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Publisher's Summary

It is 2076: Lancer, Earth’s first starship, is on a mission to find interstellar civilizations. Although astronaut Nigel Walmsley’s experiences with alien encounters make him the expert, no one believes Nigel’s theory that machines are the dominant intelligent beings left in the galaxy and that their purpose is to annihilate all organic life.
Then the explorers discover once-living planets where only machines remain – and ruined worlds where fugitive survivors must evade omnipresent and lethally advanced A.I. warships. By the time the crew of Lancer realizes that Nigel is right, it will be too late – for the machines have already found Lancer…and Earth.
©1984 Gregory Benford (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Michale on 07-31-12

The Story Picks Up Speed!

I wasn't wild about the first novel in this series but I had a feeling it was setting the stage for very exciting things. I'm so glad I hung in there! Nigel is in his element aboard Lancer, a ship modeled after the Mare Marginis wreck. Peopled with a crew of experts in every field, the ship is exploring the universe. I finally begin to admire Nigel and understand why he is the hero of this story. Nigel is a frontiersman. He is looking for the truth and nothing will stand in his way of discovering it. Lancer is tracing a radio transmission far into space, and we see Nigel grow older as it takes years to reach their destination. He tenaciously holds onto his desire to make contact with other life forms and to prove his theory that machine life is up to no good out there in the universe.

Meanwhile back on earth, strange creatures have been deposited (by guess who?) into the world's oceans. The story alternates between Nigel on Lancer, and a new hero on earth, Warren. In a chilly turn of events, we are introduced to the "swarmers", alien sea creatures that bombard ships and devour the humans inside, making sea travel impossible. Warren is a shipwreck survivor, clinging to a make shift raft and beating starvation and dehydration by killing and eating the lone swarmers that attack him.

On Lancer, earth's transmissions take years to reach the crew, so they are not yet aware of the swarmers. Instead they are focused on a planet called Isis, where organic life forms have evolved to communicate through radio waves in order to outsmart the machine life that has suppressed them.

There is so much action in this novel. Everything starts to fit together and I understand why Benford spent so much time on the themes presented in "In the Ocean of Night." Nigel is rushing toward the Galactic Center and the story is picking up speed! I can't wait to listen to the next book!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By P. Larsen on 04-10-14

Wasn't able to even finish it

What would have made Across the Sea of Suns better?

A point to the story?

What was most disappointing about Gregory Benford’s story?

Minutes upon minutes of garble and unintelligent dialog. Unable to get a connection to a story that is all over the place. C

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Maxwell Caulfield and Stefan Rudnicki ?

The change of voice and person is significant ant troubling. Using the same tone of voice and way of reading would make it much easier a listen.

What character would you cut from Across the Sea of Suns?

n/a

Any additional comments?

Based on book 1 I ventured into book 2. But I'm thoroughly done with the series based on this example.

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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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