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Arkwright

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,813 ratings  ·  417 reviews
Written by a highly regarded expert on space travel and exploration, Allen Steele's Arkwright features the precision of hard science fiction with a compelling cast of characters. In the vein of classic authors such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke, Nathan Arkwright is a seminal author of the twentieth century. At the end of his life he becomes reclusi ...more
ebook, 337 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Tor Books
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,813 ratings  ·  417 reviews


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Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2016/04/05/a...

First thing I did after finishing this book was go to YouTube and pump my fists to the main theme of Star Trek Enterprise. I know that opening sequence has long been divisive among Trek fans, but personally? I love it. The feelings that song stirs–that glowing hope and belief in humanity’s ability to venture forth into the great unknown through their own tenacity and sheer determination–is perfectly suited to the show’s th
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Bradley
This SF was pretty much awesome, and more, it was awesome for entirely different reasons as the book progressed.

I've never read Allen Steele before now, but he's just made a fan of me. It's obvious he's well read and respectful of the entire genre from the get-go, and reading about the early days of SF was a huge treat. Nathaniel Arkwright was a fictional author, sliding into one of the Big Four Golden Age SF masters, ranking up there with Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, Anderson, Pohl, Williamson an
...more
Gary
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Arkwright is the story of a fictional golden age science writer, Nathan Arkwright - a writer in the mold of E.E. 'Doc' Smith, but as famous as Asimov or Heinlein - who uses his fame and fortune to jumpstart a project to send humanity to the stars. In that sense, the novel is a metafictional throwback to the golden age, as well as a straightforward throwback to the kind of heroic problem solving stories that era was known for. It is the most unabashedly dorky sci-fi novel I have ever read, and to ...more
Robyn
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
3.5 stars. I really enjoyed the infectious optimism of this book, infused with the spirit of mid-century faith in science and science fiction. On the other hand, I felt that it retained some of the flaws of that period as well - everything felt almost the same as 20th century America, no matter where we were in the future. Nonetheless, a fun little book.
Stevie Kincade
(Audiobook) 2.5 stars

"They will be the citizens of the Galaxy"...Ben smiled. Every time he heard that line he got a kick out of it. He wondered how many people in the room would catch the reference to Nat's favourite Heinlein novel. Probably about as many as those who realised he had lifted this entire scenario from a scene in Asimov's "Foundation"

Arkwright is a fun little book of Science Fiction nostalgia porn. Not only are writers like "Fred" Pohl, "Bob" Heinlein, Robert Silverberg and Isaac
...more
Jeff Raymond
In a way, Arkwright is Seveneves on easy mode. A multi-generational science fiction exploration novel, instead of being reliant on super hard science, it's a love letter to science fiction itself to fuel the plot along and make an enjoyable read.

The story is about an author, Arkwright, who is right in line with the golden age of his time generations ago. With his royalties and investments, he starts a secretive fund to eventually launch an interstellar spaceship to a planet believed to be able t
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Justine
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
[G]oing to the stars says something that digging a hole in the ground doesn’t. It says you’ve got hopes for the future that goes beyond mere survival.

Nathan Arkwright is a popular science fiction writer whose dream is to see humans explore space. When he dies, he leaves behind a legacy devoted to seeing that dream to fruition. This book follows the Arkwright family through the years it takes to plan, to create, and to simply watch and wait faithfully for Nathan Arkwright's vision to unfold.

It is
...more
Ashley Brooks
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This was definitely a love letter to science fiction, and it was surprising in a good way.

In this novel we follow a family through multiple generations, all with the end goal of building a starship to colonize an earth like planet out in the universe. We get to see their family struggles, aging, dying, births, etc. All the while working towards the common goal.

It's a kind of wonderful flip on the traditional "generation ship" idea where we have generations building and overseeing the travel of
...more
Kate
I adored this book - science fiction about science fiction, making it fact and reaching for the stars. If this isn't in my top ten books of the year I'll be amazed.

Lindsay
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A generational epic describing the realization of fictional golden age SF author Nathan Arkwright's plan to finance and build humanity's first interstellar colonization effort.

