable atmosphere and no metals? That's absurd!"
I was reading another book, but I got so tired of the issues I had with that book, I had to take a break. Plus, I got to meet Timothy Zahn on January 8th, so I was pumped to finish reading my almost complete collection of Timothy Zahn published works!
Humankind (to be politically correct) has finally developed the capacity to travel faster than light. They set upon to leave an overpopulated, overmined Earth (in typical fashion for scifi books written in this era) only to find that the rest of the galaxy is populated by superior aliens. The only world left is Astra, a world strangely without any trace metals. The United Nations decide that the Americans should spearhead the colonization. The Americans in turn assign Colonel Llyod Meredith to oversee Astra's development...and to deal with disputes between the colonists (led by Cristobal Perez) and the military. But things get strange when the planet seems to suck away all metal and produce a six centimeter in diameter cable. Now, all the surrounding aliens want a piece, Astra is a hotspot in the conflict between the United Nations and the United States, and Meredith might lose his tenuous hold on the citizens of Astra.

I Like:
Timothy Zahn is my absolute favorite writer for many reasons. This book showcases one of the biggest reasons: his ability to combine a cool, interesting story with enough realism to make you feel like you are there.
The story of Spinneret is slightly different than most scifi I've read. Space has already been colonized until the only planet left is the dud, the one no one wants.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By JJinStl on January 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Spinneret is a great read. If you are bored with the similarities of many SciFi plots, find this book! (I say *find* because it is currently out of print, try Amazon Used book section, Zshops, or online auctions, or the library). Zahn takes a totally ridiculous idea and creates a masterpiece. The premise of the story is that man finally makes it out of the solar system in hopes of colonization, only to find out that we are latecomers to the game. All the worlds in our reach have already been divided up between several species. The United Nation's is able to trade for a planet regarded as useless (no natural resources to speak of and crops can not be grown) and the USA (being the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nation) will bear most of the financial burden and administrative responsibilities. This situation is palatable as long as the colony is a money pit. The US Colonel in charge of the colony has orders to do whatever necessary to make the colony self-sufficient as soon as possible. This proves to be a daunting task, as the workers (many from third world countries) are being rallied by a charismatic anti-American and refuse to work until their demands are met. Amid the turmoil, scientists begin to analyze an enigma threatening the lives of all colonists. The crops won't grow. And to make matters worse, everything made of metal seems to be disappearing. Finding the answer to these problems eventually leads to an amazing discovery that makes this new colony one of the most valuable commodities in the known universe; hidden technology from the original inhabitants. Soon all aliens are fighting to be our best friend and suddenly the UN wants to run the show -- and politics reigns supreme!Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By QuietNoise on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It is great seeing so many older science fiction being republished for a new generation of readers. Liz Hand and Timothy Zahn have had a good chunk of their back catalogs treated to a redesign.

Mr Zahn managed a great trick in this stand-alone novel. It has science in it that is interesting and you want to know about. As I said a great trick. I have always enjoyed eproperf science in my science fiction, and this has enough to propel the story along without drowning it.

This book was originally published in the mid 80s I would guess, as some of the elements of the book have dated. That does not drag the read down at all for me though. It is still interesting to see where we thought we were going to be in the efuturef.

So a bit about the bookfs plot: The galaxy is colonised by aliens of all shapes and sizes. All except for one. Why is that? Simple, it has no metals within it. How does a planet have no metals?

That is the crux of the book really. What would do this to a planet and why? The question is answered by the end of the book in a great fashion, which I take is characteristic of Zahn. Entertaining quick read, that hits the mark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By celticfrogreviews on November 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Colonel Meredith is given the thankless task of managing Earth's only colony among the stars. In Spinneret we are introduced to a universe in which all the available real estate has been claimed by other species. The only planet that is available is a place called Astra that no one wants because it has no available metals. Even the trace metals needed for plant growth are missing. The other races out in the galaxy are willing to allow Earth to settle Astra.

Meredith tries to balance the political divisions of the colony with the need to maintain sufficient control to survive. That Astra is the subject of power games back on Earth just makes his job that much harder. When they discover an astonishing secret it sets off repercussions throughout Earth and the alien races that surround them. It may save the colony, or it might just doom it.

Timothy Zahn does his customary work of creating fascinating universes and populating with believable aliens. His characters are well drawn and the issues that they address on Astra are timely. Never does Zahn allow his discussion of the nature of immigration or racism get in the way of the story.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and would highly recommend it to any who enjoy reading well thought out hard science fiction.
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