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


3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,306 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
The acclaimed author of Far-Seer and End of An Era embarks on a fantastic journey. A series of mysterious, artificial wormholes have brought the far reaches of space immediately close. But is the Earth ready for who--or what--the wormholes may bring?
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 1996)
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 Starplex, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Starplex

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: do-not-own
Though written in 1995, this Hugo nominated story is stylistically more like those of the older 'golden age' era of the 50's, rather than the more sophisticated character driven sort of modern type. The likes of editors such as Campbell Jr. or Frederik Pohl of "Galaxy" and "IF" would surely have jumped at serializing a story like this. It's good fun old fashioned fast paced 'spaceship scifi' with creative aliens, grand battle scenes, worm holes - in this case, actually termed "short cuts", time ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good, albeit super short. It's impressive that Sawyer can pack as much in to a 300 page novel as would take other authors 5-600 pages. But despite the amount of action and questions and answers, it still felt like it was lacking something. Maybe taking a slightly slower pace would have lent the action and revelations a little more weight.

Holy crap though, what action! There are a handful of big space action sequences, and a particular battle scene in the back half of the novel was jawdrop
Mary JL
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Any SF fan
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This was a good intorduction for me to Robert J. Sawyer. I definitely plan on seeking out more of his books.

This, the first one of his I have read, concerns life aborad "Starplex", a huge inster-stellar habitat crewed by four races---Human;Cetecean/dolphine;Walhudin and Ibs.

I found some of the science a bit hard to follow---cosmology; dark matter, etcetc, but the interactions of the four species working together was very well done. The novel showed clearly the advantages and problems of having f
Storyline: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing Style: 2/5
World: 4/5

How art thee similar to Star Trek? Let me count the ways. Thou art the Federation's Commonwealth's pride of fleet, on missions of first contact goodwill. Thou has an alpha bridge crew whom is active for every major encounter. An interspecies crew thee maintain, providing regular cultural confrontations. Boldly thee go, where no one has gone before.

Take an entire season of Star Trek, extract all the exciting discoveries and crises, inject
Hugh Long
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was truly an incredible book. Starplex was a rare exploration of the Space Opera sub-genre, and as Robert J. Sawyer intended, did not focus on a military plot as the central theme, but rather, a peaceful group of scientists who's mission was to make peaceful contact with other races via a vast network of 'shortcuts' or stargate type devices. Yes, there is certainly space combat and battles, but what makes this book so different is the anchoring in real science fiction roots -- at it's core ...more
Христо Блажев
“КК Старплекс” разкрива бъдещето на Вселената:

Историята е леко хаотична, дори бих казал директно скърпена от други книги и сериали – основно “Стар Трек” и трилогията на Дейвид Брин за ъплифтинга - “Потапяне в слънцето”, ”Звездна вълна се надига” и “Войната на Ъплифта”, паралелите са твърде много, за да бъде отречено това. Иначе накратко – хората и делфините са създали обединена цивилизация, открили са още две интелигентни раси, с които сме сключили крехък
This was an entertaining, action-packed, sci-fi listen-read with first contact and 4 other sentient species working together on the same starship, known as Starplex. Keith, the lead character, is the middle-aged "captain" of the Starplex, who is undergoing male menopause. He's on the verge of cheating on his wife of 20 years when life explodes with sentient "planets" coming through a wormhole, along with a bunch of suns from the future.
Malcolm Little
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sf-gems
If you, like me, grew up fervently watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, Starplex takes notes from the excellent TV series and wraps it around some of the biggest cosmological questions of our time. Sawyer is a master of personalizing lofty, universe-spanning ideas down to the people involved in investigating such ideas and the phenomena they exhibit; he does that with aplomb in Starplex.

Anyone paying the slightest attention to the details of prevailing cosmological research would be familiar
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not normally a great fan of hard science fiction and that's exactly what this book is, but there's a really cool story in there too, intertwined with some pretty mind-boggling astrophysical space science stuff. These two elements combine into a really good story, and a relatively short book too. The story has our galaxy permeated with a vast array of artificial 'gateways' that link various points across the galaxy, and there is also two other known intelligent species. These species (includi ...more
Jun 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: g-scifi, reviewed
It took me approximately 50 pages to go "Oh. Interesting." Another 50 to go, "OH. INTERESTING." And another 20 or so after that to really see how even MORE interesting it was going to be. After that, I stopped keeping count.

