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Bowl of Heaven Hardcover – October 16, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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“Bowl of Heaven is the first installment of what will be the biggest sci-fi saga since―well, since ever. If only more of us could share the authors’ visions, and optimism” ―The Wall Street Journal
“It's easy to settle in and enjoy the sci-fi smorgasbord served up by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven. . .There's a lot to savor. Fans of so-called "hard science fiction" will enjoy the descriptions of ionic scoop fusion drives and all the solar-powered gadgets put to practical use during deep space exploration.” ―The Associated Press
“If you like hard SF with mind-stretching ideas--both physical and psychological--then you definitely want to read this book.” ―Analog
“It's been more than 40 years since Ringworld and nearly that long since the Galactic Center Saga knocked our socks off, and I wonder how much it takes these days to render us barefoot and gaping at the scale and scope of an imaginary world. . . . But Benford & Niven have given themselves the space (conceptual and page-count) to spread out. Bowl of Heaven has room to accommodate both the thrill-ride and head-scratching sides of its sub-tradition, and I think when the second half appears, this new effort by two of the Old Masters will hold its own just fine.” ―Locus
“First-time collaborators Niven (Ringworld series; coauthor, Beowulf's Children) and Benford (Timescape; Galactic Center series) have combined their award-winning talents for storytelling to create a series opener that should find a welcome reception from fans of the authors as well as those who love hard science and mental challenges.” ―Library Journal
“A solid work that will appeal to fans of classic hard SF.” ―Publishers Weekly
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 multiple Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of the Ringworld series, along with 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bowl of Heaven begins as a promising (albeit conventional) "scientists journey to a new world" story. In the prolog, they are preparing to leave on their newly tested starship. As the novel begins, Cliff Kammash is awakened from an eight decade sleep, well before the ship is scheduled to reach the planet they have named Glory. Cliff, a biologist, thinks it odd that he has been awakened to opine about an unusual star the duty crew have observed -- odd until he realizes that the star is partially surrounded by a hemisphere, an object that was clearly manufactured. For reasons they can't explain, their ship has been losing velocity, and the knowledge that they aren't going to make it to Glory alive prompts them to investigate the bowl-covered star. The bowl is actually a vast (and literal) starship, using the star as its source of propulsion. Once they are inside the bowl, Cliff and his buddies discover an ecosystem the size of the inner solar system.
The plot then follows two branches as half the landing crew is captured by feathered aliens while the other half escapes. Both branches morph into wilderness survival tales as the two groups investigate the planet.Read more ›
Rant, part one, complete. On to the content.
This is not a finished product:
(1) On one page Tananareve is roughly picked up and thrown into a holding tank. One the very next page, she's with the other group on the other side of a diamond wall. Two drafts of the 'landing party is broken in two' event, perhaps?
(2) There are two different descriptions of the treatment of one person's serious injury which immediately follow each other. Said treatment describes *the* injury in two different ways and it is treated by two different people. Either the first person shoved the metal rod back into the guy for the next person to take out again, or this is two different drafts of the same event.
(3) At one point the captain leaves the bridge and a page or less latter leaves the bridge again. Did he get lost? Or is this two different drafts?
(4) Near the end of one chapter an offhand comment is made that communications from Earth stopped 100 years ago for no apparent reason. Yet a few chapters later we are treated to a page of discussion of the latest communication from Earth as if it were a routine event. So this *published version* hasen't even decided if the Earth has gone missing or not?Read more ›
This book is a vivid example of how writers with formerly good reputations can become lazy, churn out utter dreck and yet be published. If an unknown author had written this any publisher would have thrown the manuscript in the trashcan and not even bothered with a form letter because he/she knew that such an unimaginative, untalented author had no chance of ever being published. It is mind boggling that a publisher is actually paying for a sequel. Benford and Niven are probably laughing their behinds off.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read! A whole different look at the 'very big construction' problem for a future society.Published 6 days ago by Robert C. Price
Gregory Benford and Larry Niven are two masters of the genre. They have very different styles when writing solo; they are both very deep and detailed in their storytelling and... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is mostly about the physics of running a Really Big Object which , in this case, is a bowl of AU proportions. Read morePublished 2 months ago by mizimi
Do not waste your time. The idea is OK, but the execution is terrible. The characters are poorly written and simplistic. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kenneth Ardon
This one of the weirdest books I've read. Larry Niven is a master of the science of this genre. Fully developed characters, a well-thought out plot. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Old Goat
As interesting and imaginative as the ring world series. Unlike the original Ringworld, the first book leaves off in the middle of the action.Published 3 months ago by Allen1941
I liked the story. It's a little bit of Ringworld and Rama II. The characters are fresh, the perils compelling, and there are surprises along the way. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Randy
A rather novel view of a huge eco - system propelled thru space by a star. Quite good and rather like Rama with a twist.Published 3 months ago by Allen King
A most interesting story very well written. My primary objection and my reason for only four stars there is way to much space/time spent with the characters running all over the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Stephen J. Lemmons