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Saturn Run

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  11,474 ratings  ·  1,608 reviews
The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.

A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can g
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Steverman Not really. If you're looking for a good sense of wonder book, read John Varley's Red Thunder, which is pitched as a book in the tradition of the Hein…moreNot really. If you're looking for a good sense of wonder book, read John Varley's Red Thunder, which is pitched as a book in the tradition of the Heinlein juvenile novels from back in the '50s.

I love John Sanford's murder mysteries, but he and Ctein have put together the sketchiest outline of should have been a much better novel. I was really disappointed by what they gave us with this novel.
David Thomson I believe that particular detail occurs *in* Chapter 42, which is also I think the authors having a little fun with Douglas Adams's legacy.…moreI believe that particular detail occurs *in* Chapter 42, which is also I think the authors having a little fun with Douglas Adams's legacy.(less)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  11,474 ratings  ·  1,608 reviews

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Kevin Kuhn
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
John Sandford (aka John Camp) and Ctien wrote this book in 2015. Sandford (Camp) lived in the Twin Cities from 1978 and stayed until 1990 writing for the Pioneer Press and wining the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. He’s prolific with over 50 novels written. He largely writes crime drama.

His co-writer (on “Saturn Run”) is Ctien who is a well-known photographer and writer, largely writing articles and manuals on photography. He has a double degree from Caltech in English and Physics.

I’m alwa
Kevin Kelsey
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Posted at Heradas

It’s been a while since I’ve read some good old fashioned hard science fiction. Hard SF novels are a different sort of beast than most novels. I find they usually need to be approached differently and appreciated using a different set of metrics.

It doesn’t have to be the case, but a lot of times hard SF will lose itself in the details, which can be fun if you’re interested in those specific details. Other times, hard SF will sacrifice an ungodly amount of character development f
James Thane
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john-sandford
When I heard John Sandford announce a couple of years ago that he was writing a science-fiction novel, my first reaction was to be disappointed, principally because that meant there would be no Virgil Flowers novel published in 2015. I'm a big fan of Virgil's and I'm not that big a fan of sci-fi, so I figured that, on balance, this would be a loss. As is so often the case, though, it turns out that I was wrong. Even though this is a sci-fi tale, it has all the trademarks of a John Sandford novel ...more
(I received a free copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for this review.)

I’ve read a lot of John Sandford novels so I was a little confused at first when there wasn’t a serial killer on the spaceship.

In the year 2066 telescopes spot what can only be an alien ship near Saturn as it docks with a previously unknown object in orbit. The governments of the United States and China both want to get there first which leads to a rushed program to quickly put together ships capable of making the long j
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Strong points: Characterization and the science. We can classify this pretty easily as a realistic SF, even including the the scenes of "Meet The Aliens". It's a Go To Saturn and Come Back novel, after all. No real need for anything truly out of the ordinary. After all, the novel's strong points are in its characters.

I like Sandy and Crow. What can I say? The hooks were fantastic and strange and they just kept coming, adding some truly oddball mixes to the MCs. I never once got bored with any of
In the year 2066 an unidentified object is spotted approaching Saturn and slowing down speed as if to land. The government is sent into a flurry of activity trying to figure out how to build a ship that will make the journey to Saturn before the Chinese can launch their own mission in a race to see what is out there and obtain the technology that would be needed for such a ship.

I had such high hopes for this novel when I first read about it but unfortunately this is another case of it just wasn
Christy LoveOfBooks

What a great book! Saturn Run is an adult science fiction thriller that I found engrossing and exciting from beginning to the very last page. It's quite a ride, that's for sure.

The year is 2066 and the human race is about to be gobsmacked, because a huge alien spaceship has arrived. Well, technically it’s parked out by Saturn doing who knows what, but one thing is certain, every country wants that technology. It becomes a race between China and the United States to get there first, and it gets i
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 1audio, 2fiction
I read one or two of his Lucas Davenport (Prey) series, but never managed to find them all in order so didn't read the series. Still, it was interesting & when I saw he'd written an SF book I was intrigued. Then one of my GR friends raved about it & my library had it so I took a flyer. I wasn't expecting much, but have been very pleasantly surprised.

