Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Non-Stop” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,135 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
Curiosity was discouraged in the Greene tribe. Its members lived out their lives in cramped Quarters, hacking away at the encroaching ponics. As to where they were - that was forgotten.

Roy Complain decides to find out. With the renegade priest Marapper, he moves into unmapped territory, where they make a series of discoveries which turn their universe upside-down...


Paperback, 241 pages
Published July 26th 2005 by The Overlook Press (first published 1958)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Non-Stop, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Non-Stop

Dune by Frank HerbertEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Best Science Fiction
2,335 books — 3,819 voters
Dune by Frank HerbertDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanHyperion by Dan SimmonsRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
SF Masterworks
172 books — 582 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Non-Stop, Brian Aldiss’ 1958 publication is a story about feral people aboard a generational ship.

The idea of a generational ship – where a sub-light speed vehicle must transverse such a distance in space that the destination will not be reached by the underway crew, but a second or later generation – has been the stuff of fine science fiction for decades. Methuselah's Children and Orphans of the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein are two examples and Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero is a similar variation. Writ
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, pre-80s-sf
“Only a technological age could condemn unborn generations to exist in it, as if man were mere protoplasm, without emotion or aspiration.”

That is an implication of a generation ship I never considered. In the absence of a FTL drive, a generation ship is one of the most viable solutions for interstellar travel. It would be a very grand ambition, a triumph of science and engineering. On the other hand, there is likely to be a dehumanizing effect on the inhabitants who have to spend their entire li
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
When Space Holidays Go Wrong could be the alternative title of a great many works of Science Fiction. It seems to me that almost no-one, in any alternate imagined universe, no matter how enlightened or advanced, can arrange an event-free journey from one world to another. If the ship involved doesn’t break down in an abandoned sector of space then its air filters will fail to weed out a cloud of gender-altering spores or the onboard AI will go HAL 9000 and start a hunger games style tournament a ...more
Paul Bryant
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
I thought well, this can’t be literature because I am having fun reading it, unlike if I was reading say for instance Burroughs, Bellow, Barth, Banville, Bernhard and other people not beginning with B.

It is a story about a generation starship, that is the term. This one can only travel at around 75 miles an hour, and it doesn’t have that useful Faster-Than-That drive to make interstellar travel instantaneous. Also, it isn’t one of those like in the movie Aliens where the crew are all in a coma u
Aldiss je ideju o generacijskom brodu koji putuje bez kontrole vjerovatno dobio čitajući Robert A. Heinleinove novele Universe (1941.) i Common Sense (1941.), koje su kasnije objavljene u obliku romana pod nazivom Orphans of the Sky. No, čini mi se da je u Non-Stop, svoj prvi roman, ugradio i osobno iskustvo proživljavanja Drugog svjetskog rata.

Radnja počinje u jednom malom plemenu koje živi zatvoreno i u kojem se znatiželja obeshrabljuje. Stari pričaju o legendi da je njihov svijet ustvari svem
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
A small note. This is not "Technically" one of the 100 must read sci-fi novels as formulated in the Bloomsbury goodreading guide of that name. I had technical and financial difficulties in obtaining the book said list selected for Brian Aldiss ("Hothouse") and instead looked into the "Read On" choices of further titles of note by this author. This was the first one listed, was obtainable, and was infact his first book, so I read it just to get the ball rolling on this project. Ok, now on to the ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
A mad literary experiment gone horribly right, the details of which can't be adumbrated much since the novel contains so many revelations as to be eminently spoilable, Non-Stop parachutes the reader into the heart of ignorance and darkness. The only hero among his jungle tribe, a welter of superstitious folk knowledge and unaccountable futuristic technology, is a hunter by trade and a questioner by disposition who senses the paradox of his environment and yearns for a greater purpose. His ventur ...more
Jeremy Adam
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just read this on the beach on Fire Island. I'm a big fan of Brian Aldiss, though I admit he's a spotty writer. The premise--of a generation ship whose crew has forgotten that they are on a starship--is terrific, and it's wonderfully thought-through and very well plotted. This book is also distinguished by having a strong, three-dimensional female character, which is unusual for the science fiction of the late 1950s. On the negative side, some of the writing is clumsy and the ending is a bit a ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was the first novel published by Brian Aldiss, titled Non-Stop in his native Britain. The US title, Starship, rather gives away the surprise of the first section of the book, and the many reviews available give away most of the rest. Fortunately I encountered neither sources before reading, and rather enjoyed this story.

