Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Starship from Earth” as Want to Read:
The Last Starship from Earth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Last Starship from Earth

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Haldane IV and Helix were a part of an ultra-rational society where mathematicians did not write poetry, where mathematicians did not fall in love with poets, and where most specifically, Haldane IV, young mathematician, couldn't possibly marry Helix, the attractive poet of his choice. It was in the best interests of the human race, said the State, that mates be selected f ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 182 pages
Published March 30th 1978 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Starship from Earth, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Starship from Earth

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 334)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Perry Whitford
In a society where citizens are split bewteen professionals and proletarians, the state is run by a triumvirate of Soc(iologists), Psyc(hologists) and the Church and where selective breeding dictates that unions are restricted to the same class, a mathematician (Haldane IV, M-5 category) falls in love with a poet of the artistic class (Helix, A-7) with a speciality in 18th century romantic verse.
A scientist named Fairweather has discovered a Simultaneity Formula that made possible easy travel to
...more
Invadozer Saphenousnerves Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat
Ya'd think with a title like this there is a chance that this is all about the wipe out of a fleet of ships going into the far reaches of the galaxy or some crap. No. This is a book on control of the line of humanity to breed a perfect society with eugenics and manipulation. Some great patches in the book reminds me of Brave New World (caste system with numbers and letters), 1984 (virgins for the state, big brother types spying for aberrations) and maybe a little bit of Behold the Man (Jesus? He ...more
John Schmidt
This is a fun time travel story showing what the world was like before Judas Iscariot is sent back in time to prevent Jesus of Nazareth from going to war against the Romans.

Judas puts Jesus into his time travel machine before it disappears and thus initiates the historical timeline of our world.

The only reason I do not give this novel five stars is because I've never understood what the protagonist (Judas) was supposed to be doing on Earth during all his long centuries on Earth (he does not age)
...more
Kay
I chose to read this book because I was seeking classic science fiction from a time when ideas were more important that character development or even plot development. In this, this book succeeds although it is dated and certainly not forward thinking in many areas. Some ideas are so hurried that it becomes a wild ride by the end where I was left wondering how it even got there. The tale is about a very specialized society where professional fields (and apparently everything else) are highly seg ...more
Miriam
Jun 06, 2009 Miriam marked it as to-read
Recommended to Miriam by: SF Signal
"Rarely is it given man to know the day or the hour when fate intervenes in his destiny, but, because he had checked his watch just before he saw the girl with the hips, Haldane IV knew the day, the hour, and the minute." Thus begins the forbidden love of a theoretical mathematician and a poet.
Meg
I'm rereading this now. It reminds me of Heinlein.
J.L. Dobias
Nov 25, 2014 J.L. Dobias rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SFF lovers
Shelves: book-shelf-09
The Last Starship from Earth (a novel) by John Boyd

Back in the late sixties early seventies I joined the science fiction book club and this was one of many offerings. I still have the 1968 edition they sent me and it's in fair condition. What wasn't so much intact was my recall of the story; so I had to reread it. I was seventeen in 1968 when this was published and I was going to Junior College while just barely becoming eighteen. This book creates for me the feeling of a literary epic. It's wri
...more
Zeb Kantrowitz
This is considered to be one of the great classics of Science Fiction. It was written in 1968 right in the middle of the last large upheaval in European society. Students were demonstrating in most countries of the “Free World” against bourgeois restraints and in the US against the war in Vietnam. The idea that the world could be united in “Love, Peace and Harmony” didn’t sound that clichéd in those days.
This was his first and still his most famous novel. It starts out on a Dystopian world whic
...more
Julio
Apr 05, 2012 Julio rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: cf
Imposible no relacionarlo con "1984" y "Un Mundo Feliz". Al igual que éstos, la novela describe una sociedad totalmente controlada y totalitaria. Esta, además, está racionalmente optimizada mediante la separación (¿crianza?) de la gente en profesiones estrictamente imposibilitadas de mezclarse, y aún menos con los proletarios inferiores, bajo pena de esterilización y extradición a Infierno, el planeta helado. Los orígenes de esta distopía no se describen, aunque se adivinan ante referencias al H ...more
Gabriel C.
I am so glad I'm done! Reading this book was like drinking a never-ending stream of piping hot diarrhea straight from the hose. Let's see. Insipid, pretentious, uninspired, prudish, emotionally flat, boring, unbelievable, sexist, racist, classist, factually wrong, humorless, embarrassing, shit fuck piss cunt motherfucker.

