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Earthbound (Marsbound #3)

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  530 ratings  ·  63 reviews
"One of science fiction's most reliable practitioners" (San Francisco Chronicle) continues his saga of space exploration.

The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel-destroying Earth's fleet of starships in a display of unimaginable power. Now Carmen Dula, the first human to encounter Martians and then the mysterious Others, and her colleagues stru
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Ace Hardcover
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Conclusion of Joe Haldeman's trilogy that began with Marsbound. The trajectory of this series is surprising, in that with the first volume we begin with a fairly standard, high-optimism first contact story revolving around a teenager whose family moves to the Mars colony and becomes the focus of humanity's first encounter with aliens. The second volume chronicles the expedition mounted to go to the home system of The Others, ancient and incomprehensible nonhumans who maintain powers and abilitie ...more
Jim Warrenfeltz
Earthbound really seems like a book that was required to round out a "trilogy".

Marsbound and Starbound were both fun titles with lots of ideas. Earthbound is a collection of "and then this happened, then that happened, and finally this happened", without any greater ideas or revelations.
I really thought that going into this having read the negative reviews that my lowered expectations would allow me to be more accepting of the flaws. No. This book should never have been written. It feels like a fulfillment of a contractual obligation without any real story to fill the pages. This was so immensely stupid that I'm actually a bit annoyed that once again my need to know how things end has overwhelmed my better instincts.

This is like a scifi horror movie that exists just to show off
Haldeman seems completely lost here, and when when he hits 250 pages he whips out his own deus ex machina and delivers salvation to the main character and the book just, inexplicably, ENDS. Which is probably for the best.

A disappointing end to a disappointing trilogy. This book meanders with no real plot, just a sequence of random survival events as the characters try to deal with Earth being sent back to the stone age after their never ending source of power is suddenly turned off by the Other
It has been about 2 and a half years since I read the prior book in the trilogy, and that hampered my ability to remember what the cliffhanger situation was, who the characters were and their relationships with each other, and even large portions of the concepts forming the universe. The story begins a few days after the group that was out to visit The Others, returns to an Earth on which 50 years have passed, and The Others have smashed the moon and disabled all electromechanical devices. Serio ...more
Jeanne Boyarsky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
After the massive cliffhanger at the end of Starbound, our heroes are stuck on Earth. The Others have stopped all electrics and electronics from functioning. Civilization is collapsing and things are generally looking grim.

Compared to the previous two volumes, the concluding book is nowhere near as good. The premise is clever and intriguing, but it devolves quickly into a story about how to survive the end of civilization. The epic storyline dealing with the Others and what place humanity will h
Joe Haldeman is a name I've trusted, a rare author you can buy almost on the strength of the name alone. When I saw this in a bookstore, I was surprised, because I hadn't seen any of his books for years. When I read the blurb on the book's back cover, however, alarm bells began to go off. Such was my faith in the author that I bought it anyway. That was not one of my better decisions.

First, be aware this book is part of a "series" by the author, set in the same general story line. I hadn't notic
D.L. Morrese
In this third novel in the Marsbound series, the crew of the Ad Astra return to Earth after their brief and unsatisfying meeting with the mysterious “Others.” Their welcome back celebration has barely begun before the virtually omnipotent aliens to decide to torment humanity again. We never learn much about them from direct communication, but from their actions, it is clear the Others are a sadistic bunch, treating humanity they way a budding psychopath might treat a fly, pulling off one wing an ...more
Yonatan Bryant
A couple things to preface this review.
1) I really enjoyed the first two books
2) After reading the first two back to back, I waited a year (or more) for this volume to come out in paperback.

After noting those, while it did take me a bit of time to remember all of the details of the characters, most of the information did come back.

All in all, however, Earthbound is very much a chapter is a larger story and is not really it's own thing. The story picks up a shortish while after the cliffhanger
The Marsbound series, written by Joe Haldeman began with the novel of the same title, which was originally serialized in Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine. This third novel of the series, Earthbound, continues to follow Carmen and Paul, as the aftermath of events in Starbound leave the Moon a shattered ruin, and humanity at the mercy of the unfathomable Others.

Synopsis for Earthbound :

The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel-destroying Earth's fleet of s
I read this book completely unaware that there are two others in the series (two prequels). So maybe that skewed my opinion. My main complaint is that the book seemed like Haldeman was writing it as the ideas were coming to him. In other words, the book didn't feel very well thought-out.

For example, the opposing alien force - the Others - use the human body of an old friend the main character they knew as 'Spy' to communicate with the people of earth. Near the end of the book, Spy materializes
Clark Hallman
With Earthbound (a Marsbound Novel), Joe Haldeman, the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, wraps up his fascinating three-book story that began with Marsbound and continued with Starbound. Carmen Dula, who voyaged to Mars with her family in Marsbound and discovered Martians is the main character, and first person narrator, of Earthbound. She and her husband, whom she met on Mars, are back on Earth after they had voyaged to a distant star system in Starbound to try to negotiate a truce with a s ...more
Francis Gahren
My Take

A very enjoyable read - third in a series by Joe Haldeman that proposes one possible answer to the age-old question "Are we alone in the universe?". The answer is no, and that we are to the "Others" as the ant is to a human.

