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Harvest of Stars ePub download

by Poul Anderson

  • Author: Poul Anderson
  • ISBN: 0312852770
  • ISBN13: 978-0312852771
  • ePub: 1498 kb | FB2: 1803 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 1, 1993)
  • Pages: 395
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Votes: 376
  • Format: docx lrf mbr azw
Harvest of Stars ePub download

Early bird books fresh ebook deals, delivered daily be the first to know- new deals hatch . To Frank and Laura Kelly Freas.

To Frank and Laura Kelly Freas.

That first volume was mainly a libertarian fantasy about independent spacers evading a tyrannical world government, but it ended with a colony to Alpha Centauri launched just as true AI was appearing on Earth. For Anderson, superhuman intelligences were scary because they might lead to a managed economy, the great bugbear of libertarians like himself

Winner of seven Hugo and three Nebula Awards, Paul Anderson is one of science fiction's few acknowledged masters

Winner of seven Hugo and three Nebula Awards, Paul Anderson is one of science fiction's few acknowledged masters. Earth lies in the grip of the Avantists, a repressive regime that has crushed dissent and now threatens to extinguish the last bastion of liberty, the maverick interplanetary corporation known as Fireball.

One of Anderson' best books. A mature work and still full of fantasy and interesting concepts.

Winner of seven Hugo and three Nebula Awards, Poul Anderson is one of science fiction's supreme masters. To save her planet, Kyra Davis is sent on a mission to liberate the last bastion of freedom-and rescue its legendary leader.

Thoughtful and adventurous, rich in imagination and integrity, it offers definitive proof of the seven-time Hugo Award–winning author’s unparalleled mastery in the field of speculative fiction.

Kyra spied it just above the northeastern horizon when she had scaled the mountain down which she earlier scrambled.

Kyra spied it just above the northeastern horizon when she had scaled the mountain down which she earlier scrambled raven’s breast, sigil of serenity. But-impatience flamed-it wasn’t that really, it was a clock, it had already swept out four of its days and nights while she lay captive. God, how many more? And yet, what wonders here were hers! The thought made her turn about, expectant

More by Poul Anderson.

4,49 €. I Am Crying All Inside. More by Poul Anderson. The Corridors of Time.

Space pilot Kyra Davis, aided by an electronic ghost, risks her life in a desperate chess game to try to save a rebel corporation called Fireball from the repressive dictatorship that rules Earth. 60,000 first printing. $60,000 ad/promo.
My biggest beef with this book is that it is too big. The prose is painstaking in its detail. Conversations among the players are overlong and too smart for their own good. They plan for every foreseeable contingency down to the grittiest detail; meanwhile, the reader is lost because he can't see the forrest through the trees! It's irritating because not only does it slow down the plot but renders much of that reading a waste of time. Then Anderson unleashes a surprise at the end of Part II that completely changes the game. Which brings me to my second beef...

Part III. This part of the book is completely out of step with the rest of the novel. It seems to me that Anderson intended to end the book after Part II, but once he got there he wasn't satisfied, so he wrote 150 pages more. Several hundred years elapse, whereas the events in the first two acts take place over a month or thereabouts. Halfway through this false ending I had completely lost interest. The plot also takes a couple of fantastic turns that stretch science fiction to science farce.

Lastly, the book is a difficult read. The following sentence is indicative of the flowery narration sustained over the hulking 530 pages: "Turbulence eddied from each of the bodies and bodies and bodies that hurried, dodged, dawdled, gestured, swerved, lingered. Colors and faces lost meaning in their swarm. The air was thick with their breath, harsh with their footfalls and voices. Wind drove clouds like smoke across the strips of sky between walls."
In the distant future the world is a different place. The Avantists, a far-left, totalitarian government controls North America, attempting to "perfect" humans based on the teachings of dead philosopher who claims humans must join machine intelligence to achieve their future. Fireball Corporation, a gigantic organization with a more libertarian outlook on life stands at odds with the Avantists, until the Avantists manage to steal a copy of the founder of Fireball, Anson Guthrie, who is physically long dead but maintains full awareness as a computer download. With the real Anson Guthrie (download) trapped in North America, Fireball Corp must call on it's best and brightest to smuggle him out of the country and back into space where he can re-take control of his corporation. However, to make it to safety he'll have to outsmart his other self, now reprogrammed by the Avantists before his duplicate can take total control. Err...and then, depending on how you look at it, there's the beginning of a 2nd book or a REALLY long epilogue.

Harvest of Stars is presented in three section. The first two are part of a continuous story that details getting the real Anson Guthrie out of Avantist clutches and back out into space, and the fallout of doing so. I thought this part of the book was excellent, full of exciting moments, plotting, scheming and skin-of-your-teeth escapes. Even during the excitement, Anderson can be a bit wordy, never using a five letter word when a 14-letter world will due and his sentence structures, while often beautifully descriptive can run on with an extreme of adjectives, making the whole book feel longer than necessary. However, Anderson does an excellent job of developing interesting political factions and characters, and there's a sense of real world-building. This is a future that can be envisioned with characters that seem appropriate to the world they live in and the niches they occupy.

Oddly, after the first two sections of the book, we've pretty much resolved the main plot line and this is where things broke down a bit for me. Based on the actions Fireball must take, and the fallout of securing the real Anson Guthrie, the world government turns against them and Guthrie and his cohorts set about making a real escape from Earth and it's politics - by building several ark ships to take them to a habitable planet orbiting Alpha/Beta Centauri. In the first two sections of the book, the plot takes places over a few weeks time but in section three things move by decades, taking us through the adventures of the Fireball colonists, along with inserts from what's going on on Earth, where the Avantist philosophy has prevailed in a somewhat less draconian manner, allowing for the joining of humans and true machine artificial intelligence.

I felt like part three was essentially a separate book. With a dramatic change of pace and essentially starting a new plot, I'm curious why this was made a part of Harvest of Stars at all. It's interesting to read the reviews because some reviewers (like me) found the first two parts of the book good and the last an odd, super-long epilogue while others thought the book really didn't get going until part three. I know Harvest of Stars is part of a larger series so perhaps part three was needed to set up the future books but, while I still found it enjoyable, I found it anti-climatic compared to the first two parts, but regardless, Harvest of Stars is worth the read.
As I have noted elsewhere, as he got older Poul Anderson seemed to more or less settle on his vision of man's future. He essentially appears to believe that man is destined to be subordinate to and dominated by entities of artificial intelligence, which will simultaneously raise the general standard of living while diminishing mankind's self-determination. Anderson portrays this as an inevitable and a depressing future. There is no better friend to freedom and liberty than Anderson, yet he seems to lack confidence that mankind in the future will enjoy freedom in a manner consistent with American notions. A plausible and interesting concept, but in his last decade or so Anderson seemed unable to depart from this groove. Surely other human destinies are possible--Anderson has told of many.
Poul Anderson is far and away my favorite SF author. This novel, while interesting and readable, is not his best work. This book is a maddening mix of brilliant speculation, great characterization, and bloated prose. This novel would have been twice as good if it had been half as long.
The novel is the story of a freedom-loving spacefaring "corporation" (really a nation of sorts) struggling against oppressive earth governments. The relevant characters are brilliantly portrayed as people and as idealists, and/or villains. Unfortunately, the book bogs down and could and should have been much more crisply written. Consequently, the story line seems to ramble towards the end. Frankly, I found the ending unsatisfying and implausible.
Poul Anderson's other works are more imaginative and better written. If you like this book (and there is a fair amount to like) try his Nicholas Van Rijn/Polesotechnic League series, and his many collections of short stories. This are among his best work.
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