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Slow Train to Arcturus

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  236 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The planet Miran had sent a spaceship to rendezvous with the enormous vessel that was approaching their star system. The vessel’s design was odd—a multitude of separate globular habitats in a framework—and most of the alien team that entered one of the habitats were slaughtered by savage creatures called “humans.” One alien had barely managed to escape to another habitat w ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Baen (first published October 1st 2008)
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Mar 08, 2013 Ron rated it liked it
An enjoyable aspect of reading--and assumedly writing--science fiction is the opportunity to play "what if". Usually the author changes one variable and spins out what might happen. In Slow Train to Arcturus, Flint and Freer managed to combine a first contact story from the aleins' perspective with five what-if human cultures (based on only slightly exaggerated models from our own time), finally they all collide in a single adventure.

The biggest detractor was their unfortunate tendency to preac
Coyora Dokusho
Read at least (2) times

Quite. Funny.

I went looking for another Freer book and actually hadn't realized that I'd read this one before. Philosophically it's really interesting.

"The Brethren believe that all people have a better nature to appeal to. But I have decided it is not always possible to reach it." - said by Howard

I think it's really similar to my own philosophy of "Everyone can be saved, but *you* can't save everybody." Maybe they're not ready yet, or maybe I'm just not the right person,
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
From Publishers Weekly

Flint and Freer's latest collaboration (after 2007's Pyramid Power) doesn't bring anything original to space opera, but its fast pace and pulpy premise make for an engaging if shallow adventure. When a vast relic made up of massive bubbles approaches a star system inhabited by sentient space-faring aliens, a team of researchers is sent to investigate. Soon after the inquisitive aliens enter one of the bubbles, they're attacked by its murderously insane human inhabitants.

Michael Barnette
Aug 25, 2010 Michael Barnette rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2011 Andreas rated it liked it
Howard is a farmer in a deeply religious, backward society. One day an alien lands in his tomato plants. This starts his journey to discover that his world is actually one of several enormous spherical colony habitats strung like beads on a string. Each habitat contains a different society, all seemingly extreme in some way. Howard is more or less forced to help the alien, who is an explorer from a nearby star that this slowtrain of habitats is passing.

This combination adventure and pilgrimage t
Nov 22, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Story: Earth has found a way to get rid of its misfits and explore the stars at the same time – a ship called a slow train with habitats that will drop off in the habitable zone around a sun and become a new home. When the Mirans, humanoids who have an interesting sexual development cycle, discover the ship as it passes by their solar system, they investigate. What they find is a host of human cultures that range from hostile to primitive and one alien in particular named Kretz, learns much ...more
John Cooley
Apr 27, 2014 John Cooley rated it it was amazing
great book, very interesting idea. The biology and sociology seemed researched and well thought out. Some of the cultures were a little extreme, however that is most likely what would happen in isolation like that. Most of the book flowed very nicely too, however i felt the end was a little abrupt. I'm unsure if the thought here was that maybe there would be a sequel and then changed their mind at the last minute and threw in a ending.
Feb 06, 2009 Donna rated it really liked it
This is a Nortonesque light scifi novel. The Mirans, on noticing a spaceship approaching their solar system sends a spaceship out to make contact. The ship turns out to be a train of habitat bubbles that Earth has sent out to seed space. Each habitat has its own populace with very different cultures. Unfortunately, the Mirans make contact with the end habitat first. This bubble was settled by Aryans who are militant xenophobes. Their hostile reaction precipitates the rest of the adventure throug ...more
Wes Hanks
Aug 03, 2014 Wes Hanks rated it really liked it
Fun hard sci-fi, a study of different species, cultures thrown together.
Mike Kabongo
Dec 07, 2012 Mike Kabongo rated it it was amazing
Love it!
Good science fiction is so hard to find these days. While I love urban fantasy, have mixed feelings about steampunk and read as much as I can, Slow Train is the type of can do fiction I adore most. The main characters come together to beat not some loopy villain, but a lot of the very human handicaps we all wish we didn't have, and of course their battle against time itself. Their is a living breathing baddy or two in the book, but the story is about so much more than that.
Nov 02, 2010 Craig rated it liked it
This is a nice old-fashioned sf adventure novel set on a generation-ship, much the kind of thing one would have found in Campbell's ASTOUNDING and written by Eric Frank Russell or Christopher Anvil. The pacing is a little off in spots, but it's humorous and attention-grabbing and altogther a good way to spend a weekend.
Aug 22, 2008 Loki rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All
A pleasant exploration of several niche societies in a multiple habitat STL generation ship. The addition of the alien refugee Kretz makes for an excellent linking plot to bring all the separate parts together.

It's fluff, and a bit too fond of the "Frontier Theory" of history, but fun all the same.
May 09, 2010 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, reviewed-2010
David Freer does an amazing job of exploring what happens to both human societies and ecosystems when they become isolated, and how those societies can look from both another human society's perspective and from those of an alien culture.

Very well done, and a very good read.

Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Feb 14, 2009 Jo (Mixed Book Bag) rated it it was amazing
I was slow to warm up to this book but after the first two chapters I had trouble putting it down. This is Science Fiction with good writing, great description, likable aliens, good and bad humans and a great plot. The further I read the more I like to book.
Jul 20, 2012 Will rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Decent book from these two authors. It's not as chuckle-worthy as the Rats, Bats and Vats books, but well done with some good research into the scientific and sociological constructs.
Jan 04, 2016 Kim rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on

BIG TRIGGER WARNINGS: violence, religious extremism, kidnapping, attempted rape, slavery

Too fucked up to finish.
Dec 02, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read about a new approach to how mankind may someday explore the stars. Also mankind as seen from an alien's viewpoint.
Jul 01, 2010 Cheryl rated it it was ok
A really interesting idea that could have benefitted by having an editor. Not great, but not bad either.
Jun 29, 2008 Liviu rated it liked it

Fast and easy read; funny and over the top at times, but a page turner. Popcorn sf at its best.
Tania Shipman
Sep 04, 2011 Tania Shipman rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It's not my favourite Dave Freer book but I enjoyed it.
Jun 29, 2011 Brandon rated it it was ok
Started reasonably strong and then did not finish that way.
Nov 23, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better than I expected, fun read.
Apr 14, 2010 Mark rated it did not like it
Gave up 100 pages in. Boring.
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Eric Flint is a New York Times bestselling American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.
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