Helix is an agent from the Hell-planet sent to seduce a mathematician and get him exiled to Hell so that he can go back in time and kill Jesus (this is revealed on the last page
...more
Juushika
In a society with strict class and career divisions, a poet and a mathematician cross specializations and break laws to fall in love, beginning a strange chain of events. The first line of my review notes reads, "Good my lord, what was that"--and I have no better way to summarize this book. A dystopia-cum-social commentary in line with Fahrenheit 451 or 1984, but plagued with vast inconsistencies of content, worldbuilding, and tone, it's hard to make much of The Last Starship from Earth. It's hu ...more
Brian Clegg
Re-reading this book after a long time I am impressed just how well it has stood up. Although it was written in the 1960s it is still fresh and enjoyable. I've recently been introduced to Iain Banks and this is writing to equal Banks for that combination of sophistication with great readability.

I was a little worried by Robert Heinlein's comparison with 1984 and Brave New World on the cover. I can see why he did it - this another book about an all-controlling, totalitarian state - but I thought
...more
Alex Alfaro
If Jesus' death was different and his life changed from the stories we know, how could this have changed the world. Would it be a world worth keeping or is his sacrifice necessary so we can live as free people, of free will without big brother watching and ordering the world? Quick read if you enjoy Orwellian dystopian reads grab and tear through. Nice and enjoyable, very interesting story to entertain.
Mike
I was surprised by this book. I would not have brought it based on the cover, but it turned to be a a good book, not what I would call a classic, but enjoyable.

The plot reminded of the TV series Logan's Run in that it was a state controlled society. Its a type of novel that I don't think is written anymore.

At 182 pages I thought it was a little short and rushed, but that may just be a side effect of when it was written.

At the end of the day the further I got into it the more I wanted to read. I
...more
George
This book was a struggle to get through. Even though it was overwritten, the first 75 percent of the book did create a sense of anxiety about these two people stepping outside their assigned roles.
Then in the last fourth of the book, the writing changed, the story changed and things went all goofy.
Weird!
Chris
I wish I could remember what motivated me to order this on abebooks and read it. I must have found the premise of the novel interesting. Unfortunately it is seriously lacking in execution.

Worse, it appears to belong in the horny young man school of science fiction writing.
Erik Graff
Jun 16, 2009 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sf fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Upchurch wrote this, his first, novel as "John Boyd". If the description is accurate, it sounds very interesting. I recall buying it at a resale shop in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago while visiting Mother there, but cannot recall the contents.
Justin
Great book, but you need to pay attention. The end takes a turn of its own and you need to pay attention to ensure you don't get lost (or don't get lost too badly anyway).
Charles
Supposed to be one of a trilogy but I've never read any of the others. It was intersting but not compelling enough to make me seek out more by Boyd.
Javier
Realidad alternativa, reminiscencias de "1984", sorpresa final... ¿qué más se puede pedir?
Thom Dunn
"Dedicated to the memory of Henry Tudor VIII" O....K.
Booknerd Fraser
takes too long to tell an historical joke
John
Cover author John Boyd. Grade B.
Edwin Kort
aardig, maar gedateerd, verhaal.
Laura
Laura marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Diana
Diana marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Steven
Steven marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
jtrowe
jtrowe marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Warm Worlds and Otherwise
  • Times Without Number
  • A Touch of Strange
  • Empire Star
  • Born with the Dead
  • The Left Hand of the Electron
  • Hello Summer, Goodbye
  • This Star Shall Abide (Children of the Star, #1)
  • Guardians of Time
  • Pilgrimage: The Book of the People (The People)
  • A Dream of Wessex
  • Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (Paratime Police)
  • An Old Captivity
  • The Flight of the Horse
  • The Seedling Stars
  • Isle of the Dead
  • Gate of Ivrel (Morgaine Saga, #1)
  • Chaining the Lady (Cluster, #2)
The Pollinators of Eden The Girl with the Jade Green Eyes The Rakehells of Heaven The Organ Bank Farm Andromeda Gun

Share This Book