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Avatar, The por Poul Anderson
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Avatar, The (original 1978; edição 1980)

por Poul Anderson

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572331,173 (2.94)11
A monumental epic tale of space exploration and alien contact from one of science fiction's greatest writers In the future, humankind has taken only limited advantage of a miraculous gift left for it in the far-distant past. A beneficent and inscrutable alien race called the Others has provided "gates" that enable passage to all corners of the galaxy. But after the colonization of a single star system, a repressive government on Earth has forbidden all further explorations, seizing the returning starship Emissary and taking its crew captive along with an alien passenger the vessel encountered on its voyage.   A wealthy entrepreneur and off-world rebel incensed by the prevailing antiexpansionist politics, Daniel Brodersen decides to take matters into his own hands. Commandeering one of his company's spaceships, he travels to Earth to pull off a daring rescue of the prisoners and the extraterrestrial Betan visitor, then rockets off with them to points unknown. But before long, a lack of proper preparation has left Brodersen, his crew, and his lover, the remarkable Caitlín Mulryan, irretrievably lost in the vastness of uncharted space--and their only hope of finding their way back home again will be in doing the seemingly impossible: making contact with humanity's elusive ancient benefactors, the Others.… (mais)
Membro:rukk
Título:Avatar, The
Autores:Poul Anderson
Informação:Sidg. & J (1980), Hardcover, 380 pages
Colecções:myBooks, A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:sf

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The Avatar por Poul Anderson (1978)

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I enjoy a lot of Anderson's earlier books very much, but some of his later ones (like Heinlein's) read to much like libertarian propaganda for my taste, and this is one of them. The SF background , as usual with Anderson, is well crafted and based on up to date speculation by genuine scientists of the time, which he carefully credits. It involves humans finding "gates" which connect to different solar systems, which were apparently left behind deliberately by an unknown race of vastly superior technology known as the Others. Humans have already used this to begin colonizing space. Meanwhile, an exploring ship has met another intelligent race, not the Others, called the Betans, who profess to be eager for friendly trade. When the story picks up, the ship is returning (with a Betan envoy) but finds its exciting news is being suppressed by elements in the government that want to focus on social justice instead of space. Then a heroic entrepreneur rides to the rescue... ( )
  antiquary | Apr 19, 2018 |
Muito aborrecido. Uma desilusão ( )
  bruc79 | Jul 31, 2015 |
This review was written for the “Go Review That Book!” Group – game thread found here:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/40097

Although I read a fair amount of science fiction I have never really gotten into Poul Anderson, so I was not even really aware that I owned this book until Jensen_AKA_DL selected it for me to read/review.

Encouraged by the cover blurb - His big one! The long-awaited masterpiece by one of SF’s all-time greats! - I finished my current read and dove in…

The basic storyline starts out with the crew of the Emissary returning, earlier than they were expected, from space exploration via a “T-machine” – an artifact of the mysterious “Others.” They have encountered alien civilizations and expected a triumphant return only to be immediately embroiled in politico-military intrigue. Luckily, our free-swinging capitalist hero, Dan Broderson, had anticipated this turn of events. Surmising their return, Dan sets out on a rescue mission and the story is off – dodging authorities, out-thinking the bad guys, gunfights, consorting with aliens…and sex, lots and lots of SEX.

One of the socio-cultural speculative fiction themes woven into this novel is the concept of polyamory. However, Anderson doesn’t seem very comfortable with this notion. The in-novel discussion seems apologetic and defensive on one hand, and over-done and melodramatic on the other. You never get that impression (which Heinlein, for example, was able to convey) that the characters are comfortable with themselves, their sexuality, and the concept of polyamory.

Also on the social/cultural side: the impact of technologies linking computer capabilities to the human brain, on the personality and psychology on those humans, termed “holothetes”, which have been so trained since childhood. We learn about this through the character Joelle Ky, the holothete of the Emissary crew – apparently the transcendent experiences of the holothete yield a “wholly new order of perceiving and existing” which distances them from normal human interaction. Although, I have to say, it seems Joelle spends an inordinate amount of time reflecting on petty, purely human concerns for such a transcendant being.

I did spend some time as I was reading the book wondering what in the heck the title was referring to – a question that was not answered until quite late in the narrative.

Interspersed in between the action-adventure, space-opera chapters is a little Zen-like narrative consisting of short chapters which seem to trace the evolution of consciousness. I’m not sure how much, if anything, they add to the story. They did act as a kind of mental shift-change to cease the onrush of action and encourage a moment of reflection.

Published in the late 1970s this work now seems somewhat dated but overall a decent space-opera. A fairly quick read with a few mildly interesting concepts – 3 ½ stars. ( )
3 vote PortiaLong | Jan 18, 2009 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Poul Andersonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Sternbach, RickArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Theakston, GregArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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A monumental epic tale of space exploration and alien contact from one of science fiction's greatest writers In the future, humankind has taken only limited advantage of a miraculous gift left for it in the far-distant past. A beneficent and inscrutable alien race called the Others has provided "gates" that enable passage to all corners of the galaxy. But after the colonization of a single star system, a repressive government on Earth has forbidden all further explorations, seizing the returning starship Emissary and taking its crew captive along with an alien passenger the vessel encountered on its voyage.   A wealthy entrepreneur and off-world rebel incensed by the prevailing antiexpansionist politics, Daniel Brodersen decides to take matters into his own hands. Commandeering one of his company's spaceships, he travels to Earth to pull off a daring rescue of the prisoners and the extraterrestrial Betan visitor, then rockets off with them to points unknown. But before long, a lack of proper preparation has left Brodersen, his crew, and his lover, the remarkable Caitlín Mulryan, irretrievably lost in the vastness of uncharted space--and their only hope of finding their way back home again will be in doing the seemingly impossible: making contact with humanity's elusive ancient benefactors, the Others.

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