Copyright 1975 by
I first read this in March 1976 and most recently on the 15th August 2006
Vance Garamond was a respected flitterwing captain, the captain of a
solar sail spacecraft and a satisfied employee of Starflight, the
biggest company in the Solar System. However, events have taken something of an
unwelcome turn. Now he's on the run from the murderous President
of Starflight and he's taking his ship and crew on a mad dash through
While on the run Garamond discovers an astonishing, unexpected treasure:
an almost infinite resource for Humankind's future. He's discovered a
Dyson sphere, something known previously only in the imagination.
This came out about five years after "Ringworld" and it is an interesting
contrast: a much bigger idea in a much smaller book. Doesn't waste
words, our Bob. Peter Hamilton should take a lesson from
him. At a mere 186 pages Shaw covers the discovery and good part of
the exploration of a world that provides the 5 billion times the living
area of Earth. Compare this to Peter Hamilton's "Fallen Dragon".
Now you might think I'm a little obsessed with size here. Well frankly
let me tell you I am and rightly so. As we all know, size does
matter but only (heh, heh) that too big is just no good at all. Bob
Shaw knows this and that's what makes this such a clever and memorable
Bob Shaw is extremely good at writing driven characters, characters that
aren't likeable but to whom one may be sympathetic and Garamond is
certainly one of these. Like Orbitsville itself, you won't forget him.
Loaded on the 16th December 2006.