- Series: Rifters Trilogy (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st edition (February 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812575857
- ISBN-13: 978-0812575859
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 91 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,754,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Starfish (Rifters Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – February 15, 2000
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"The dark universe of the sea bottom and the rich characterization captivate to the last page. Watts makes a brilliant debut with a novel that is part undersea adventure, part psychological thriller, and wholly original." --Booklist (starred review)
"A very impressive book, highly original in its setting and unusually ingenious." --Brian Stableford
"Peter Watts delivers--solid, inventive hard SF about the deep sea, but as we've never seen before. This moves like the wind." --Gregory Benford
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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.