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A Larger Universe (English Edition) von [Gillaspy, James]
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A Larger Universe (English Edition) Kindle Edition

4.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension

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Länge: 358 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
PageFlip: Aktiviert Sprache: Englisch

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A five-thousand-meter starship; a dying civilization; an ancient evil

The broadcast interview of a young computer prodigy attracts the attention of aliens aboard an interstellar trading ship. The kidnapping of Tommy (and his cat) begins an adventure among the stars: a coming of age story entangled with computers, and faster-than-light travel.

On board the starship, Tommy meets a crew of humans, descended from peasants, priests, and soldiers taken from Earth a thousand years before, slaves to the seldom-seen aliens, the Nesu, inhabiting the upper third of the ship.

Tommy is expected to replace the ancient and failing computers on the ship with computers taken from Earth, beginning with the long-dead missile controller, without which the ship is defenseless.

But the Nesu are themselves refugees from another alien civilization that, fifteen hundred years before, destroyed the Nesu home world and now block all scientific advancement in the local arm of the galaxy.

A high-tech, science fiction adventure.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1747 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 358 Seiten
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B003ZUY5YE
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #376.969 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
When I got this book from the free list in Amazon I didn't think it would be this good. It might not turn into a classic, but I still can't wait till a sequel is published.
The main thing that bothered me, as a computer scientist, is that many computer-related things were complete nonsense (come to think of it, this sounds a bit ironic talking about a sci-fi book...). But if you are not into computers then it shouldn't bother you.
If you are looking for a fun read that is engaging, then this book is a good option.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen 216 Rezensionen
80 von 82 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Hacking a Dystopia 20. Dezember 2011
Von D. Tapp - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I'll add my two cents to what some of the other viewers have already said.

This is an eerily engaging story that will absolutely pull you in if you're the right kind of reader. By that, I mean you need to be able to appreciate a greater insight into the protagonist's special talents than a lot of standard sci-fi fare is willing to provide. The author doesn't deal any more in handwavium than he absolutely has to; much of the story is spent recounting recognizable software development and debugging methodologies to a somewhat gritty degree. If you're into that kind of thing (as I am, as a former programmer), you are really going to like the way some of the plot advancements and complications are handled.

Beyond that one aspect, there's something about this story that just hits the sweet spot. A couple of other reviewers have made reference to early Heinlein. Add a very young hero who has both Tom Swift and John Carter Of Mars somewhere in his family tree, and you're starting to get the idea.

The world-building is simple, believable, and sufficient to the story, as is the author's narrative style. Nothing about the plot is telegraphed or predictable. (Well, a couple of things do happen to the hero that the engaged reader will have suspected were only a matter of time. You'll recognize them when you get to them.)

There are a few minor editing errors sprinkled throughout, but nothing that's going to jolt you out of immersion.

This author is a perfect example of why I'm such a fan of browsing the self-publishers in Amazon's Kindle shop. Yes, it's a bit of a hit-or-miss effort to find the good stuff, but then you happen across a gem like this and you realize the hunt was worthwhile.

This unpretentious, terrific little book is the most enjoyable escapist science fiction I've read in the past couple of years. And yes, I too am now waiting for a sequel. In fact, I'm drumming my fingers.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A New Type of Space Opera 19. Februar 2012
Von Paul D. Fraser - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I disagree that this is a kid's book. While it was about a kid being kidnapped by aliens and coming of age first as a slave and then as a leader of the ships crew, I think it could be enjoyed by all, even those of us with more adult tastes. As the author says, he's attempting to write in the vein of Heinlein. To a large degree he succeeds. Certainly no one would accuse Heinlein's works as being for children alone.

I enjoyed this book throughly, even though I was some what at a loss with all of the computer jargon. Don't let that stop you from buying this book, though. If you enjoy a characther driven sci-fi book that is obviously developing towards a great space opera series, then jump right in.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Another sleepless night spent reading 27. Dezember 2011
Von Elizabeth~N - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
No spoilers! I don't want to say anything more than the Editorial Review (which is really rather telling) but I will say this...I couldn't put it down, I spent all night with my nose pressed up against my kindle yearning for more. James Gillaspy has officailly mastered the art of pulling a reader through the story. I couldn't help myself!! I loved it.

So why have I given it four stars? Because it wasn't quite deserving of full marks... if I had it my way, I would have given it 4.5 stars.

If your knowledge of computers involves a "mouse" that "bytes" a "ram" then keep looking, this isn't for you.

There's a lot of tech talk which at times became a little too detailed, a little above my understanding and yet somehow it didn't detract from the story. If anything, it made (the main character) Tommy even more convincing as a child (or teenage) prodigy.

