- Series: Rifters Trilogy (Book 1)
- Paperback: 317 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; First edition (April 29, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765315963
- ISBN-13: 978-0765315960
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 91 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Starfish (Rifters Trilogy) Paperback – April 29, 2008
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“No one has taken this premise to such pitiless lengths--and depths as Watts. . . . In a claustrophobic setting enlivened by periodic flashes of beauty and terror, the crew of Beebe Station come across as not only believable but likeable as they fight for equilibrium against their own demons, one another, their superiors and their remorselessly hostile surroundings.” ―The New York Times
“Fizzing with ideas, and glued together with dark psychological tension: an exciting debut.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“A powerful first novel. . . . A savage, bitter, and often blackly comic vision of the near future . . . Watts has rendered a character whose emotional complexity demands our respect. . . . [The ending] is both startling and oddly satisfying in its earned nihilism. A terrific debut from an author we will be seeing again.” ―Edmonton Journal
“Watts' true enemy is human stupidity, the sort of thing that turns children into walking disaster zones, treats adults as interchangeable things, insists that unchecked fertility is a Good Thing, and blindly trusts that our artificially intelligent creations must share our priorities. As Watts develops that point, he tells an absorbing tale set in a bizarre world and hinging upon intriguing technology. He's done his homework well, and it shows.” ―Analog
About the Author
Peter Watts lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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Unlike many authors, Watts eschews lofty power talk from the likes of the Kremlin, UN or White House. His focus is on the middleman - those who are controlled and control others, who both take and give orders. This is a difficult perch due the inherent nuances of such a position and yet this is what he does best. In a world starved for more and more energy, the deep rifts in the oceans are now being exploited. But the cost in human sacrifice is great.
STARFISH is the story of one group of workers at the Beebe energy plant. First novels are almost always autobiographical which is the case with this novel. The author worked in the oceans protecting marine life and thus has inside knowledge of the last unexplored place on Earth. The description of the underworld is fascinating but it is the workers that grab our attention. These are greatly modified humans that can withstand the tremendous pressure of the deep and who can remain in the waters for long periods of time due to their internal machinery that allows respiration. The catch is that these individuals must fit a certain psychological baseline and that include sociopaths, pedophiles and abuse victims.
But something lurks among the insane crew, an ancient form of life (pre DNA) that threatens the world. . And once its meme enters the Maelstrom (future internet) intelligent monitoring organisms set up to prohibit viruses and malware are drawn to its very simplicity. The reader is in for a bumpy, ride to the future with word twists, technical verbal fireworks, phrases as sentences, competing thoughts and a swirl of condensed, punk writing. My Grade - A1
I can only add that watts shouldn't be judged solely by this trilogy's work. Blindsight and echopraxia were literally some of the best scifi off their respective years, rich and complex and rewarding to read, and it's almost baffling that the same author produced both works. If you like watts or are getting cross recommendations, I'd overwhelmingly recommend hopping to those works instead.
There is some really compelling imagery and philosophical musings on the alien world at the bottom of the ocean, but overall I was not ever "IN" the world or story and the book just sort of - ended.
So I didn't hate it, but reading time is precious for me so I am not inclined to get the rest of the series.