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The Greatship

(Great Ship #3)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  360 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Since the beginning of the universe, the giant starship wandered the emptiest reaches of space, without crew or course, much less any clear purpose. But humans found the relic outside the Milky Way, and after taking possession, they named their prize the Great Ship and embarked on a bold voyage through the galaxy’s civilized hearts.

Larger than worlds, the Great Ship is lac
Paperback, 636 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Argo-Navis
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  360 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Charles J
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Since I was a small child, I have read science fiction, and lots of it. For decades, I’ve read all types, from H.G. Wells through 1930s pulp through 1950s “golden age” through 1970s trippy through modern (the latter in all its broad range from “hard” to “socially conscious”, i.e., culturally leftist stories lacking the “science” in “science fiction”). I suspect science fiction has materially shaped my own world view. I don’t know why I like science fiction, particularly—perhaps just taste, like ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I had read a few Great Ship stories before (two of which are in here), so I was really excited about getting a collection that has almost all of them, in some sort of order.

Let me get the annoying thing out of the way first. This collection was collated by Reed himself, as far as I can tell, with a bit of additional material to bridge the stories (and adding to "the resident confusion" apparently), and some stories altered as well to better fit with the others. There are a lot of typos, and a nu
cardulelia carduelis
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a sensational collection of short stories, all linked around the theme of a ship the size of a planet traveling across the galaxy. Who built it? Where did they go? And where is this ship itself going? The Greatship is essentially an enormous cruise, with species from every corner of the galaxy living in chambers the size of continents that fill its interior. The stories are incredibly detailed, and typically focus on one or two specific characters or species. They're typically formulate ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this after the 2nd Marrow novel which seemed about the right time to read it. I definitely wouldn't suggest reading this as a standalone unless you are really into reading short stories anyway. I think a lot of the bad reviews are from people reading without the context of the Marrow series, which definitely makes sense, as standalone shorts these don't work that well. This gives a lot of back story to several of the main characters from the Marrow series but also meanders quite a bit. I ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic, wildly creative and out there book that manages still to be grounded in solid science. The characters are fewer than you'd expect for a book encompassing this much time, but there is good reason for that.

Alone and Mere are firmly two of my favorite short stories now.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF - gave up after more than 300 pages in. It is, in effect, no more than a series of barely connected short stories of very mixed quality.

My experience was not helped by the very poor editing of my e-book version.
David Roy
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing, as always. Following two characters enjoyable & fulfilling. Once again, the ending of the last story, therefore the end of the book, was too vague & confusing. Plus the story that’s yet to be told, about the War & its conclusion is needed. If it exists as a stand alone, I’ve yet to spot it.

Reed is a marvelous & imaginative storyteller who is sometimes too vague & whose endings are too often not on par with rest of the story.
Randy Gardner
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Not overly interesting IMHO
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
It was good! A great combination of scale and human interest.
Florin Constantinescu
I was attracted to the entire Greatship series by the synopsis of this collection, and after reading one story that was collected in one of Gardner Dozois' Year's Best SF.
Unfortunately, that story is not contained herein, and of the remaining stories, only two are of notice, the remaining turned out to be extremely difficult to read through to the end.
Sure, they are brimming with cool ideas, but I did not like the execution style, or any of the characters.
Jim Mann
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Robert Reed is one of the most underrated authors in science fiction. Every year he produces a number of very good short stories (and an occasional novel), and he's won several awards, but he seems to be rarely discussed. The Greatship is a collection of his stories set aboard the Greatship -- an alien spaceship the size of Uranus whose interior (and a bit of whose surface) is inhabited by numerous human and non-human groups who have migrated to the ship over the centuries as the ship has passed ...more
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a big friend of short stories but these are EXCELLENT!!!
Actually, most would rather classify as novelettes, imo.

These short stories play in the same universe, in fact on the same 'GreatShip' as the fullblown novel 'Marrow', which I thought was good, but as I feel that Reed writes better short stories than actual novels - he's an ideas and style man, not long-form plot writer imo - I enjoyed the short stories even more.

But I feel even if you haven't read Marrow, you can thoroughly enjoy t
Jim Nicholson
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Breaks a streak for me of books I've given up on without finishing. Just what I needed, apparently: good space-opera style science fiction short stories and novellas, not too bogged down in the technical details, dealing a lot with the implications of fantastic technology. Plenty of mystery and intrigue. The only complaint was that it ended too soon. I might go on to read the two additional novel-length books set in this universe, if I can overcome my hesitation due to the negative reviews they' ...more
Gary Milczarek
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Robert Reed is one of my all time favorite science fiction writers and The Greatship is another good reason why. I love his imagination, the way he stretches life into all these strange and familiar worlds and realities within the vastness of the Greatship and weaves together their stories. Fun, clever, intriguing, fresh and captivating I find his storytelling. I want to board the Greatship myself.

Thanks for giving us more digital editions of your delightful work.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this series of stories. There's a phenomenal range of ideas and characters within. Similar to almost everything I rate 5 stars, these stories are idea driven: they explore ideas and at times take their time to do so. In most cases the fact that these are set in space is beside the point to the purpose. This is awesome stuff, but read with caution if you like plot driven stuff and are averse to an indulgent writing style.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is fantastically inventive and broad. I loved the vignettes and found myself strangely drawn to read more despite the lack of traditional plot. As I read I always wanted to know more about the universe invented by Reed and the approach of jumping from character to character and one timespan to another, actually served the purpose well and seemed to underscore the breadth of his universe. I may come back and rate this 5 stars if it sticks with me.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I know this is a minority opinion, but I could not finish this book. None of the characters ever engaged me. The plot was sprawling and disorganized, it seemed to me. I give it some credit for ambition.
Peter Roach
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sc-fi
Every now and then you come across a classic, this one is among the top. A series of short stories combined together to form a thrilling romp across the galaxy that when combined created a fantastic read. Well written and constructed.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stories based on an idea of a galaxy-roving omnibus spaceship would have been fun, but if the spaceship is planet-sized, it makes them even more fun. This book was very enjoyable - it should especially appeal to science/speculative fiction fans who like their writers to think big.
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent hardcore science fiction, full of amazing ideas.
Michael Thome
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this, but not as much as Marrow. I loved getting more backstory.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love these characters and even though I feel like I know them, because they 'live' hundreds of thousands of years or even millions, there is always more to find out.
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He has also been published as Robert Touzalin. ...more

Other books in the series

Great Ship (6 books)
  • Marrow (Great Ship, #1)
  • The Well of Stars (Great Ship, #2)
  • The Memory of Sky (Great Ship, #4)
  • The Dragons of Marrow (Great Ship, #5)
  • Eater-of-Bone

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