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Starbridge Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1989

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the Starbridge Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This the type of rousing adventure story which Heinlein made so popular a generation ago... excellent!" -- Andre Norton

"With its touches of Humor and intriguing set of characters, the action-packed plot races along!" -- Locus

About the Author

A. C. Crispin is the bestselling author of Sarek and Yesterday's Son. She has written six books in the StarBridge series. Crispin's other books include V and Time for Yesterday. She may be reached via email at: A.CRISPIN@GENIE.COM.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (September 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441783295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441783298
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nick Anthony Lonigro on December 17, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hesitant to purchase this book because my love of SF has wained over the years because of the advances made in real space sciences.

But Starbridge takes me back to my early years of reading SF and the wonder of discovering new worlds and species of life. AC reminds me of Andre Norton and her early SF stories. I am glad I found the Starbridge series and will not hesitate in continuing with this series.

Sometimes, the oldies really are the goodies...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the best first contact stories I ever read, Starbridge is timeless. Both a YA coming of age tale of a young woman traveling on her uncle's starship amongst the stars, a romance, and a story of humans encountering new alien life forms, the story works as well today as it did when it was first written and published 20 years ago.

Mahree is on her way to study on Earth, after growing up on a colony planet, when her uncle's ship encounters a message from possible alien life. An investigation leads them to a neighboring star system where they encounter the Simiu, sentient beings who are lionesque in appearance. A culture which places great value on honor, soon the humans find themselves challenged over cross cultural misunderstandings typical to two races who have never encountered each other before.

When the Simiu imprison her starship, Mahree and her Simiu friend, Dhurrrkk' steal a small ship and head for the headquarters of The Cooperate League of Systems, a bit of an interplanetary United Nations, which the Simiu desperately want to join. Hoping League leaders will intervene, Mahree and Dhurrrkk' risk their lives escaping to set their plan in motion. As they depart, the ship's doctor, Rob Gable, stumbles onto them, forcing them to take him along.

In the course of their journey, Mahree and Rob fall in love, and all three meet a fungus-like alien they label "Blanket" who produces oxygen just as their life support systems have run out. Joining them for the final leg of their journey, Blanket wins Earth an invitation to join the League, while Mahree and Dhurrrkk' convince League leaders to mediate between the Simiu and the imprisoned Earth starship crew.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading this series when it first came out. It helped me find the words I was feeling for concepts of acceptance and tolerance of each other and different cultures. I couldn't put it down.

The story reads as though you are listening to real conversations, instead of the sometimes stilted, unrealistic character discussions in other books. The feelings of the characters are there on the surface, allowing you, the reader, to engage with them, to feel part of the story, and to care about the characters.

If you are looking for something to get a young teen, or even a feel-good story for an adult, this is it. Look no further. Although once this story is done, the reader will want to find the other books of the series, so you should probably save yourself some time and just buy all of them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read StarBridge in paper form some years back, but I'd forgotten until I found the Kindle edition how much fun this first-contact novel was. Ann Crispin has taken science fiction back to the days of early Heinlein and Asimov in the sense of giving us an appealing story, great characters, epic adventure, and a dizzying collection of aliens. The aliens, aside from a couple of idiosyncracies (would a nod mean the same thing to humans and Simiu?) are believably alien, not just funny-looking humans, and Crispin (full disclosure: I know the author) has great fun letting her imagination run wild and giving us slimy aliens living in tanks, aliens like giant snakes, and a unique species whose representative gets the nickname Doctor Blanket (you'll understand when you read it). Some SF authors these days set out to deliver a message, but Crispin puts the story first and lets the reader divine the lessons to be learned. The teenage heroine is compelling, and Rob Gable, her ship's doctor and her first love interest, is well matched to her. Gable's love of 20th-century movies gives the story a nice connectivity to our world (he suggests an alien council meeting needs a John Williams score). Crispin might have taken the technology in some different directions if she wrote this in 2012 vs. 1989, but in this book the technology serves the story and not the other way around, so it really doesn't matter whether future computers will need SAVE buttons. The story is fast-moving, often funny, and includes plenty of twists and surprises. Younger readers will find this series a lot of fun, and the older folks like me who grew up on the classics of SF will nod in pleasant recognition of the themes that made SF great.

Matt Bille, author, The First Space Race: Launching the World's First Satellites (Texas A&M, 2004)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A.C. Crispin holds the distinction of being one of the voices that first made me fall in love with science fiction, thanks to her superlative Han Solo trilogy (The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, and Rebel Dawn). Star Wars fan or not, those are cracking good reads. However, I'd never explored her other work, and when I discovered that she'd recently re-released her StarBridge series as e-books, I knew I had to try her "unbranded" fiction. The result is an engaging coming-of-age tale, that, though lacking some of the polish of her later work, brings a fresh spin to the classic sci-fi trope of a "first contact" with a new alien species.

On the cusp of her seventeenth birthday, Mahree Burroughs sets out from Jolie, Earth's colony planet, to return to Earth with plans to continue her education at university and somehow, someway, make her mark on the world. Traveling aboard her uncle's starship, the Désirée, Mahree chafes at the restrictions placed on her by virtue of being the captain's young relative, particularly when handsome Dr. Robert Gable is awoken from hibernation early. Though twenty four, Rob has as much to prove to the world as Mahree, and the two form a fast friendship based on a shared desire for respect and adventure. When the ship's communications systems pick up radio transmissions of an unknown origin, Mahree and Rob find themselves at the forefront of a shocking discovery -- Earth's first contact with the Simiu, an alien with an imposing, lion-like appearance. Everything goes well until a cultural misunderstanding threatens the fragile human-Simiu first contact with irreparable violence.
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