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The Avatar

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  452 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In the immeasurable past a mysterious alien race known as The Others left mankind a challenging legacy, a 'gate' to the unexplored reaches of the stars. Humanity has utilized the gate to painstakingly colonize the Phoebus star system but has left the rest of the galaxy unexplored. In the midst of turbulent political upheaval on Earth, the exploratory ship Emissary leaves t ...more
Paperback, 404 pages
Published October 15th 1980 by Berkley (first published 1978)
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Oct 06, 2007 Seamus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd read a few Poul Anderson Novellas in Hugo / Nebula Collections during my freshman year in College and found his blend of Social Commentary with Hard Science rather nice.

That said, this book, his first "Large" book that I've read is a bit of a disappointment - not because of a lack of Sci Fi, but rather at the pacing of the plot, and how the book in general came together, I found it a little hard to keep my attention on the book.

The story itself is about Dan Broderson and a motley crew that
Tracy Johnson
This is kind of an old-fashioned space opera novel in some ways. The politics are achingly libertarian, ala Heinlein and the very 70's new age free lovelifestyle/morals seems very laboured and forced in 2014. But this author has been one of my favourites and I was attraced to the book. Its very good in places and there are some great ideas, but it is very uneven. As and American living in Ireland for the past 10 years, I did enjoy the occasional Irish references -- although "Pegeen's" mannerism' ...more
Goodness this was a bit of a mud walk. It didn't grab me at all, although the ideas portrayed therein were interesting. The idea of having a sequence of star gate with combinations to travel through which would result in destinations not just spatial but temporal is interesting (how Stargate would have been different if 'chevron 9' allowed a temporal shift...)
I think the issues are the grubby cardboard politicking between Ira Quick and Makarov on Earth and Hancock on Demeter which is vague nasti
Robert Bush
Very dry, rather slow going. I enjoyed it okay, but I wouldn't read it again and don't know if I'd recommend it to anybody.

Supposedly the "purest" of the characters is also the one with the loosest morals. It also bothers me that the captain constantly professed how much he loves his mistress...and then as an after thought would state that he loved his wife just as much. Not believable at all. I do believe it is possible for a man to love two women equally, but the way it was presented in this b
Chris H-C
Aug 13, 2014 Chris H-C rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't written very engagingly, its ideas were few and over-explained, and it had that unfortunate tendency of trying to justify non-monogamous relationships and other present-day social taboos in a society that was written to have already gotten over them.
Kurt Hansen
It has been many years since I read the book but my general comments are the same as with Poul Anderson's other books --- often unexpected twists and deep stories which in some cases defined the genre for later authors.
Jun 09, 2010 Rusty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Poul Anderson has written many science fiction books. I rather liked this story because of the political ramifications elaborated upon and thespeculation about an alien species he refers to as The Others. The protagonists, Rijn and David Falkayn and Dan Broderson set out to win the stars and an empire for earth. Broderson searches for the Emisary, a lost ship that has been captured by an alien. His goal: To rescue some of the explorers on the Emisary held by the alien. To do so, he must find The ...more
Octavio Aragao
Um dos personagens femininos mais fortes de toda a FC.
Robert Riddell
Excellent book one of my favorites.
Oct 01, 2009 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is made up of two halves. The first half has a bunch of politics that I found extremely boring. The second half is a random exploration of time and space. I didn't care much for the cloying love theme throughout the book, but the discoveries along the way kept me interested enough to keep reading.
Nov 13, 2011 mirba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
It's my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it. the only thing I didn't like was that it was a tad too descriptive in useless moments (like who cares of three pages of description of a house we're going to see for five minutes of action in the book?)
Jul 09, 2007 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: specfic
Still one of my favorites by Poul Anderson. Not what you'd think from the cover at all, and the free love bit gets annoying after a while, but on the whole the story is good anyway.
May 09, 2012 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I really enjoyed this book. The first one I've read of his works since school. Writes nice, clean English with intent. Thoroughly enjoyable characters and story line.
I have the hardback version of this. It's kind of a Stargate before there was a Stargate. Good stuff.
Jun 17, 2007 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it when I was 14. Not quite as much since then.
Bruno Silva
Jul 05, 2013 Bruno Silva rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Muito aborrecido. Uma desilusão
Apr 05, 2012 Foxtower rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entertainment
Good! (I have the 1978 edition)
May 19, 2012 Peter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Just didn't quite gel for me
Jack Teague
science fiction
Jan 16, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, scifi-fantasy
Grade C
Shawn Misener
Shawn Misener is currently reading it
May 24, 2016
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Elaine Yale rated it liked it
May 20, 2016
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Perttu Raivio rated it liked it
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Askale marked it as to-read
May 12, 2016
ILENE rated it it was ok
May 12, 2016
Jake Schaffner
Jake Schaffner rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2016
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Liviu O marked it as to-read
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Dennis Hearon rated it it was ok
May 09, 2016
Laura marked it as to-read
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Pseudonym A. A. Craig, Michael Karageorge, Winston P. Sanders, P. A. Kingsley.

Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous a
More about Poul Anderson...

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