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A Star Curiously Singing

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  300 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
If he fixes the robot, will he break his world? In a future ruled by sharia law, machines are managed by debuggers, who in turn are owned by masters. Sandfly, a level 12 debugger, is sent into Earth orbit to repair a robot that tore itself apart after a deep space flight -- because it heard singing.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Marcher Lord Press (first published September 30th 2009)
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Ellen Maze
Jun 06, 2010 Ellen Maze rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sci-fi,christian cyberpunk,good for everyone

In a futuristic world where sharia law is in place and mankind relies on technology to perform the simplest task, DR63 “SandFly” is about to find his life turned upside down. A ‘Chosen One’, SandFly was chosen as a youth to be implanted with a device that would allow him to speak to all of the machines that run the planet. Even though this would seem to give him incredible, unstoppable power, it does not because those in charge who ‘chose him’ hold a controller that zaps him if disobeys. SandFly
Rebekah Rodda
Nov 23, 2016 Rebekah Rodda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, christian, favorites
Way too exciting for a late night read! This is an amazing Christian dystopian SF. Sandfly is a debugger - a superhuman slave - who tells his story with unique, sarcastic flair. He is as mouthy as he can be, even to his Master. Debuggers have an implant in their head that enables them to access and process any available information from the information stream and communicate silently with other implanted beings. This is fettered power though - they are given mental blocks to prevent illegal thou ...more
Jan 05, 2010 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, sci-fi

It's hard to find good fiction. And by good I mean good. There is a disturbing lack of Christian fiction these days. What happened to the days of Tolkien and Lewis? My preferred genres are fantasy and science-fiction. Good luck trying to find something that is both fantasy/sci-fi and Christian! Oh, wait - I did.

Marcher Lord is a small Christian publishing company specializing in Christian speculative fiction. Recently I read the debut novel from author Ker
Holly Heisey
Mar 24, 2010 Holly Heisey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes cyberpunk
Kerry Nietz keeps the fast and glitzy of top-notch cyberpunk without the sleazy and nihilistic. Seamless writing, great narrator, clever cyberslang, and a great sense of humor. A tad slow in the middle, but wait for it because the ending is killer! One of the best books I've read in a long time.
Kat Heckenbach
Jan 10, 2011 Kat Heckenbach rated it it was amazing
I am not one for simple plot summaries when it comes to book reviews. I will say it's the story of Sandfly, a "debugger" sent to fix a robot on an experimental spaceship. Sci-fi, yep. Not heavy, hard sci-fi. Very character-driven. And voice....

The voice of these novels is what really grabbed me. The plot is awesome, the characterization top-notch...the pacing, descriptions, everything, no complaints. Spot on.

The voice, mind-blowing.

Especially when you consider the point of view they're written i
Kyle Pratt
Jan 23, 2013 Kyle Pratt rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christian science fiction fans
In "A Star Curiously Singing", author Kerry Nietz fully develops a dark dystopian, but believable world. On this future Earth sharia law prevails, polygamy is common and women are covered from head to toe. But, even more frightening, conformity is obligatory. Those few allowed to think outside of required norms are mere slaves, their very thoughts controlled by pain. From the first page to the last, we see this Orwellian world through the eyes, and the mind, of one such slave, Sandfly.

Nietz had
Joe Young
Apr 23, 2011 Joe Young rated it really liked it
An outstanding story based in a universe where class subjugation is enforced by the Masters by using chip surgically implanted in the head of the working class at a tender age of ten. The society has come together after many wars and is justified by religious hierarchy loosely based on Islam. The working class (debuggers) have an ability to communicate using their implanted chips and access all data that is accumulated defining nano technology, robotics and other smart technology they exist to m ...more
Lydia Presley
Dec 06, 2010 Lydia Presley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, christian-lit, 2010
This book was not available for me to check out from my library. It's not available on the bookshelves in Barnes and Noble for me to look through - so without the INSPY awards, I can guarantee you I would have never purchased this book and taken a chance on it.

So thank you INSPYs for putting this book on my radar and for forcing me to take that leap and read a book that totally blew me away.

Christian Sci-Fi - what does that label make you do? Does it make you wince and imagine some hokey story
A.K. Meek
Sep 22, 2012 A.K. Meek rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by Nietz that I have read. At first I was skeptical at the thought of sci-fi intertwined with overtly Christian ideas, but decided to buy it on a whim. I am glad I did, for the following reasons.