In this novel, we come fresh from the meeting with "the Others" and see how little we have impressed them. As a matter of fact, they have crushed the moon and taken away all power/electricity/energy from the earth, two things that will definitely keep us earth-bound.

David O'neill
Earthbound completes (?) Haldeman’s Mars series, and where the second book, Starbound, ended disappointedly, this novel redeems the series after the brilliant first book, Marsbound.

The first book, of course, detailed how humans met aliens on Mars who it turned out where not native to the red planet, but creatures created tens of thousands of years ago by the mysterious and very powerful species called the Others. As it turns out, these Others were using the pseudo-Martians as observer’s, keepin
Quick read. Didn't read the other two first, but that didn't really matter. What I like about this author is his crisp writing. He goes directly into the story. There's not a lot of descriptions or explanations or superfluousness at all. In spite of that, you are taken right into the story and it flows very quickly. The end was cool, not happy, not sad, it just was. He writes about other beings, aliens, very matter of factly. They are included in the story like no big deal.
Allan Caplan
I'm a big fan of Joe Haldeman's work, but I found Earthbound a calm finish to his Marsbound trilogy.

If you haven't already, start with Marsbound, and follow t up with Starbound, its sequel, this book I don't think stands on its own.

Earthbound starts where Starbound ends. (view spoiler) Now, Carmen and Paul have to figure out what to do.

While well written, I thought it to be a very mellow book, considering. There is quite a bit of
I'm starting to wonder why I read Haldeman any more. This novel was similar in tone to the last Hunger games novel - depressing and pointless. Basically this novel is about how the Earth goes to hell once the Others turn off the power. In hindsight, it seems that at lot of his novels are like this series. Humans from about a 100 or so years in the future are in a struggle with some alien god-like intelligence who plays with people like they are toys or because they are bored or because they can. ...more
Just read the 1st 10 pgs. Seems like SM Stirling's Dies the Fire where all earth tech breaks down. Haldeman blows away most authors in conciseness (except John Scalzi & Mike Resnick). I haven't read the previous book Starbound.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If this is a trilogy, then what a weird ending. I'm not sure what the point of this book is, in which the Others (aliens beyond all human understanding) turn off the power on Earth and humans, typically, descend immediately into chaos. Our protagonists fight their way to what they believe is a safe haven, with food, water, and weapons quickly running out. And ends. We don't get closure about the Others, we don't find out how Earth deals with the power vacuum. I did like the ending bet ...more
CV Rick
I like a depressing read as much as the next guy, but this one was a downer. See, in this series we started out with a hopeful teenager who encounters and alien species and a clever pilot who prevents an attack from destroying the planet. It seemed that possibilities abounded.

In this one we've reached the stars and returned and then are crushed by a superior force with incredible technology.

Yeah - that's it. There's a plot and a struggle and then . . . defeat. You have to give me more than tha
I was disappointed by the last novel in this series. But...not so disappointed because I finished it in two days. The series took an unexpected turn that took the energy out the characters. I missed the fun of Marsbound and the anticipation of meeting the "others" in Starbound. I kept reading at a furious pace over the last two days so I could find and bask in the joy of a good ending. Not so. Life sucked on Earth and the characters didn't cope with it very well. I am ready to move on.
While I generally liked this better than the other two, there's too much explaining of references to previous books. The second book also had this problem. I don't mind that characters look back at their past from the other books (especially since the entire series spans decades), but it's annoying that every time they do so, it's followed by a full paragraph of explaining what actually happened. These are all major plot points in the previous books and they don't need explaining.
I usually like Haldeman, but he actually manages to make the end of civilization seem boring.
I love Joe Haldeman. I just plain love the man. He's one of the very few authors out there who truly understand how to write good science fiction. His writing is plain, clear and honest, and he REALLY knows how to tell a good story.

Unfortunately, I picked this book up at the library, simply because it was BY Haldeman - I'd no idea that it was the 3rd book in a trilogy. However, even though I now know how the trilogy ends, I do plan to read the first two.
A good ending to the Marsbound trilogy, but -- as always -- the third book falls away after the heights of the second. "Earthbound" essentially asks one simple question: what would happen if all electricity, everywhere, stopped working forever? The answers are not surprising: think "The Walking Dead" without the zombies, or "Flood" without the, er, flood. But still, the story rolls along and the ending is reasonably satisfying.
He must have died halfway through writing the book because it all of the sudden wraps up and finishes. Not "finishes" as in completes the story, "finishes" as in he made some deadline for the publisher. Much of the book turns out to be worthless to the plot.

He could have done a better job for readers of the first two books and just not written the third. I'm sure you came up with a better ending than he did.
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Brother of Jack C. Haldeman II

Haldeman is the author of 20 novels and five collections. The Forever War won the Nebula, Hugo and Ditmar Awards for best science fiction novel in 1975. Other notable titles include Camouflage, The Accidental Time Machine and Marsbound as well as the short works "Graves," "Tricentennial" and "The Hemingway Hoax." Starbound is scheduled for a January release. SFWA pres
More about Joe Haldeman...

Other Books in the Series

Marsbound (3 books)
  • Marsbound
  • Starbound
The Forever War (The Forever War, #1) Forever Peace (The Forever War, #2) The Accidental Time Machine Camouflage Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)

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