Nathan Arkwright creates a Foundation with his estate instructing his friends and family to invest it in technologies that are critical to interstellar flight and reinvest profits until an actual interstellar colonization effort can be launched. The book follows the setting up of the Foundation and the generations that fol
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Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Full review later.

I was a bit nervous picking this up because I'd seen some of the low reviews from people that share fairly similar reading interests to me. But I snagged it from the library, and I was pretty much instantly captivated. This is a gorgeous story that isn't filled with shinies and romance and cowboying in space. Instead, it's a study of the hope, the logic, the imagination, and the minds that will lift humanity away from earth.

Liam
This was disappointing.

For the longest time it has been my fondest wish to get a decent space exploration/colonisation book. I really need to go back and read Red Mars and the rest of the trilogy because as time goes on it is becoming increasingly clear that nothing is going to top it.

Arkwright is less a science fiction novel and more of a very short-form soap opera with the pretence of existing in a science fiction novel. It is split into several parts - beginning with the death of Nathan Arkwr
...more
mika
Mar 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
only barely makes a 1.5-star because of the idea of it.

couldn't make myself finish. even from the beginning, it felt like a lot of name-dropping and 'look i know things about scifi', and as it progressed, i only kept reading because i thought something would happen? it would get better? some kind of redeeming quality would appear? and then the last straw was the line "by the time i was in my teens, i was fluent in french, spanish, and indian" which, if you're going to go to the trouble of compl
...more
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
The Arkwright Chronicles...

If you're looking for a good, classic sci-fi story believe me when I say- this is not it! Go right now to your search function, lists, shelves, whatever and find something else! If I could give this a category, it would be called 'space-historical' or 'space-saga.' This is basically a soap opera that spans from the founding of the Arkwright Foundation through the death of Nathan Arkwright, with a history of every other Arkwright family member and the trials they go thr
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Wendi Lee
I had purchased a hardback copy of "Arkwright" as one of my partner's Christmas gifts last year. I was excited to finally have a chance to read it, as it was on numerous Top 10 Sci-Fiction of 2016 lists. But when I showed my partner what I was reading, he admitted he'd DNF'd after the first third of the novel.

"But maybe you'll like it," he said.

I took this to mean that "Arkwright" was more character than plot driven. And in some ways this is true. "Arkwright" is a languid novel about sci-fi wri
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Carolyn
Imagine, a hard science fiction book that focuses the story on the people. That is what you will find here. From the golden early days of science fiction, with homage to the great writers and editors, through generations of a fictional family descended from one of those writers, this is a fun switch on the concept of a generation ship. The generations all live on Earth, working to first build the ship and then to keep in touch with it, receiving information, and sending course corrections over t ...more
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
I wanted to like this novel more than I did. Name dropping from the sci-fi golden era to pique the reader interest is fine but not enough to sustain it for the length of the entire book, the multi generation family story was repetitive and boring. I liked the parts about the science (view spoiler) but I found the actual story weak.
Mark
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Considering all the kerfuffle around SFF awards and fandom in the last year, it would not be surprising if fans felt a little aggrieved with the genre at the moment. What with in-fighting, factions, splinter groups, and often bitterness all around, it can seem like a forbidding place to be associated with.

Allen Steele’s latest book, his twentieth, points out that actually such squabbles in science fiction are actually not new, beginning with the telling of similar events over seventy years ago.
...more
Jodi
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Firestone
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nathan Arkwright was one of the Grandmasters of science fiction. He rubbed shoulders with Heinlein. He was talked about in the same breath as Asimov. And he created the beloved Galaxy Patrol series, which went on to sell lots of books and launch a TV/movie franchise.

And at the beginning of this book, he dies.

He doesn't want his legacy to be the books, though. He wants it to be getting mankind to the stars, so he's created the Arkwright Foundation. This book is about generations of his family f
...more
Lisa
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review at The Speculative Herald: http://www.speculativeherald.com/2016...

