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The Stardroppers

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  14 reviews
From the back cover:
A Stardropper got its name from the belief that the user was eavesdropping on the stars. But that was only a guess ... nobody really knew what the instrument did. The instrument itself made no sense scientifically. A conventional earpiece, an amplifier, a power source -- all attached to a small vacuum box, an alnico magnet, and a calibrated "tuner".
Mass Market Paperback, 144 pages
Published 1972 by Daw SF
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  80 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nouvel auteur favoris dont je lirai tous les livres !
Andrew Roach
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's get this out of the way, up front: This is a cheesy science-fiction thriller from the 70s. If you don't like any of the words in that last sentence, this isn't the book for you.

Now, this is an Excellent cheesy sci-fi thriller. Brunner wrote some obscenely high number of books in his lifetime. I've read a bunch of them. This one is my favorite, by a long shot.

It's just so WEIRD. Some guy invents an impossible radio, it sparks a world wide craze, an also spies care? People are vanishing?

Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
review of
John Brunner's The Stardroppers
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - August 27, 2013

Ah ha! This is the type of science fiction that helped form my young brain! &, yet, it didn't.. b/c I hadn't really read anything this good yet.. or had I? The early SF I remember being exposed to was by Heinlein, & Clarke, & Asimov, & many others.. none of whom do I remember being quite this sympatico w/ me.. But there must've been something I read akin to this b/c it resonates so much w/
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Though I enjoyed it, this story has too much going on. It's not that Brunner leaves any loose ends, but he's got electronically mediated telepathic contact with aliens, leading to a shortcut in our "natural evolution" that would have eventually given us mental powers such as teleportation, telekinesis, and possibly precognition. I balk at the presumption that evolution has a progressive course, and especially that it's destined to give all sentient species--even his postulated ones with ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable short sci-fi book. I would say that it is a sci-fi detective style story. Dan Cross has been sent to investigate the "Stardropper" craze over in England. These are radio-like devices that emit strange, but engaging sounds. People don't know where the sounds come from, but many get obsessed with the hobby. The story involves Dan going around London looking into this craze and finding an entire conspiracy behind it. It's a good Brunner book. I look forward to reading more of ...more
Ben Bradley
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed it, some are saying "not Brunner's best work" but I think this story is "different" enough that it's hard to compare to his other work (or to other authors'), and I think this stands well on its own. I'm a fan of hard SF and I enjoyed this one. As the story progresses, much more is learned about this "stardropping" craze, but I can't say too much lets I spoil it - the ending was surprising and unexpected to me, but suffice it to say the stardroppers master their abilities.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic mid-60s optimist romp from Brunner. A magical device no one can make sense is causing a meltdown of the world order as we know it and only a UN special agent is there to make sense of all. Short and enjoyable.
Dr. Awkward
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Really more of 3.5 but I couldn't see giving it a 4. Interesting, well-written, at times captivating, with an odd conclusion.
Jan 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just an old-school 70's science fiction book with all of the things you'd expect. Lots of drugged-out hippies except instead of drugs, they're all listening to alien transmissions and wasting their lives away!

It's an interesting read from both a sci-fi and a historical perspective, but it ends right as it seems to be just starting. Worth reading though, especially since it only takes a couple hours and I picked it up from the library book sale for 25 cents!
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
First Brunner I've read, likely not his best work. I love the cover, as a side note, of this DAW edition. Anyway, what's good: concepts of language and a spy story. What's bad: concepts are sketchy and spy story eventually seems lame. I want a rewrite. The novel just seems to go nowhere for too long, and then when it does, it dumps a lot of info at the reader - which just made me dubious about the whole storyline.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john, brunner
Simple story based around being to intercept alien knowledge via a Stardropper, a radio type device that appears to pick up the static of the universe until some people learn how to extract ideas from it.
Oct 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mybooks
One of those -70:s science-fiction novels, you know the kind I'm talking about...No deep or complicated story but the phenomenon (in this case the new invention "the stardropper") is interesting and the book is very easy to read.
Erik Corry
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Minor work by a major author.
Mike S
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-sci-fi
Brunner is a great scifi author, I've read several of his books, this is a fast, fun read.
rated it it was ok
Mar 02, 2013
Phil Kozel
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Feb 04, 2018
Vincenzo Cammalleri
rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2013
Terence Park
rated it it was ok
Apr 10, 2018
L. Shosty
rated it it was ok
Jan 16, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2019
A J Plews
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May 29, 2017
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Feb 28, 2012
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Jan 20, 2009
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Jul 17, 2012
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Apr 20, 2011
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Jun 06, 2015
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Dec 21, 2016
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Jan 26, 2019
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John Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie ...more