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Spinneret by [Zahn, Timothy]
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Spinneret Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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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 LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094ANU18
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,249 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Crystal Starr Light VINE VOICE on January 29, 2010
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.
Read more ›
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is on par with the Icarus hunt. It is your typical zahn scifi mystery novel. I read it in two days, a great suspenful novel that keeps you reading the next page to find out what happens next. I don't know if it is just my iPad or what, but the formatting was terrible. In a paperback you usually see **** and a paragraph break when switching characters and situations. Not this time so you are reading and all of the sudden it,s some one else's thoughts and your in a different place with no warning. Little or no swearing, no sexual content ( thank goodness, I like that most about zahn), and not very violent at all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story was more like sci-fi I grew up reading than most of the stuff being published these days. There was politics, intrigue, social focus, good science, and, my favorite parts, the mystery of the Spinners. I felt that the first half dragged a bit but considering the amount of world building needing to be done, I think it was handled the only and best way possible. If you like writers such as Jack Mcdevitt, you'll like this story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Was actually dissatisfied with this read. I generally like (or thought I did) Timothy Zahn's books. While I don't expect them to be life altering, they typically keep you turning the pages. This book did not. I finished reading it more out of 'duty' than desire. Please note, as with all of Zahn's books, it is easily readable and his pseudo science does the genre proud. But that may be the only good thing I can say about the book. The three star review may seem generous, but I didn't dis-like it. I just can't find anything to recommend it. I did pick this up as a kindle 'daily deal' and for that, it was an okay read.

The problems with the book/story. It reads as dated material. The easiest example of this was recordings were still being passed on cassette tapes. Other parts of the reading show the future feeling more like the past as well. The characters. Bland, generic, horribly stereotypical, and barely, marginally, flushed out. You simply can't find yourself cheering or even caring about them. The story itself; you can't tell if your following the mystery of the spinneret, the political situation, or the life/growth of a character. None of these aspects is fleshed out to any degree. By the time the story was over and 'the moral' was provided, I couldn't understand why, and barely how, this story was told to provide it's ending.

Summary. If you can find it as a bargain book, don't feel like reading anything that's involved, and don't mind reading a book that feels dated, it's okay. Otherwise, move along, nothing to see here.
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