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Saturn's Race

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  587 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The future is a strange and dangerous place. Chaz Kato can testify to that. He is a citizen of Xanudu, a city-sized artificial island populated by some of the wealthiest men and women on future Earth. A place filled with hidden wonders and dark secrets of technology gone awry. Lenore Myles is a student when she travels to Xanadu and becomes involved with Chaz Kato. She is ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 18th 2001 by Tor Science Fiction (first published June 30th 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,026)
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Oct 04, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok
This one was kind of interesting...but the character development was so shallow that I never really got into it. I didn't think the writing was fabulous. The plot was interesting though, and I thought there were two rather fascinating ideas at the heart of the book:

1) Human beings will create the first alien species by using using computer-brain interfaces to "upgrade" animal brains.

2) The rapid population growth of the third world is a huge threat to the wealthier, slower-growing parts of the
Mar 29, 2013 Karla rated it liked it
Saturn’s Race, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes (3.5)
While this book is set in the future (2020) and has advanced scientific concepts, I would not characterize it as traditional Sci-Fi. It is a nice blend of adventure and mystery with cultural and psychological questions surrounding the scientific advancements of the time. Society in this future is run by a handful of rarely seen councilors, who are powerful, rich and mysterious. Much of the story revolves around a man-made island in the South Paci
May 09, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, romance
This book is a bizarre mix of really good, thought-provoking sci-fi and really corny, really bad romance. The first chapter reads exactly like something out of a Silhouette novel. If you can get past that the authors have some really nifty ideas about genetic engineering and future habitations. Anod they have some great, very thought-provoking commentary on race, race relations, patriotism, and in particular cultural purity. If you can get past the super sacchariny mush interspersed throughout t ...more
Jul 22, 2011 Gendou rated it liked it
I like the futurist vision of high-tech artificial islands.
The romantic relationships bored me, but overall the characters are cool.
The technique of computer hacking using "metaphors" is pretty stupid.
Augmentation of marine animals seems silly at first, but...
The true nature of Saturn is a pretty cool surprise.

Oh, and there's NINJAS! He he.
May 12, 2008 josie rated it it was ok
the writing is uneven, and the plot is plodding. some nice ideas get it up to 2 stars.
Nov 04, 2015 Kazriko rated it really liked it
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Aug 27, 2008 Tony rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not my favorite Niven-Barnes work, but pretty good and deserves an honorable mention because of the addition of genetically enhanced Sharks. I only wish they had a bigger part in the story. Too much human drama and not enough piscatorial love!
Mark Smiley
Was hoping for more. I was excited to see sharks with arms on the cover and presumed it would be a great. Ok, especially with a name like Larry Niven on the cover. There were some editing parts in his futuristic brain-augmenting mystery. But nothing to keep me horribly intrigued.
Norman Howe
May 22, 2015 Norman Howe rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Ruthless mulltimillionaires impose population control on the world's poor. Unfortunately"," this novel is almost as soulless as the villains.
Jul 28, 2014 Nickvlad rated it it was ok
Didn't really care for this one at all. None of the characters really appealed to me as protagonists and other than the twist about the wealthy people feeding the world there was nothing in this book at all for me to recommend it.
Mar 02, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
2008 grade B

with Steven Barnes
Jun 21, 2011 John rated it liked it
As a book, not that great. I guess I mostly took issue with the writing style and graphic level of this book. That said, this offers one of the most facinating views of a near future I have seen in a while. The main element of the book is the the idea of sterilizing third world countries in a subtle way that will not be felt or seen for thirteen years. A facinating idea and the morality of such a decision was quite intriguing.
Aug 29, 2014 Bracken rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
Interesting bioethics questions, wrapped in a fairly fast-paced sci-fi world. A fun read, but not life-changing.
Nov 21, 2011 George rated it it was ok
A mildly entertaining book... This had a few cool ideas for conspiracy theories and near-future politics. Personally I think the future that Niven and Barnes envisioned should have been a bit more distant (the story takes place in 2020 and was written in 2000 - I would have believed a 2050 timeframe). The end was somewhat predictable, yet also a bit mish-mashed together.
Sep 06, 2011 Andreas rated it did not like it
As in so many of Niven’s later works, there is a great backstory, but the novel falls short of the mark. A large offshore colony is dabbling in genetic engineering. There is a great feeling of hope that mankind will have a bright future. Needless to say, this doesn’t happen. Not very good, but it has some cool ideas and settings.
Jun 17, 2013 Steve rated it did not like it
This book varied from bland and predictable to nonsensical pretty freely. In the end, the one consistency between this, and all of Larry Niven's work, is that he appears to have never interacted with actual people before. The characters are stiff and utterly unbelievable. I only finished this book because I owed it to an old friend to read it through.
Jeff Crosby
I enjoyed the first two thirds of this book. The last third wasn't awful, but it wasn't the payoff I was hoping to find. Set in the Dream Park universe, this book lacks the wit and pacing of those books. Still, I'm glad I took the ride. I doubt Kent or Doc would find it compelling. There is nothing particularly offensive, but also nothing compelling.
Trey Simmons
Aug 13, 2015 Trey Simmons rated it liked it
Dual authors are a common thing but it didn't work here. It truly felt like a bad hand off. Cool concept but not well executed. You start with one set of characters and then switch to another story with most of the similar characters but the primary protagonist changed obviously. This book will probably find itself at a used bookstore.
Apr 16, 2012 Eric rated it did not like it
I am glad I only paid about 50 cents from this book at a book sale. I didn't enjoy it at all. It was slow at times, hard to keep track of characters and it just didn't appeal to me. I don't know why I decided to keep on reading it until I finished.

May 01, 2009 Lawana rated it liked it
Pacing was a bit slower than Achilles Choice, but once the story fully developed it moved along rather quickly.

As someone who loves speculative fiction as well as pre- and post-apocalyptic stuff, I give this one a big thumbs up.
May 07, 2012 Mike rated it it was ok
I found this somewhat boring. It's a near-future sci-fi about cybernetically-enhanced people. I guess it's also a mystery of sorts, but I found it hard to care about the people, which made the mystery less compelling. Yawn.
Oct 18, 2011 Neb rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Larry Niven fans, Arthur Clarke fans, sci-fi fans
Shelves: sci-fi
Interesting, slightly cyber-punk tale of the not-so-distant future where human-machine interfacing is possible...for the very rich. Nice elitist scientist Utopian intrigue.
Dec 26, 2007 Ratiocination rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Not my favorite Niven, nor even my favorite Niven-Barnes collaboration. The premise is cool, but the story doesn't really click, and feels hurried towards the end.
Dec 28, 2013 Bradley rated it liked it
Not too bad I suppose. It was an okay read. =)
Apr 04, 2012 Foxtower rated it really liked it
Shelves: entertainment
I kept wanting to say to the wonderful characters..." No! No! Don't go there!", but they did anyway. A thouroughly engaging story.
Kenneth Flusche
Dec 04, 2011 Kenneth Flusche rated it it was amazing
Verry Good for the Occupy Wallstreet group, a continuation of the old adage absolute power corrupts absolutly. I liked it
John Holcomb
Mar 28, 2013 John Holcomb rated it liked it
Heavy tech knowledge about genetics and computers to wade thru. Decent story but not the best from Niven i have read.
Lonna Cunningham
Mar 09, 2012 Lonna Cunningham rated it it was ok
Acceptable brain candy sort of book.
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ marked it as off-tbr-and-into-wpb
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more
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