The writing is very good; great characters, believable plot, & good SF elements. Even better, he's scattered some fun references throughout. One th
Mike French
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
DISCLAIMER- I have never been a fan of SCI-FI !

I might be changing my mind after reading THE MARTIAN and now-SATURN RUN! Since I am a big fan of John Sanford 's Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers books. After the first few chapters,I was hooked! Very entertaining and enjoyable from start to finish.

Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John must have wanted to challenge himself away from great characters he has created. Writing science fiction is hard and technical details tend to be boring. The plot revolves around nationalism, science fiction and is saved by its good ending. 6 of 10 stars
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

This book wasn't entirely a book for me. I was thinking it was going to be a whole different story about astronauts going to find this space ship and making some kind of contact with aliens. They do go and find the space ship, but that is all I'm going to say, no spoilers.

It took me a little bit to get into the book. There were a lot of slow parts for me, but this is because I'm not really into all of the technical stuff that confuse my small brain. I think t
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.0 Stars
This was an engrossing near-future science fiction thriller that held my attention from start to finish. The premise was SO just intriguing. I was dying to know what they would find on Saturn. I thought the characters were decent, if a little stereotypical, but they weren't the strongest aspect of the book. 

Instead, what I absolutely loved about this novel was the science! Co-written by a physics major, this thriller incorporated some fascinating theories and ideas that made the story f
Sci-Fi & Scary
Up to probably just past the halfway point in Saturn Run (which I listened to, not read), I really liked this book. There were interesting characters, intrigue, enough science to satisfy my thirst for hard sci-fi, and just enough possibilities to really keep my interest. I really expected to be giving this book a top rating. It was just that good.

Unfortunately, by the end of the book, I was scowling and ready to throw it. I’ve never read Sanford before, so I went into this with no expectations w
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solar system exploration SF novel with a background of a future Sino-American Cold War. The Americans in a race with the Chinese to get to the Rings of Saturn and an alien presence there.

The Americans discover an object decelerating towards the Saturn system where it makes contact with something in the Rings. They are aware that the Chinese already have a Mars mission almost ready to go that's set to take a colony to Mars that could very easily be converted to something that could get to Satur
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“We got three hundred contingency plans, and not a single one for a f****n’ soap opera.”

I have been a John Sandford fan for years. I haven't read all of his books but I have read a goodly number of books in his Lucas Davenport series and his Virgil Flowers series. I like his writing style and the way he draws his readers into his stories.

So, for me, it was a no brainer when I heard about his new stand-alone book about space travel. I like space travel, space opera books as long as there are peop
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read a sci-fi book, I'm looking for a balance among the plot, the science, and the characters. Is there any reason for me to care about what might happen to the characters?

This book was a great ride. I cared about the characters, I loved the science. I especially liked the way that they made a whiz-bang kind of propulsion system to go to Saturn and back.

There was also a fundamental conflict between the Americans and the Chinese. I mean, sure, they were competing, but the conflict was one
Susan W
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Science fiction isn't really my cup of tea, and this book had a lot of technical, space jargon, which completely overwhelmed me. But finally, we got into a interesting plot line and it became much more readable.
I think i will stick with Sandford's current time frame mysteries, Lucas, Virgil the best, sci-fi... No thanks.
RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)
4 stars:

It took me forever to finish because I love this book! I so did not want to end it. I am probably bias because John Sanford is one of my favorite authors. There was one part I did not like( not giving away a spolier). For me, the science was mostly intersting. I do read science fiction and non fiction science books.

Scott A. Miller
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the mid-point it was at best 3 Stars. The second half was really fun though. While this, I think, is the first Sci-Fi I’ve ever read, I enjoyed it. There was so much technical stuff that I thought it got bogged down. People probably read this for the technical stuff and I appreciate it. The second half was very much a Sanford book. That was just what I was hoping for.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
In 2066 a space telescope detects a spacecraft approaching Saturn. This starts a race between the United States and China to reach Saturn first and to take control of the advanced technology developed by a previously unknown group of aliens. (Like somehow it's their right to do that. But this book is not a philosophical treatise on first contact or space rights.) I want to avoid spoilers, but I must say that this book did not proceed the way I expected it to.

