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The Starcrossed

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Bova served as the science advisor for the failed television series The Starlost, leaving in disgust after the airing of the first episode (1973). His novel The Starcrossed, loosely based on his experiences, featured a thinly veiled characterization of his friend and colleague Harlan Ellison. Bova dedicated the novel to "Cordwainer Bird", the pen name Harlan Ellison uses w ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 1984 by Ace (first published 1975)
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3.26  · 
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 ·  151 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Vaguely remembering having this book described to me, I took an old, mangled copy of The Starcrossed from the shelf. I chuckled at the resemblance to Harlan Ellison with regard to one of the characters depicted on the cover, but didn’t really think anything of it until I reached the description of a certain door as “…more ornately carved that Queequeeg’s sarcophagus.” (p. 28). “That’s Harlan’s door!” my mind shouted to me. As the saying goes, the penny dropped, and I remembered that Ben Bova not ...more
Christopher Conlon
**A Reader's Guide to THE STARCROSSED by Ben Bova**

Ben Bova's THE STARCROSSED is a slight but delightful novel detailing the (mis)adventures of a group of Hollywood industry pros as they attempt to create a new science fiction TV series. As some other reviewers here have pointed out, the story has the feel of an extended in-joke, which in fact it is. Fortunately it's not very "in," and a small amount of fun preparation will assist contemporary readers in getting the humor and the most important
Christina K
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have a soft spot for this one, because I have a love for techie tales of behind-the-scenes TV series stories. This one does read, now that I'm older, as a piece of True Story Hollywood fic, in some ways; but it's so funny, and the tropes of different scifi series are used to such fun effect, that you probably won't care. In a near future with rejuvenating youth treatments, really great cameras, and the same kinds of people, a little scifi show that started off as one thing morphs into a totall ...more
Umlaut James
Dec 11, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
I don't even know where to start, I can't believe Ben Bova actually wrote this book. If you are Bova fan, ignore this book. Book is based on a entertainment industry, it seems Bova was somehow involved with Entertainment industry and came up with this story where group of people are trying to create a new show and everything is just going wrong. After reading this book, i asked myself, wish i had read the reviews prior to reading this.
Bill Seitz
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shows the TV industry just like his Cyberbooks shows the publishing industry. A total mess.

Classic punchline ending for the book.
Eric Green
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Harlan Ellison and Ben Bova
This is a hilariously slightly fictionalized account of one of the most frustrating episodes of Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison's lives -- their involvement with a Canadian production called "The Starlost" that lasted one very forgettable season before disappearing forever. If you encountered that show before -- and as a viewer of anything even remotely science fictional during the 1970's, I did -- this is a hilarious tale of just how it got to be so bad, complete with wooden acting, ridiculous scri ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-general, sf-f
I placed this on my SF-F "shelf," but it is not, in and of itself, science fiction.

It is, instead, a fictionalized account of the author's experiences in the making of a troubled and short-lived science fiction television show.

The Starlost is the show - award winning pilot script, great and grand ideas that ought to be redone, but with a larger budget and more patience.

The Starcrossed is by turns funny and maddening, but I don't know how it would play to somebody unfamiliar with the show and so
Leigh Ann Wallace
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. Hysterical!
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very, very funny novelization of the real-life events around the production of a very, very bad cable sf series from the 1970's, The Starlost. It was created by Harlan Ellison, and Bova served as a consultant. Ellison wrote a very good script (which was novelized by Edward Bryant as Phoenix Without Ashes), but the producers did things their way and the result was a failure. I'd recommend it to anyone who ever wondered why good books can turn out to be such poor films.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Bova's failure of imagination trips him up - there's this weird thread through the whole thing where all the characters constantly reference classic movies and actors. I see this kind of move in sci-fi a lot, I guess it's supposed to make it sound Hollywood-ish, but instead it makes the characters seem way more knowledgeable and less self-centered then he wants us to see them. It also dates the book more than the inaccurate predictions, because at least those are done with eyes forward.

It is ama
All in all, it's a pretty meh book. A bunch of futuristic ideas, but not a lot of action. I really expect more from Bova. The main theme is the future of television production with a new 3D TV process and the evolution of a new show property to display it called "The Starcrossed," a TV show set in the future based on the Romeo/Juliet motif. There are some weak twists and turns and Bova seems to leave out 1/2 of the explanations on hidden story plot points that he lost interest in. Nevertheless, ...more
Earl Biringer
Jun 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I really wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I've been a huge fan of Ellison's for 30+ years and had read several of his diatribes concerning the Starlost, and I wanted to see what someone who was involved in the project but maybe not quite as, emotional is the best way to put it, I guess. Unfortunately, sans the vitriol, it comes across as rather bland. I guess this is why Bova made his living as a writer of hard SF and not as a satirist. It's not that it's a bad book, but it's r ...more
Adrian McCarthy
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it
An amusing tale of the crazy mid-1970s television industry. It's told as a science fiction story, but isn't really necessary. It's based on the adventures of Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison in the making of The Starlost, a pathetic 1973 science fiction show. I'm sure there are lots of inside jokes for those who know the backstory, but it's not necessary to appreciate the antics of these outrageous characters and their scheming. I laughed out loud a couple times during this fast read.
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: SF fans
This is Bova's fictionalized version of what actually went on on the set Of The Starlost(Ellison had brought him aboard as science consultant before things started to go bad).
A good reason why the money people, if they had good sense, should just put up the money and get out of the way of people who actually know what they're doing. They would get a product much superior to what usually comes out of such collaborations.
Erik Graff
Dec 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bova/Ellison fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
This book was a disappointment. Based on Bova's experiences with Harlan Ellison in producing a television series, the story comes across as an extended inside joke. I missed most of it, never having heard of the program previously.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not familiar with the television series, although this book was a very enjoyable read. The humorous quality of the characters within seemed to pull me along for the ride. Great writing by Mr Ben Bova.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
awesome :))))
Mauricio Bussab
Dec 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
If you know that this is an inside joke about the time he spent working in Hollywood for the show Starlost then you might enjoy the book. Otherwise it is a "pass".
Cynthia Yates
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Apr 13, 2010
John Speelman
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Dec 27, 2017
Les Bonser
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Sep 05, 2012
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Apr 15, 2010
Gerri Balter
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Jun 07, 2014
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Carrie Cook
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Ben Bova was born on November 8, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1953, while attending Temple University, he married Rosa Cucinotta, they had a son and a daughter. He would later divorce Rosa in 1974. In that same year he married Barbara Berson Rose.

Bova is an avid fencer and organized Avco Everett's fencing club. He is an environmentalist, but rejects Luddism.

Bova was a technical writer fo