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The Mile-Long Spaceship (Medallion SF, F862) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1963


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books; 1st edition (December 1, 1963)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000KPERDQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,231,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mithridates VI of Pontus VINE VOICE on March 25, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kate Wilhelm, famous for her Hugo-winning masterwork Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976), started her writing career with more modest works. The Mile-Long Spaceship (1963) collects some of her earliest short stories from the late 50s and a few written for the collection in the early 60s. However, her best sci-fi was published in the late 60s to the mid-70s. Before then her work tended to be straight-forward with an occasional interesting idea or poignant scene but generally unremarkable....

Three stories are worth reading in this collection: an early work of feminist science fiction - 'No Light in the Window' (1963), a moody rumination on the claustrophobia of space travel - 'The Man Without a Planet' (1962), and an intriguing but underwhelming first contact story - 'The Mile-Long Spaceship' (1957).

Recommended for fans of Wilhelm who are curious about her earliest forays into the genre or those (like myself) who are obsessed with 50s + 60s sci-fi.

Less fanatical sci-fi fans will be disappointed.

Brief Plot Summaries/Analysis (*spoilers*)

`The Mile-Long Spaceship' (1957) (9 pages) 3.25/5 (Average): Telepathic alien explorers make mental contact (of the non-verbal kind) with an Earthman. Unfortunately, contact causes him to crash his car and end up in a hospital. In their moments of contact the telepaths "transport" him to a conjured mile-long spaceship. The aliens attempt to find out how to visit Earth by suggesting he watch various "films" on the "spaceship" inorder for him to identify stars which might suggest Earth's location. But the Earthman doesn't have much interest in astronomy, and assumes his delusions are a result of his crash.... A slightly atmospheric tale -- but lacking wonder.
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More About the Author

Born in 1928, Kate Wilhelm the author of more than thirty novels including Where Late the Sweet Bird Sang and The Unbidden Truth. Her work has been adapted for TV and film and translated into twenty languages. She has been awarded the Prix Apollo, Kurd Lasswitz, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. In 2003, she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Her short fiction appeared in landmark anthologies such as Again Dangerous Visions, Orbit, The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women, and The Norton Book of Science Fiction. A cofounder of the Clarion Writers' Workhops, she continues to host monthly writing workshops in Eugene, Oregon.