The main character is a rough-and-ready sort who adapts quite well to the situations he encounters. Halfway through he meets an excellent female character, well written and
One of the early generation ship stories (1958), this one centered on a young man in a tribe that's unaware they are even in a spaceship, except for a cantankerous priest who's found some old records and decided they should go find the legendary control room. Along the journey, they learn more of the back story of the floundering expedition. Interesting overall story, a couple of nice characters, solid resolution.
Rob Thompson
My review of the book: Non-Stop by Brian W. Aldiss. As ever, I'm not going to provide a summary of the story itself, rather this review will highlight some of the themes and aspects of the book which stood out for me personally.

Firstly, to understand the early weird chapters of the novel the reader has to have an understanding of the context in which the story is set. Most of this is on the back cover blurb (and the various covers published over the years kind of give the game away) but to reite
Charles Dee Mitchell
With his first novel, Aldiss created a society that has evolved after 23 generations lost in space on an enormous ship bound home from a colonizing mission centuries before. The Greene Tribe are little more than savages, following The Teachings that mostly promote self-interest and superstitious fear. The Greenes, who live in the Quarters, a jungle infested with rampant hydroponic plants and waves of midges, know vaguely of The Forwards, another, more advanced society, But there are also the Gia ...more
Lubinka Dimitrova
Always love a good twist in the end!
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scf-fi
Vidim da ovaj uradak mnogi svrstavaju u rani Aldissov opus, što automatski aludira da njegovo zrelije i kvalitetnije razdoblje tek dolazi. Ok. No ja se prvi put susrećem s ovim autorom, i mogu reći da sam kroz ovo krštenje izašao poprilično zadovoljen i utaženih apetita. Roman je skoro pa klasik u žanru tzv. "generation ship" SF literature, inspiriran vjerojatno dijelom Heinleinovim pričama na temu koji hdesetak godina ranije. SFE kategorizira priču kao "conceptual breakthrough" priču, u kojoj s ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This isn't a book. It's an Ur-book, a book that comes before the books that you know. The thing which creates a pattern.

Actually, I don't know that that's really the case, but that's what it feels like, as with all the Brian Aldiss books that I've read: he creates not just worlds, but patterns for worlds. Here, the interstellar generation ship that nobody really knows is a generation ship.

In the end, the whole plot is an excuse to explore the setting--and the ways it can change. But the writin
May 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all SF fans
Shelves: science-fiction
If you still plan to read the book, skip the reviews you can find on the internet. They contain some spoilers that are better avoided.

I liked the book very much. The setting is strange and the secrets are slowly revealed. The characters are carefully set up and my only complain is that their development wasn't realistic enough at the end of the book.

Anyway, a good classic that is still a lot of fun to read. The Millenium SF Masterworks series is truly a remarkable series that doesn't disappoint
John Doez
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Lately, I dont get hooked into classics. Specially sci-fi classics. Sometimes I know the ideas by heart from scratch. Sometimes I have read several books with the same topics. I know it is not their problem but mine. They are wonderful. Some of them, masterpieces, but I get bored with them.

That didnt happened to me with "Non-stop". I supposed more or less what was going on from the very beginning even without having read reviews that contained spoilers. However I was always curious about the cha
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This 1959 story is a classic generation ship sf story. It's not typical of what I have come to expect from later Brian Aldiss, but rather a straight-forward adventure story of the discovery of on-ship reality. I did enjoy it.
Jose Moa
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
The paradigma book on genarational interestelar ships , the best
It was an okay book. Maybe between 2.5 and 2.7 stars. I am not sure I would call it a 'masterpiece', but what do I know. It did strongly remind me of Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky in that it involves a multi-generational starship where "something happens" that decimates the crew and the survivors form various societies [for lack of a better word], religions, and trappings of civilization, culminating in some kind of deadly struggle for control of "the World" [ship]. You have the smaller rag-tag ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skvělá sci-fi. Postupné odkrývání příběhu mě vtáhlo do děje.