This is obviously one of Sawyer's earlier works, he's a bit clunky in the exposition, there's definitely a good deal of interesting in the beginning, but it's shrouded in uneven introduction and clunky science. It might have been that this particular science was not something
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was fairly early in Sawyer's writing career and I think reflects that. The story was interesting with a large amount of astronomical physics concerning the creation of the universe and its' ultimate demise. I enjoy such things and so I enjoyed this perspective. The story itself wasn't bad but somewhat simplistic. The aliens he created were different but again, they seemed simplistic and somewhat one dimensional. I think the thing that bugged me the most was Lansing's midlife crisis. Th ...more
David C. Mueller
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-misc-authors
This book sets out to do what the author states in the introduction, be his version of a science fiction universe much like that of "Star Trek". There are two major alien races whose temperament is similar to that of Klingons and Vulcans. There is a plot that includes time travel and the main characters having way more say in the fate in the universe than is really reasonable. There is a large, well-described starship crewed by humans and aliens. There is a meeting with a very advanced being. Th ...more
Andrey Shchekin
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I haven't watched much Star Trek (I prefer B5), yet this book perfectly matches Star Trek as I imagine it -- one ship discovering everything, always in the crossfire and always selecting the riskiest decision there is for each situation. So for me this is basically Star Trek fandom.

Of course it comes with all possible tropes: each alien race has only one character type, etc.

Within those constraints it is not a bad book though -- it's simple optimism is motivating, and the physics are pretty inte
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This has got to be my favorite hard sci-fi book to date. It has Dolphins in space! I mean seriously, Intelligent dolphins in space? Where can you go wrong?

The slight hints at racial tension(in this case species tension) is a good touch. You find yourself growing attached to the various species (did I mention the dolphins?) of crew mates aboard the ship as they travel across the galaxy.

The author does justice to physics and does not dumb down his explanations as characters dive into the astroph
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert J. Sawyer wrote Starplex with several objectives. As a fan of Star Trek, he wanted to "do Star Trek right." This meant stripping away the military elements of the series, and focusing instead on scientific discovery and diplomacy. Dovetailing with his own goals as a writer, Sawyer wanted to write about how aliens who were truly alien, who have wildly different anatomies, societies, and psychologies from humans would interact with us. As a writer of hard sci-fi, Sawyer wanted to write a bo ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I love Robert Sawyer and I buy his books without reading the synopsis first because I know I will be taken on a fantastic, mind-bending adventure! I am rarely disappointed… but this time I was.

This story was interesting, but the scenery was too descriptive for me; I could not properly visualize all the details - a form in the distance with green lights and red shadows, and the appearance of this spatial anomaly that looks one way from the left but when you move sideways it looks like it shrunk a
Jamie Rich
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Starplex (Hardcover) by Robert J. Sawyer

Written in the mid 90's, it still holds up well today. This was the author's last major Space Opera, and features Humans and Aliens. Some of each that you like, and some of each that you don't like. The characters drive the plot, but are mostly more or less one dimensional. The best developed character is the protagonist, our erstwhile Director of the mission. Keith Lansing does, by necessity, undergo some rather painful growth curves. And his inner missio
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Since a lot of Sawyer’s current writing is strained and when not strained political, I look back at his earlier stuff that I do like. I have not read Starplex (the name of the starship) and really liked its similaries to Star Trek, and the adventures the ship’s crew was having.

Really liked the interaction between Keith and his wife Clarissa as her husband struggled against his “mid life crisis” and a certain sexy assistant who had her eyes on Keith.

Despite that subplot we meet all kind
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

Since a lot of Sawyer’s current writing is strained and when not strained political, I look back at his earlier stuff that I do like. I have not read Starplex (the name of the starship) and really liked its similaries to Star Trek, and the adventures the ship’s crew was having.