The first thing I noticed about the writing is that it’s intelligent. You will not find a phrase such as, “He was very, very, very happy.” Nietz (and his editor) took great care in providing a clean, clear story. It did not force emotion, but let it play out through dialog and Sand
Aug 02, 2012 Pete rated it it was amazing
I don’t try to be a Grinch when reviewing novels. I’m just hard to please. But this novel pleased a lot. The author builds a fascinating and believable cyberpunk world where a data flow--like an advanced wireless-internet--is constantly available and waiting to be ‘streamed’ by specialized humans with implants. Where implanted humans and intelligent robots are controlled by a backward-thinking ruling class locked into a form of Sharia Law. And the lead character is faced with challenges made uni ...more
D.M. Dutcher
Jul 11, 2012 D.M. Dutcher rated it really liked it
Strong Christian SF novel with great worldbuilding skills.

Sandfly is a Debugger-a worker hooked up to the stream and blocked to prevent thinking about any topics that would go against his masters. One day he is sent up into space to do a job. A servbot has been torn apart on the maiden voyage of a star flight to Betelguese. It's up to him to puzzle out the mystery, before lack of tube sleep drives him insane.

I loved the world. It's set in a cyberpunk far future where Islam is dominant and where
Jill Williamson
Jan 19, 2010 Jill Williamson rated it it was amazing
Review by Jill Williamson

In a future governed by a strict rules, there are two types of people: masters and debuggers. A debugger is a person whose brain has been implanted with a computer. Debuggers’ masters use them as a tool, to fix things, to run errands, or to discipline if needed.

Sandfly’s master sends him to space on a special mission. A robot tore itself apart and the masters want to know why. As Sandfly investigates, he discovers not only that the bot picked up a signal that proves the
Feb 15, 2016 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Foreshadows a Troubled and Troubling World

Kerry Nietz, who wrote this novel in 2007, clearly had visions of a world under Shri'a law, except where high tech was used everywhere. Even the Imam of everyone Muslim gives permission for deep space adventures for future profit and knowledge.

Instead of using societal pressure to control behavior, the masters use chip implants for their technical design and debugging personnel, who are now chattel. Punishment comes from manipulating a collar, or from
Oct 14, 2010 Nathanael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
Kerry Nietz has done an exceptional job with his debut novel. A Star Curiously Singing seized me from the very beginning. The descriptions of Sandfly‘s technologically advanced society seemed very realistic; the constant interaction with robots reminded me of the best of Asimov‘s fiction. At the end, though, it was not the science that impressed me most about this book. It was the fiction.
Nietz’s characters are all extremely well-drawn out. His plot kept me guessing until the end. His writing
Janet Sketchley
In a dystopian future of Earth with advanced technology and a repressive global regime, to be a tech geek is to be a slave. Anyone (usually male) chosen for this role at age 10 is implanted with a chip that allows him to wirelessly connect to machines, computers and serv-bots—-to “stream” to them—-and to perform necessary repairs.

These people are called debuggers, and Sandfly is a good one. He does what his master orders, and rarely gets “tweaked” for disobedient or dangerous thoughts, although
Chas Funderburg
Jul 06, 2012 Chas Funderburg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
" ...everybody serves somebody." Machines serve debuggers, and debuggers serve their human masters. Which is fine until a group of scientists embark on a mission to a distant start, which sings a new song via what the book calls 'the stream.'

I found the book hard to keep up with, at first, but once if got the hang of the lingo, it started to make a lot of sense, and it reminded me of the world we live in today. The real battle today is the battle of philosophies. The 'Christian' point of view an
Morgan Busse
May 02, 2012 Morgan Busse rated it it was amazing
From the first chapter, I was hooked. The book is written from the first person point of view (we see the world through Sandfly’s eyes). His role as a debugger leaves him in a needed but barely tolerated role in this futuristic Islam society. I was fascinated with the idea of being connected with the Internet and all the information available via an implant. However, that same implant also ensures you obey. If you think an angry thought about your master (the one who owns you as a debugger), you ...more
Oscar Garcia
Apr 28, 2011 Oscar Garcia rated it really liked it
What if, in a alternate future, the Muslim religion is the dominant power in our universe. The "debuggers" who repair the advanced technological machines that carry out all the needs of this male-dominant society of "Masters" are themselves enslaved by implants in their heads which allow them to engage with the machines they are sent to repair with the help of the "stream". Data is "streamed" into their heads instantly and allows the debuggers to do their jobs and communicate with each other in ...more
Carol Parsons
Jan 24, 2012 Carol Parsons rated it it was amazing
Kerry is an exciting new addition to the science fiction community. A Star Curiously Singing is the first in his Dark Trench Saga and is a gripping story from page one. Although I usually don't like first person stories, Star is masterfully done and is a sure fire page turner. Even if you don't particularly care for science fiction A Star Curiously Singing is worth reading.
C.J. Darlington
I should've read this book a long time ago! Great science fiction story with strong Christian themes. Stick with it if you're confused in the first few pages. You'll quickly become immersed in the story. Nietz has an amazing imagination.
Jan 23, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction

