This concluding novel in the Stardance Trilogy takes readers to the year 2064; Earth is enjoying an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity due to the Starmind, a universal overmind engineered by benevolent aliens. Art in all its forms flourishes, and composer Rand Porter has been offered the job of a lifetime as a shaper of visual effects and music in High Orbit for the world's most famous zero-gravity dance company. But his beloved novelist wife, Rhea Paixao, has her roots sunk deep in the Earth and her beloved Cape Cod. As they wrestle with their private dilemma, bizarre things--small miracles, really--are beginning to occur everywhere on Earth and throughout the entire Solar System. The human race and its evolutionary successors, the space-dwelling Stardancers, find themselves approaching the terrifying cusp of their shared destiny, an appointment made for them a million years ago--a make-or-break point beyond which nothing, anywhere, can ever be the same again.
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Spider Robinson is renowned for his Callahan's Place series of bestselling novels. With his late wife, Jeanne, he wrote the award-winning Stardance series. As an audiobook reader of his own and others' work, he has won the Earphones Award and been a finalist for the Audie Awards. In 2008, he won the Robert A. Heinlein Award for Lifetime Excellence in Literature.
Jeanne Robinson (1948-2010) was a writer, choreographer, dancer, teacher, and lay-ordained Buddhist monk. She was artistic director of Halifax's Nova Dance Theatre for eight years and choreographed thirty original works. Her Hugo and Nebula winning 1976 novella Stardance pioneered the concept of zero gravity dance, and inspired three novels.From Publishers Weekly:
This concluding novel in the Stardance trilogy, after Stardance (1977) and Starseed (1992), suffers from a problem common to later volumes in multibook sagas: competing demands between the plot and the series' backstory. The Starmind, a universal overmind engineered by benevolent aliens from telepathically linked human Stardancers, is the Robinsons' response to SF's usual presentation of human futures based on technological, rather than artistic, development. Here, though, the Starmind's final evolution seems too methodical and out of sync with the novel's human focus: the moving drama of 21st-century writer Rhea Paixao and the emotional rift that grows between her and composer husband Rand Porter when he moves the family from her beloved Earth to a luxury hotel in outer space. Subplots concerning an assassination attempt and a conspiracy to liberate humanity from the Starmind's control illustrate the parochial concerns the human race must overcome in order to achieve the apotheosis planned for it. Not surprisingly, the novel features the authors' usual well-drawn characters, but the euphoric optimism of its climax seems unearned and less believable than the concluding pathos of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, to which this trilogy is clearly indebted.
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