Bowl of Heaven by Gregory Benford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Just when I was thinking that I had been really missing some Big Dumb Objects in my life... this book comes to save me!
It's a riff on Niven's old theme of Ringworld, true, but with a rather huge twist. This is a stir-fry bowl of unimaginable proportions.
No. Actually, it's just a bowl driven by a star. A hemisphere of a Dyson Sphere. With hundreds of thousands of Earth-size landmasses, a locked sunlight schedule, and many, many types of aliens.
Can you say adventure? I can say adventure! Bird aliens, a much bigger cast of aliens compared to Niven's other series, and a particularly interesting reliance on a conscious/unconscious theme.
I'm not going to say that the characters in this book are all that special, but when you're dealing with exploring spacecraft and an exploring STAR, tons of hi-tech, adopted aliens, and people doing what people always seem to do, it's not really meant to be a character study.
It's an adventure with a huge scope.
Just what the doctor ordered.
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