I like science in my sci-fi, but the
I can't say I expected this to be the best Sandford book I've read...and trust me, I've read them all (even the art one he did way back when), but I certainly didn't expect it to the worst. I was wrong. The thing I love most about Sandford (and he is the ONLY author I've read every single year for the last 20 plus years) is his dialogue between characters. I absolutely love the relationships he builds between people via doesn't matter if they are life long friends, or complete str ...more
Alex Telander
When authors switch genres, it can be a risky move, both for the writer and the readers. John Sandford is a very well known thriller writer, particular for his numerous Prey novels, as well as other thrillers. But one thing Sandford has clearly proven to his readers: he can spin a good yarn.

In Saturn Run, along with some help from Ctein, Sandford has created an epic work of science fiction that is gripping with every turn of the page, filled with scientific details that are well researched, and
Bryan Alexander
A fun romp, combining classic suspense with hard science fiction, Saturn Run will appeal to fans of both genres.

The conceit is an interplanetary race between a Chinese and an American spacecraft to reach Saturn, taking place around 50 years from now. Technology hasn't advanced far, and in fact the authors choose to build their world and its ships with tech we currently possess.

Much of the suspense and fun in the book's first half comes from getting the US ship built and hurled across the solar
Stewart Tame
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, let me just say what a lovely job of packaging was done on this hardcover. The plastic, translucent jacket with transparent lettering allows glimpses of the colorful cover beneath. It's just a lovely thing, and I doubt that the paperback version will have a gimmick anywhere near as cool. Definitely worth springing for the hardcover on this one, and it's an experience you'll never get with an e-reader.

This reminded me quite a bit of the classic Niven/Pournelle collaborations like Lu
The basic story is that the Americans, purely by chance in scanning the skies, happened to discover an alien spacecraft stopping at Saturn. They decided to keep this quiet and pretend they were building a spacecraft to join the Chinese on their mission to Mars when in fact they were going to go to Saturn. Before the ships were ready, the alien craft left Saturn but their engines left a signature that many people on Earth could see, the Chinese realized they were duped, now it was a race to Satur ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a HUGE John Sandford fan. I think I've read just about everything of ficton that he's written. I'm hooked on the Prey series and I love Virgil Flowers. So I was really excited to read Saturn Run. And then the disappointment set in. I don't think I've ever had to work so hard to finish a book. Sandford has a gift for developing characters and creating engaging plots. He missed the mark with this one. It read more like an astrophysics textbook than a novel. There was nothing to grab me and su ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have never read a book by either of these authors and had no preconceived notions of how this book should go. I picked it up solely based on reading the cover and checking the reviews. I really hated it. I finished the whole book even though I wanted to put it down numerous times. I kept wanting something, ANYTHING, to happen but it just drags on and on until it's finally over. This was definitely not my idea of a sci-fi book, it was more political to me. I'm not sure if I'll be picking a book ...more
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John must have wanted to challenge himself away from great characters he has created. Writing science fiction is hard and technical details tend to be boring. The plot revolves around nationalism, science fiction and is saved by its good ending. 6 of 10 stars
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow this must have been a fun book to write with someone else! Sitting around talking and what can this is science fiction in the future and you can do whatever you want! This was a fun read and a great ending :) And since Sanford is involved it has great characters!
Mal Warwick
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
H.G. Wells in War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and countless other authors and filmmakers have imagined what First Contact with an alien race might be like. Get ready now for Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein, which paints a picture that’s entirely different from anything else you’re likely to have come across.

This book is full of surprises — so many that merely to summarize the plot would be to spoil the story. Suffice it to say that this tale, whic
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See also John Camp

John Sandford was born John Roswell Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the Univer

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