{5/5} “Each person contemplated the small fuzzy blot of light that would give rise to all of them, contemplated the fact that they were farther out in space than anyone had ever been before, contemplated the vastly empty darkness all around them. Six billion light-years.”

Starplex by Robert J. Sawyer, published in 1996

Due to the shortcuts, left behind by unknown aliens, humans and dolphins have been able to meet and form an alliance with the Waldahudin and Ibs. Keith Lansing is in charge of the starship Starplex when a new shortcut opens up. Which means, potentially, a first contact situation. When something comes through the shortcut, he’s expecting a ship — but it’s a star.

The story deals with big ideas like unusual life forms and messages from the future.

It’s about getting along with other species, exploring the universe, and making first contact. It’s about what happens when you put the smart people in charge.

One more quotation, from Longbottom, a dolphin. A short but profound message about dealing with others: “Accept their weaknesses, welcome their strengths.”

It’s one of Sawyer’s masterpieces. This is the 2nd time I’ve read it.

I’ve read all of Sawyer’s 24 novels and 2 collections. I previously reviewed Golden Fleece.

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