Really liked the interaction between Keith and his wife Clarissa as her husband struggled against his “mid life crisis” and a certain sexy assistant who had her eyes on Keith.

Despite that subplot we meet all kind
Scott Jann
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is, thus far, the only science fiction book by Robert J. Sawyer that I’ve read that had much set in space. I enjoyed reading this book and I would love to read more stories from this universe. The aliens in this book were great, I loved that they were so different and creative. The author must have a great respect for other creatures that share our planet, I’ve noticed this in other books but I like how dolphins were a part of this story. I also like how the action took place without violat ...more
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The races of intelligent beings in this book are described very well, both physically as well as their way of thinking, beliefs, culture, etc. Their interactions on a ship together are a big part of why I loved this book. There is a lot discovered about the Universe in the course of the story and these things are quite unexpected. I do like science fiction with some philosophy and I got that here. Sawyer always delivers something to ponder.
I'm not sure what to think about this book... The ending came so abruptly that it really felt like I had missed some pages. I did not feel like I knew the protagonists. Overall it is interesting concepts but not a lot of development and the ending left me wondering what happened to the large entities discovered. All in all I don't think I would re - read this one.
Yasuo Itoh
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linda Novak
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good ideas ...enjoyed it.

I liked the theme but was irritated when pages were spent on science details. Most of us didn't know if the science bits were based on real science or just imagination. The aliens were well done and interesting.
Leila P
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Not Sawyer's best, but it was worth reading: there were very intriguing aliens plus I liked the ending very much. Keith's mid-life crisis wasn't so interesting, and I think the reason for his negative attitude towards 'the pigs' should have been explained earlier in the story.
Dustin J Williams
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

I liked the book. It was fun and keep you guessing. A great imagination. Wish I could live in the world he painted
Marshalll Vance
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Sawyer uses good science to spin a complex tale, with characters with moral dilemmas, and in doing so brings to light our many fractured thought patterns.
Douglas Cosby
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a stereotypical sci-fi book of old: fun science, shallow characters, and anthropomorphized aliens. Now I remember why I never read sci-fi as a kid, because it was kind of bad back then, and this novel was a throwback to those times. While Sawyer tried to make the main character feel like a real person, his efforts were mainly around the captain of the ship wanting the pretty young scientist instead of his wife -- no new insights or even any new thoughts on this rich subject, just the pl ...more
AJ Nelson
Fantastic! It has all the elements I like in an SF story... strong characters, big tech, some mystery, some excitement, and enough depth to keep you thinking. Just read it...
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
The first thing that stood out to me about this book was the ridiculous overuse of profanity. The only profanity the author seems to be familiar with is religious profanity.

If you enjoy sci-fi books you have to learn to overlook the bashing of religion or belittling/vilification of those that believe, but it seems to me that if the author was an atheist he would void references to deities from his vocabulary. I suppose the exception being militant atheists, which from my encounters
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Against Infinity (Jupiter Project, #2)
  • City on Fire (Metropolitan #2)
  • Crescent City Rhapsody (Nanotech, #3)
  • Temporary Agency (Unquenchable Fire, #2)
  • Celestis
  • The People of the Wind
  • The Collapsium (The Queendom of Sol #1)
  • Shadrach in the Furnace
  • Eternity's End (Star Rigger, #5)
  • Picoverse
  • Moonfall
  • The Void Captain's Tale
  • Mockingbird
  • Assemblers of Infinity
  • Blind Voices
  • Mother of Storms
  • Redshift Rendezvous
  • Ivory (Birthright #14)
Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.
Robert Sawyer grew up in
More about Robert J. Sawyer...

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • These Vicious Masks
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #1)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Once Dead (The Rho Agenda Inception #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Door Within (The Door Within, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Harmony Black (Harmony Black, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Cloud Atlas
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Galápagos
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Thirteen
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Unspoken (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation, # 2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Mark of Fire (The Endarian Prophecy #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Star (The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Season of Fire (The Remnants, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Dreamsongs. Volume I (Dreamsongs, #1)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Lethal Velocity : A Novel
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Haunting Season
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Season of Wonder (The Remnants, #1)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »