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Orbit Unlimited Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (July 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044163754X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441637546
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,602,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Orbit Unlimited" is not the best of Poul Anderson's writing, but it is not bad at all. At its core this is a political novel. Totalitarianism has overtaken most of unified Earth. America still has a streak of libertarianism and a group called the Constitutionalists has come to find society on Earth intolerable. Constitutionalism, as defined by this movement, has a double meaning. Superficially it refers to reverence of the American Constitution. But its deeper meaning is a respect for the universe as it is actually "constituted" (i.e. objective reality) as opposed to the Eastern mysticism which is coming to dominate Earth.

Eventually the Earth authorities and the Constitutionalists find one another mutually intolerable, and the Constitutionalists manage to amass capital and backing to leave Earth to undertake the colonization of the planet Rustum -- the only known semi-Earthlike planet. With this theme as a backdrop Poul Anderson weaves a pretty good yarn about interstellar travel and what it might be like someday.

My main criticism of this novel is its dark pessimism with respect to the future of humanity on Earth. Anderson quite rightly believes that mankind has a destiny out among the stars. Hopefully mankind on Earth will be part of that adventure and not fall victim to political oppression. Recommended. RJB.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This review is for the ebook issued by Open Road Media. I was reading the sample chapters, and I was struck by the depth of the story and development of characters. However, there were several typos in the manuscript in just that short section -- "Ms" for "his" -- which happens often with OCR scanners and the older fonts in paperbacks. I love the story, but typos always take me outside of the story. Once an updated version, with better copy editing is complete, I will buy this book. Until then I have to give it "3" stars, unfortunately.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when looked at in the right way did not become still more complicated - Poul Anderson

The fixed-up novel Orbits Unlimited (1961) by Poul Anderson (1926-2001) is, in my estimation, among his most successful from the early part of his career.

Anderson draws parallels between the Quakers and the Russian old Believers [mentioned in the novel] and the constitutionalist: technology types upset with the existing welfare state. The Constitutional party decides to embark on a space voyage to a world that will support life. This avoids a violent revolution, utilizes the dry-docked space fleet and spreads man to the stars. The book is divided into several parts; the decision to immigrate, conflicts during the deep-sleep expedition and the challenges of setting up the colony. I found the plot expositions logical and the characters sympathetic and creditable. Along with a damn fine story we get some thoughtful ruminations of how a society might best serve its constituents.

"Portions of this book appeared, in somewhat different form, in ''Astounding Science Fiction'' for January 1959 and January 1960, and in ''Fantastic Universe'' for October 1959."
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