Some of those early chapters seemed a little slow in places but in hindsight they were character building for both Tommy & the reader. The odd typo or missing word did bring me sharply back to reality on occasion but all is forgiven. The concept & the story itself definitely makes up for any of its faults.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way James Gillaspy brought the other characters to life by including their points of view in the story which he wrote with some amazing self control & skill. He didn't lose control of the story (he didn't get side tracked with sub-plots) or over emphasize those characters roles in Tommy's story. As each significant character is introduced to Tommy, you'll soon after find just a few pages written from that particular characters perspective - giving you just enough insight into their background, their thoughts, their motives & prejudices without jerking you away from the story.

That takes skill, I admire that. And now I'm going to go & find out if this author has written anything else I might like. :)
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Great Read. 25. Juni 2012
Von Rakmode - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
(Edit) A thoroughly enjoyable read. Full of great character development and space adventure. Great for the science fiction fan. Tommy was believable and identifiable. And the Aliens, The People, were fun and just alien enough to make them unpredictable yet believable. The only reason I give this book three stars and not four is because sometimes the language was a bit hard to follow (the computer stuff mostly but it's part of the texture of the book) and the occasional spelling errors. I would suggest that the author get a proof reader for this book and his next (due out soon). I was really compelled by the characters and the plot.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Engaging enough to want to read the sequel 28. April 2012
Von Tghu Verd - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The first few chapters of "A Larger Universe" did not resonate with me, and in particular the Prologue seemed unnecessary, especially as it flagged outcomes of the protagonist which leached away a lot of the "will he/won't he" tension carefully established in the first third of the novel. It felt like the illegitimate love child of Orson Scott Card's classic,"Ender's Game", and not in a good way.

But I persevered and the story snuck up on me, even though though the plot is unlikely; the aliens generally anything but; and the technology stagnant.

In essence, this is an ugly duckling coming-of-age novel and Gillaspy tells that aspect very well.

It is set on an enigmatic alien spaceship that plies the stars, trading here and there at a limited number of planets, controlled by 'Lords' and run by Human slaves originally kidnapped some centuries before from Merry Ole England. But the ship is slowly decaying away and young computer whiz, Tommy Yates, is kidnapped from our here and now as a 'feral' Human to repair the aging computers on the ship. And thence the trouble starts...

Not much goes to plan for Tommy, at least at first, but thanks to that Prologue it was never in doubt that Tommy would come out on top. I guess that's true of most novels, and there is considerable satisfaction in the "how" of Tommy's triumph, but I felt a bit cheated because by the time you reach the scene the Prologue describes you have already figured out that it's coming...and with lots of pages left you know the tension being established will be resolved positively. So no cliff hanger then.

What was worse were the Lords. I am still not sure if these alien slavers were just straw men (or straw aliens if you like) for Tommy's foil, or meant to be fleshed out characters. I suspect the latter, but once again we have an alien race that are just Humans in Disguise. Perhaps that's the Universal Truth - that aliens will be just like us - but the Lords are just so passive it's hard to imagine them having the collective gumption to be where they were. Of course, that passivity allows Tommy to do his business, and that leads me back to my straw man theory. Anyway, moving along...

There are alien alien's in "A Larger Universe", the seemingly evil Kadiil, who roam the Universe providing gifts of FTL drives for those races who give up certain lines of physics research. Their motivations are opaque, their technologies seemingly God-like, their vision omnipotent.

Cloaked in mystery, they provide the true pivot point for the novel and are the reason I'm coming back to the sequel. I want to know if Gillaspy can pull off the truly impenetrable otherworldliness that I expect we'd find if aliens really did pop in for a visit. Hopefully that's the Kadiil, but time will tell.

(As an aside, Gillaspy gives a neat explanation as to why, when we look to the skies we don't see evidence of all this alien activity. It's one of many things that bugged me with Currie's "Into the Black: Odyssey One [Remastered Edition]" recently, Universes seething with activity that we somehow don't notice, Hubble et al notwithstanding.)

On other matters, some reviewers have noted there is detailed computer programming in "A Larger Universe"...and there is. But to be fair, it's a few pages description out of hundreds and if the intricacies of alien machine code is not your thing, it's easy enough to skip without missing anything vital.

I was more concerned with Tommy's amazing moral restraint around female slaves. Especially ones he fancies. We're talking a teenage boy with apparently normal hormones here, but luckily his mother installed a strong ethical centre for "how to treat women" and Tommy behaves with wisdom beyond his years. The wisdom of a much older Gillaspy perhaps? I applaud the position and appreciated the insight into Tommy's thinking/feeling on the matter but having been a teenage boy a while back I do wonder.

Apart from that, "A Larger Universe" is a pleasant enough read. I mentioned "Ender's Game" up front and if you enjoyed Card's novels you likely enjoy this one.
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