Rarely can a book captivate me so strongly so quickly, but Arkwright hooked me from the very first page. I literally could not put the book aside until I got through the first section. It is a story of vision, aspiration, determination, progress, changing the world and it’s expectations and it is also the story of family, friendships and loyalties. It is a story of genre and evolution that includes the loss of the pre
...more
Richard Radgoski
Some books take me years to finish (Looking at you Stone of Tears) for various reasons ranging from circumstance to annoyance. I also often ready 5-6 books at the same time, switching off from one book to another at chapter breaks. Its like keeping up with your weekly TV shows... Arkwright didn't let me do that. I read nothing else this week...

I went to the book store to buy a Science Fiction novel about Galactic colonization. After pondering several different, I choose Arkwright. I thought I wa
...more
Jason
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2016
5 Stars

Arkwright by Allen Steele is a science fiction novel that simply does just about everything right. It isn't a game changer. It isn't a hard science text book story. And, it isn't anything new...However, it is a gleaming beacon of hope for humanity, for the science fiction genre, and for the family of Nathan Arkwright, a fictional science fiction writer that used his fame, money, and contacts to fund a generation starship.

What makes this book unique and worth your time is firstly, the gif
...more
Ric
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Optimistic near future SF.

Arkwright is the name of a successful SF writer (in this story). He wills the small fortune he has amassed from a space opera series to a foundation. The foundation, carrying his name, is intended to bring to reality the fiction he wrote; i.e., the development of a galactic spaceship. On this premise, Allen Steele builds a multi-generational tale of a privately-supported trip to the stars.

The story is told in vignettes of various generations of the Arkwright family, as
...more
Horia Ursu
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book that long time science fiction fans would enjoy most, but it's also a book that a non-fan would be fortunate to have as an introduction to what science fiction is about.
The first part, with its faithful depiction of science fiction fandom in its earliest days, was a real pleasure to read. The next couple ones have echoes from Carl Sagan's Contact, and the last one reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke's Songs of Distant Earth, among others. I loved a lot the changing pace from
...more
Dean
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Wonderful Book, but...

The author has take the somewhat ubiquitous idea of the SF "Generation Ship" and flipped it on its head, instead chronicling the generations that dream up, build, and bring this concept to reality. Highly recommended.

Note: Had to downgrade my original rating of 4.5 due to the inexcusably large amount of typos and missing words. Nothing yanks you out of a story worse than that.
Chip
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great writing and fantastic ideas. Even though this is a generational book (with each section occurring two or so waves after the previous), the characters are well done and interesting. Steele has a great talent for stretching your imagination and exciting your core. This is among the tops for early interstellar spacecraft. Not quite a 5-star since in my opinion, it needs additional volume. His books always leave me wanting for more.
RabidCheese
Mar 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, was this book boring and over-hyped. I was quite disappointed in the characters, who all felt like re-skins of characters we met previously. None of them had any real personality. Everyone fell in love at first sight with someone who was all to eager to drop what they were doing and jump into the plot. The less said about the ending, the better.
Soad
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was pretty interesting when it came to the hard science, I'm not going to say the "F" word, t I think that if there is an idea there is a possibility, the characters were short lived but they helped the story move smoothly. This whole book had a subtle feel to it i enjoyed reading it.
Andrew
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
More properly called meta-science fiction, Mr. Steele's Arkwright is a disjointed, unnecessarily-sentimental paean to the Science Fiction section of the bookstore, rather than science fiction itself.
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Before becoming a science fiction writer, Allen Steele was a journalist for newspapers and magazines in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Missouri, and his home state of Tennessee. But science fiction was his first love, so he eventually ditched journalism and began producing that which had made him decide to become a writer in the first place.

Since then, Steele has published eighteen novels and nearl
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“There's a difference between religion and faith," Chandi said, "Religion means you've accepted a set of beliefs even if those beliefs would appear to be irrational to anyone who doesn't buy into them. Faith means you've chosen to accept something that you've given yourself the chance to question.” 1 likes
“Faith is a great thing. The trick is keeping it. Dad” 0 likes
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