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The Enemy Stars

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  418 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
The time is the 23rd century, and ships are crawling outward from Earth into the interstellar depths. It will take them centuries to reach even the nearest stars - but once they do, future travel will be instantaneous, because the ships carry matter transmitters that are not subject to the limitations of lightspeed.

In the meantime, crews can flit back and forth between the
Mass Market Paperback, 218 pages
Published 1987 by Baen Books (first published September 1958)
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Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Enemy Stars was first published by Poul Anderson in 1959, then rewritten in 1979 and a sequel / second part “The Ways of Love” was added for the 1987 edition I read. Nominated for a Hugo Award, this is one of his better works.

Common Anderson themes of scientific estrangement and isolation from humanity, ironically caused by the very star spanning future Anderson espouses, links this work to his greater science fiction canon, but this is a more introspective, darker work than many of his bett
Mahdi Lotfi
کتاب «ستارگان متخاصم» روايتي از يک داستان علمي-تخيلي زيبا براي بزرگسالان مي باشد که در زمان آينده به وقوع پيوسته است.

...سکوت و بي وزني روياانگيز بودند. مک لارن براي دلايلي که در چشم خود او هم مبهم و پيچيده بود اطراف عرشه ديده باني را درهم و برهم مي ديد، به طوريکه نور فلقي که بر روي وسائل تکنيکي و فني که روي هم چيده شده بودند بازتابي به صورت گله هاي هيولاهاي گردن دراز مي آفريد. با وجود اين وقتي از دهانه هاي موجود به بيرون نگاه مي کرد هيچ چيز به درخشش ستاره هاي بي شمار به چشم نمي خورد....
Megan Baxter
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Goodness knows, I don't expect enlightened gender politics out of my old science fiction. I often mention how women are treated, because I think it bears mentioning, but I am also able to enjoy these old pulpy stories where women are absent, virgins, or sexpots. I don't need every book to reflect my ideas of gender - although if I go too long without a woman I can relate to, I get understandably twitchy.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and en
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Ostensibly, this is about four men who visit a dying star for the purposes of scientific study when it goes horribly wrong and they get stuck there, cut off from the rest of humanity with no realistic hope of getting back alive. Then it follows their desperate and seemingly futile efforts to repair their ship, a race against time before their food and sanity run out.

Really though, this is about how each man comes to terms with himself and his place in the universe. It asks what is the point of s
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Four crewmen on an exploratory spaceship hundreds of lightyears from Earth find themselves in peril when the ship is heavily damaged. Without hope for rescue, it's up to them to make the repairs needed in order to return to Earth, though the ship's food stocks are running pretty low. Isolation and starvation take their toll, but the crew soldier on, fueled by hope and determination.

The novel is pretty bleak for a '50s SF story about overcoming obstacles through feats of engineering, and it has a
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed this fairly short novel, which except for matter transmission can be classified as hard SF. The four members of the crew are very much individuals, and most grow and change through the story. Very deserving of the Hugo nomination.

This story was originally titled We Have Fed Our Sea, which refers to Kipling's poem about why sailors died to expand the British empire - because they were British. The characters of this story are pulled into this exploration for various reasons, but as a wh
Monty Coates
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought it was a good book about survival in the far reaches of space . A foursome of people trying to work together in a life threatening situation. Not my favourite but still a good read .
Storyline: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
World: 4/5