Sandfly, GrimJack, and HardCandy are debuggers. What’s a debugger? On Kerry Nietz’s Earth, debuggers are the best tools you can own. They have full access to the shared information of the stream, they are fabulous problem solvers, they can repair just about any bot or ship that malfunctions, and best of all they are more adaptable than bots and able to think on their feet. Debuggers, are human slaves, and they wear their chains inside their heads nestled atop their gray matter.

Their teardrop sha
Timothy Dean
Jun 11, 2010 Timothy Dean rated it it was amazing

"A Star Curiously Singing"
is an offbeat, unconventional and absolutely enchanting read.

I love stories - I have since childhood - all kinds of them, crossing genres and periods. If an author can rub words together, conjure a world and people it with complex characters, I will follow him or her just about anywhere.

So I'm pleased to report - I will go with Kerry Nietz to the stars.

Fast forward five centuries. One particular religious/cultural group dominates this brav
This was another novel selected for the INSPY speculative fiction shortlist. Rather than focus the idea of eternal life, A Star Curiously Singing focuses on God's message and doing what's right versus eternal life, like in Eternity Falls or The Last Christian. Sandfly's struggles to do what is right within his capabilities and without alerting the Abduls was fascinating. The debugger back story is quite intriguing and well-developed. One truly cares about Sandfly and his problems.

The issue is th
Jul 19, 2010 Tyler rated it really liked it
Synopsis: Sandfly is a level-12 debugger. He has a chip implanted in his head that allows him to obtain virtually any piece of information very easily. Each debugger is owned and controlled by a master that can cause the chip in his head to painfully reprimand the debugger when not explicitly following directions. Sandfly is sent up into earth's orbit to repair a robot that has torn itself apart after a journey into deep space. Sandfly begins uncovering a mystery that the new world leaders have ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Chas. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spec-fic
...everybody serves somebody. Machines serve debuggers, and debuggers serve their human masters. Which is fine until a group of scientists embark on a mission to a distant star, which sings a new song via what the book calls 'the stream.' A Christian would call this the Song of Salvation.

I found the book hard to keep up with, at first, but once if got the hang of the lingo, it started to make a lot of sense, and it reminded me of the world we live in today. The real battle today is the battle of
R.M. Lutz
Aug 13, 2015 R.M. Lutz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
A wonderful combination of technology and skepticism of religion as told by a sarcastic character, I would recommend A Star Curiously Singing to anyone who would like a Christian science fiction novel written with wit. (Read more at my blog,
Apr 08, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Excellent sci-fi with a Christian twist. Characters are rich and the plot is solid. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Read my full review at
Jon Handler
Jul 04, 2011 Jon Handler rated it it was amazing
I love the tone and pacing of this book. Very dreamy but also hard edged. I also am really enjoying high tech futurism... Somewhat like John C Wright in that regard, although it's less centrally placed.
Having trouble putting it down!

Done. Awesome!
Chris Schaeffer
Apr 27, 2013 Chris Schaeffer rated it it was amazing
Completely unexpected gem. I randomly bought the Kindle book for a dollar because it sounded interesting. A mix of science fiction, mystery, and spiritual commentary.

Finding hidden treasures like this book makes reading unknown authors worth the risk.
Sep 21, 2015 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most creative stories I've read, blending imagination with truth often hidden, to create a world not improbable.
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Kerry Nietz is a refugee of the software industry. He spent more than a decade of his life flipping bits, first as one of the principal developers of the database product FoxPro for the now mythical Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates's minions at Microsoft. He is a husband, a father, a technophile and a movie buff. He is the author of several award-winning novels, including A Star Curious ...more
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