Jen konec mi přišel trochu uspěchaný (a tím koncem myslím poslední třetinu ne moc dlouhé knihy). Dovedu si představit, že by kniha měla klidně o 200 stran víc a konec byl trochu víc natažený.

Každopádně doporučuju.
Sean O'Brien
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
The concept of the generation ship (a slower-than-light colonization vessel that takes many generations to complete its journey) is a well-known trope in science fiction. Robert Heinlein did a version of this idea in Orphans of the Sky in 1941. Just because the idea of the generation ship has been done before doesn't mean a great tale can't be woven from it.

In Non-Stop, Aldiss creates a rich and fascinating society of hunter-gatherers who live in "Quarters" but who are ignorant of their place
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
1950-1960’lı yıllara ait bilimkurgu kitapları okuma kapsamında okuduğum ve en çok beğendiğim kitaplardan bir tanesi olmuştu.

Kitap hem konusu hem de anlatımı açısından gerçekten çok güzel bir kitap. Günümüzde bu tarz bir hikayeyi çeşitli sinema filmi ve televizyon dizilerinden görmekteyiz ancak 55 sene önce yazılmış bir kitapta bu konunun çok daha basit ve güzel bir şekilde işlenmiş olması çok hoşuma gitti.

Şu ana kadar okudum en orijinal konuya sahip bilim kurgu romanı oldu. 55 sene önce yazılmış
Joe Santoro
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soft_sf
This was Aldiss' first novel.. and I know I like some of his others, so I had high hopes. It's a cool concept.. a multi-generational ship has gone wrong, and the survivors live aboard the runaway ship, which has become a world of itself. They have this strange defeatist non-religion sorta based on the foundations of psychoanalysis (Freud and such). The main character, Roy Complain, goes on a quest to find meaning in his life and discovers both the history of his 'world' and the reality of it.

Steve Mount
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Called a "classic of sci-fi", I couldn't recall ever having heard of it before. But I'm glad I gave it a read. This edition had apparently been recently updated by the author, which might explain why a book written before space travel was science reality seemed so up-to-date. The plot twist was a nice surprise, but not too surprising. I would have liked to have more expansion on the religion of the dizzies and a little more information from Fermour ... but I won't say any more lest I give too mu ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mohla to být úderná povídka, pokladájící skrze dobdrodružný příběh zajímavé otázky "o nás", tak jak by to každá dobrá sci-fi měla dělat. Tím že je to ve výsledku román to však poněkud tratí na působivosti, především ve střední pasáži. Každopádně i tak je jasné, proč je Nonstop považovaný za žánrovou klasiku.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
More like 3.5 stars, but I'm happy to round up. A great first novel and a great generation ship novel. Gave me the same feeling as Frank M. Robinson's great The Dark Beyond the Stars, and a bit of the same joy I got from Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun (and of course it predates both of those). Definitely a classic in the genre.
Maybe three and a half stars. I first read it long ago and really liked it a lot, then later reread it and found it not quite so strong. It's a "generation spaceship" story, but where the passengers have reverted to savagery. Pretty good tale, although there's one I read by another writer that was even better and I can't find it now.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fine SF story. Not only a lot of fun to read but also intriguing in it's extended implication that our own universe may in fact be a very different sort of thing, place, system than we it's inhabitants perceive it to be. Sort of a Matrix idea without the cyber element. Well worth the read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Dark Benediction
  • The Centauri Device
  • Downward to the Earth
  • The Complete Roderick
  • Life During Wartime
  • Emphyrio
  • The Rediscovery of Man
  • Rogue Moon
  • Pavane
  • The Child Garden
  • Bring the Jubilee
  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
  • The Space Merchants (The Space Merchants, #1)
  • Mockingbird
  • The Fifth Head of Cerberus
  • Star Maker
  • Orbitsville
  • The Dancers at the End of Time (Dancers at the End of Time, #1-3)
Pseudonyms: Jael Cracken, Peter Pica, John Runciman, C.C. Shackleton, Arch Mendicant, & "Doc" Peristyle.

Brian Wilson Aldiss is one of the most important voices in science fiction writing today. He wrote his first novel while working as a bookseller in Oxford. Shortly afterwards he wrote his first work of science fiction and soon gained international recognition. Adored for his innovative liter
More about Brian W. Aldiss...

Share This Book