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Black Star Rising

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  34 reviews
"When a mysterious alien spacecraft approaches the Earth and demands to speak with the President of the United States, then destroys a large Pacific island to demonstrate its strength and its seriousness, you'd expect the President to talk. Problem is, in the late twenty-first century, there is no President--not even a United States. China rules the Americas, and to most p ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published May 1st 1985 by Random House Inc. (NYC) (first published January 1st 1985)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  905 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Jun 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
We were driving from the Great Sand Dunes to Mesa Verde, my family and I, and I was in a royal funk. Partly this was because I hadn't slept well the night before. Partly it was because the Sand Dunes, damn them, had been windy and so walking near them, let alone climbing them, was made painful by blowing sand. Partly it was because I was on a road trip instead of home with my friends, and I was a high school graduate heading off to another state for college and who knew how hard it would be to s ...more
-Algo distinto a lo que comienza ofreciendo.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. En una Norteamérica ocupada por China, que junto a la India suponen las dos potencias hegemónicas tras la destrucción mutua de los USA y la URSS, el operario de una granja agrícola, Pettyman Castor, descubre casualmente la cabeza de un cadáver en un arrozal, lo que le llevará a conocer a Tsoong Delilah, una inspectora de policía que lleva el caso y, lo que es más importante, a conocer un dato secreto al respe
Peter Dunn
I picked this up because of the interesting premise in which the US and Russia have devastated each other leaving China and India to pick up the pieces, but then an alien ship appears insisting on talking to the President of the now defunct US ……and that was fine for the first 51 pages, after which it descends into farce. This starts with the introduction of a key character who is essentially a mad scientist, then everyone else suddenly starts acting like petulant or jealous children, and then w ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Frederik Pohl's Black Star Rising
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - February 8, 2014

This was a JOY to read.. or a HOOT.. or something.. Although.., actually, it sortof petered out by the end & was a bit of a disappointment. Still (moving), all in all (n'at), I had fun reading this. It's in the genre of a-culture-not-currently-dominating a-particular-nation becomes THE-culture-dominating a-particular-nation. Other examples of this genre being Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle (
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
So you think everything have worked out just fine and then come some patriots who are extraterrestrials and f*** everything up :). We get bite of dystopian society, space travel, romance and even genetic enhancements.
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some great ideas here and some good commentary on the dangers of nationalism. Fun and fast read.
Mathew Whitney
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Black Star Rising is an odd little story by Frederik Pohl which might best be described as an alternate history novel, though it was originally written as a dystopian future novel. The basic premise is that the US and USSR spiraled into all-out-nuclear war and nearly destroyed the world, leaving India and China to clean up the mess. The story starts off as a simple tale of a man working on a collective farm working rice paddies in what used to be Mississippi, even though all he ever wanted to be ...more
Christina Zable
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
I picked this up in a used book store, intrigued by the initial premise and because I very much enjoyed some Pohl that I read years ago (Heechee saga). It starts out with an interesting what if -- what if the US and the USSR blew each other to smithereens, leaving China and India as the great world powers? We start in a rice paddy in Alabama, part of a US administered by the Red Chinese. It's all very interesting, in the way that alternative history is (though when written in 1985 it was actuall ...more
Matthew Reads Junk
Ugh. Heavy handed moralizing, paper thin characters and plot that makes no rational sense.
James Thomas
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ho hum.
Michael Nalbone
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Fun read, abrupt ending.
Scot McAtee
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was loving the book right up until the end. It was bit anticlimactic there. It felt a lot like a Stephen King story: build up build up build up and... that?

Still worth a read!
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
war, patriotism, nationalism . . . pretty ironic considering the times
Chris Gager
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Rescued from the Transfer station trailer. Pohl is one of the "Old Guard" of Sci-Fi writers I remember from the 50's and 60's. I need a break after "Gilead". Time to lighten up, literature-wise. Tonight... I finished this one yesterday while the snow flew outside. What a mess out there now. Rain and sleet on top of 7" of wet snow - ICK! I've already shoveled a bunch of it and I'm not done yet. Anyway... this book is a reliably entertaining and kind of wacky tale. Some interesting science, sex an ...more
Sep 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This one was just okay to me. I really debated about whether I wanted to give it two stars or three, and I decided to give it three simply because it was good enough for me to finish. I've read a couple other books by Pohl which I really enjoyed, but this one was very dry to me. Many of the themes in the story were interesting but I simply could not connect with the characters, in fact I really did not care about them at all. There was a tremendous amount of sex in the novel which was written in ...more
Matt Gibson
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Black Star Rising's basic premise of a future in which mutually-assured destruction has come true, leading the Chinese to "rescue"/invade the USA is interesting and a good background to a story.

However, I found things to go downhill from this promising beginning, as the book leaned more and more towards both fantasy and lots of content that I'm guessing would mean a lot more to an American than to me. Add to that a lack of character development and a mess of threads that never really seemed to g
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You had me at hello.
I immediately got lost in this book from the very first sentence. I was intrigued. It was such a captivating way to start the story, in my opinion. The story, I felt, continued to be extremely well written and sectioned out into distinct units with artistic perfection.
Now, I usually base my final rating decision for a book on one question: has the book left me wanting to know more about the characters and the "what happens next" for them. With Black Star Rising, yes, yes I do
Clayton Yuen
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
A historical scifi novel written in the rhetoric of the times, Black Star Rising starts off with a bang. It has a great premise that developed slowly (as with many of the old scifi books), but lingers. I loved the story and the oddly interesting characters, but the lingering was a problem.

I suppose with all the fast, slam-bam stories available to us these moderns days, you have to just relax and enjoy this good read for what it is worth . . . 4 stars!
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Someone left this in the marina lounge. I read just about anything science fiction, and I read the Heechee saga when I was a kid so I picked it up. Kind of a juvenile premise, golden age science fiction stuff. Kind of felt like he wasn't trying very hard to write anything good. Probably should have left it in the lounge. ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 04, 2011 rated it liked it
An alien ship lands in Washington, DC, demanding to see the president of the United States. They destroy a large Pacific island to back up their demand. But there is no longer as United Staes as China controls of of its former territory as well as that of the old USSR. One Anglo rice farmer in Mississippi begins the journey that will make him the new president.
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Starting out like as a really good novel and ended like a bad movie. I was surprised when I turned the page and instead of a resolution to the buildup, there was the "About the Author" paragraph. Feels unfinished. ...more
Mary Slowik
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking, predictive sci-fi from late in the cold war, 1985. Nice handling of multiple perspectives, definitely memorable characters.

I learned while reading this that Frederik Pohl also lives in a Chicago suburb. And that he's 92, and still writing!
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Pohl présente ici une vision intéressante d'un futur improbable - la Chine communiste qui dirige les restes d'une Amérique jetée à terre par la guerre nucléaire, mais la gaspille en 2e moitié avec une histoire d'ET ridicule. ...more
Kadja Draenor
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
For such a funny sounding book, it ended up being a rather heavy handed political comentary. To top it off, the ending really didn't solve the conflict. All in all, not a book I would recommend. ...more
Mar 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
Pohl is usually pretty good. The book was terrible. I kept waiting for it to be done. When it was...I asked why in the world did I read it. A waste of time.
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good classic science fiction and a hell of a lot of fun to read.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Decent idea, but it's not an epic. A fun, easy read. ...more
Christina Rundle
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I find myself wanting to put in more hours reading than writing. It's difficult putting the book down. Side Affect: It's made me crave Chinese food all week. ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pohl fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Clever and amusing science fiction tale by Frederik Pohl.
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Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.

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