Starmind

Spider Robinson, Author, Jeanne Robinson, With
Spider Robinson, Author, Jeanne Robinson, With Ace Books $21.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-441-00209-2
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-441-00305-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 247 pages - 978-0-441-78360-1
Hardcover - 247 pages - 978-0-441-78357-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-671-72097-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-671-31989-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-4554-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-4482-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-4780-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4332-8814-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4332-4555-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-4332-4556-5
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4332-4485-8
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4332-4558-9
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4332-4785-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4332-4481-0
Hardcover - 978-1-56865-261-0
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This concluding novel in the Stardance trilogy, after Stardance (1977) and Starseed (1992), suffers from a problem common to later volumes in multibook sagas: competing demands between the plot and the series' backstory. The Starmind, a universal overmind engineered by benevolent aliens from telepathically linked human Stardancers, is the Robinsons' response to SF's usual presentation of human futures based on technological, rather than artistic, development. Here, though, the Starmind's final evolution seems too methodical and out of sync with the novel's human focus: the moving drama of 21st-century writer Rhea Paixao and the emotional rift that grows between her and composer husband Rand Porter when he moves the family from her beloved Earth to a luxury hotel in outer space. Subplots concerning an assassination attempt and a conspiracy to liberate humanity from the Starmind's control illustrate the parochial concerns the human race must overcome in order to achieve the apotheosis planned for it. Not surprisingly, the novel features the authors' usual well-drawn characters, but the euphoric optimism of its climax seems unearned and less believable than the concluding pathos of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, to which this trilogy is clearly indebted. (June)
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