Manual The Fleet of Stars: Harvest of Stars Book 4

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Suspecting a conspiracy to suppress humankind's last vestiges of freedom, Guthrie begins a dangerous journey across the realm of the comets, the asteroids, and the stars themselves--willing to risk his life to preserve humanity's ability to roam the universe. Paperback , pages.

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Published February 15th by Tor Science Fiction first published Harvest of Stars 4. Prometheus Hall of Fame Award Nominee To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Fleet of Stars , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Mar 26, Anthony Faber rated it liked it. Standard space libertarian ubermensch novel.

In , science-fiction author Poul Anderson published Harvest of Stars , the first in a four-volume future history that depicted the human race grappling with machine intelligences. 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 bu In , science-fiction author Poul Anderson published Harvest of Stars , the first in a four-volume future history that depicted the human race grappling with machine intelligences.

KIRKUS REVIEW

For Anderson, superhuman intelligences were scary because they might lead to a managed economy, the great bugbear of libertarians like himself. But also, Anderson started off writing science-fiction in the s when everyone envisaged intrepid space cowboys flying their ships all over the galaxy. By his old age, it was becoming evident that automation meant humans would have little direct role in piloting craft or working any other machines.

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Harvest of Stars

Furthermore, other forward-thinking authors like Vernor Vinge were suggesting that humanity might even choose to simply stay put and move into a virtual reality instead of expanding outward into the galaxy. This reversal of all he had held dear left Anderson appalled. While the middle volumes had been set in the solar system and dealt entirely with the struggle against domineering AI, here Anderson brings back the interstellar colonization theme. The freewheeling humans that made it to Alpha Centauri have, in the subsequent centuries, expanded further to other star systems in the nearest few light years.


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As the novel opens Anson Guthrie, Anderson's libertarian hero that has lived for centuries in these distant colonies as a downloaded personality, gets word that Earth's cybernetic overlords have discovered some shocking secret through their distributed space telescope array. Boarding a c-ship where he can hibernate during the long voyage, Guthrie heads for Earth to see what's up.

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The bulk of the book consists of a handful of discontented humans on the Moon and Mars complaining about how AI stifles the meaning of their lives and attempting to riddle out the secret discovery about which rumours are flying. This is all extremely disappointing science-fiction: In spite of his reputation as a proponent of "hard science-fiction", Anderson in fact shows very little imagination, especially compared to the cyberpunks who were turning out such fresh work in the same period that he was writing.

In the third volume of the series, Harvest the Fire , it seemed like Anderson's plot was bringing him past mere libertarian ranting, but sadly the reappearance of the Anson Guthrie character allows him to crank it up all over again. Guthrie, the book's second protagonist alongside the restless moondweller Fen, serves only to voice Anderson's dislike of governments, income tax, etc. The big reveal of the AI secret that the reader waits for turns out not to be any big reveal at all, and this is not the first time in this series that Anderson keeps us in suspense only to find out there was nothing really there.

Thus, all in all, it feels like Anderson gave up on hard science fiction and just wanted to quickly build a generic and invariable midth-century space opera setting where he could bang on about political themes without the actual march of technology or the fact that human cultures change over time getting in his way. I can't recommend this series, even if the epic scope of the first volume might in spite of the libertarian agitprop augur well.

HARVEST OF STARS by Poul Anderson | Kirkus Reviews

Mar 13, Joshua rated it liked it Shelves: Decent read until the last few pages, in which a Anderson destroys an element that I was actually really liking. Still worth the time Even if it did take me a month. Stupid school, sucking up my reading time. Dec 11, Claude rated it did not like it Shelves: Justin Ingersoll rated it liked it Apr 20, Jorg rated it it was ok Aug 30, Jeff rated it really liked it Dec 27, Tom King rated it really liked it Oct 14, Kevin rated it really liked it Jan 08, Ginny rated it liked it Mar 14, Ben rated it it was amazing Jul 15, Andrew Wasson rated it liked it Apr 18, Be the first to discover new talent!

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