The setup for this story ranks among the best that science fiction has to offer, all the more remarkable since it was first published in 1959. Anderson then goes on to allude and sketch a far future Earth and space system with profound differences. He does what he's done before in other books (view spoiler) which is to contrast the smallness of the individual and mankind against the vastness of time
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 men on a mission aboard a ship destined for Alpha Crucis. A device to transport them instantly to wherever the ship is, kind of like Star Trek's Teleporters. An error in the ship's computer sending it to a black star, and it becomes a tale of survival. In some ways this book is similar to Tau Zero, which I enjoyed. Once again Hard SF man Anderson fails to disappoint!
Great stuff, if a little short at 141 pages.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I have the hardback of this.
Mike Franklin
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I love hard science fiction but it does undoubtedly suffer one major flaw; it is more vulnerable to being dated than most other SF. By its very nature what might be leading edge science at the time of writing may, sometimes quite rapidly, become superseded or simply revealed as invalid speculation. The Enemy Stars was written in 1959 (just two years after I was born) and at the time would have been serious leading edge hard SF with relativity and quantum physics taking centre stage, but sadly on ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an older SciFi book - first published in 1959 - and it takes great liberties with science, how people can function in space, featuring mostly male characters, etc. That said, it is a Poul Anderson book so it is well written, engaging, and a book that makes you think. Much more than a book about space travel, Poul explores issues of politics, society, language, personal growth, and the "what's it all about" questions. Many of the topics were way ahead of the times when this book was first ...more
Frank Ormond
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Джумадурды Аннадурдыев
Не сложилось у меня с классикой дружбы. Говорят, в книге академический английский, однако в русском переводе я вижу лишь унылое повествование без откровений с картонными персонажами и скучным сюжетом.
Jim Black
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Originally published in Astounding in 1959 as "We Have Fed Our Seas", this story was retitled The Enemy Stars when it was published a book. I think the original title was the better one. When you read this story, you will too. Over the years I have read mixed reviews. Some have trashed this book, others have praised it. I fall into the praise camp but recommend it with reservations.

For varying reasons Ryerson, Maclaren, Nakamura, and Sverdlov end up on a mission to investigate a black star. Whil
Tom Britz
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Hard Science tale of space exploration is a dark allegory on what it means to explore. In a time when matter transmitters are in use a team of selected people are "beamed" onto an earlier space launch that was intended for deep space in order to investigate a sun that had gone nova.
As in the old explorer days of wooden ships and expeditions of discovery, anything that can go wrong will and usually does. As the team go in for a closer look an overlooked possibility rears its ugly head and t
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
What starts off as a broad canvas of four main characters on 3 different worlds draws rapidly to a tight focus. As the story moves on Anderson's already much-shrunken horizon continues to draw in ever closer - and when you think you can't bear any more it tightens again. And again. And then... the ending, at once pathetic and magnificent and, for me at least, totally unexpected. This is what SciFi was meant to be. If it wasn't for a (fortunately faint) whiff of dated sexism and nostalgia for "th ...more
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
An immature work that nonetheless shows the promise that Anderson was later to fulfill. I give Anderson full marks for his early attempt here to produce hard sci-fi mixed with philosophy. It attempts everything sci-fi should, it just misses more targets than it hits.

The tag-a-long short story is completely unremarkable.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid Poul Anderson work for its time, but it creaks a bit with age -- spaceships with transistors and punched tape, etc. Also, what's up with the edition that has the alien on the cover? That's about two sentences from the whole book (and, frankly, it feels like something an editor told Anderson to throw in at the last minute).
Sean Williams
Nov 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I've been reading a lot of old SF lately for my PhD, and this is one of my favourites so far. Anderson is a bit infodump heavy early on, but once the story gets going it's a classic spacebloke-in-trouble yarn with exotic tech, a chilling environment and some genuince surprises along the way. Shame about the last paragraph, though: entirely too much of its time!
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Slow and dull with a small dose of suspense, this book wasn't really worth my time. It's about 4 men who are sent out to investigate the discovery of a dead star, but they have a major accident on the way.
Christopher Sutch
May 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
A good raw survival story, but some elements were given short shrift. Still, for 1958 this is pretty good sf.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: entertainment
The premise was better than the story, and the included sequel "the ways of love" better than the entire book.
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: actual-sci-fi
culture, with some hard sf.
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, scifi-fantasy
Grade C
Michael Bailey
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Good read. Poul explores human emotion and human frailty a lot more than most of his contemporaries did back then, which makes for a more interesting read than your standard 50's Sci-Fi fare.
Randy Attwood
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good classic sci fi. Read it years ago and I wanted to reread it. Going through my sci fi collection and picking works to revisit.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Summer 1982 Reading List #15
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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Pseudonym A. A. Craig, Michael Karageorge, Winston P. Sanders, P. A. Kingsley.

Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous a
More about Poul Anderson...