In the Ocean of Night

In the Ocean of Night Contains Introduction EssayCover Artist Don Dixon NASA astronaut Nigel Walmsley is sent on a mission to intercept a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Earth Ordered to destroy the comet he

  • Title: In the Ocean of Night
  • Author: Gregory Benford
  • ISBN: 9780446611596
  • Page: 430
  • Format: Paperback
  • Contains Introduction EssayCover Artist Don Dixon2019 NASA astronaut Nigel Walmsley is sent on a mission to intercept a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Earth Ordered to destroy the comet, he instead discovers that it is actually the shell of a derelict space probe a wreck with just enough power to emit a single electronic signal2034 Then a reply is heardContains Introduction EssayCover Artist Don Dixon2019 NASA astronaut Nigel Walmsley is sent on a mission to intercept a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Earth Ordered to destroy the comet, he instead discovers that it is actually the shell of a derelict space probe a wreck with just enough power to emit a single electronic signal2034 Then a reply is heard Searching for the source of this signal that comes from outside the solar system, Nigel discovers the existence of a sentient ship When the new vessel begins to communicate directly with him, the astronaut learns of the horrors that await humanity For the ship was created by an alien race that has spent billions and billions of years searching for intelligent life annihilate it.In the Ocean of Night is a 1977 hard science fiction novel by Gregory Benford It is the first novel in his Galactic Center Saga It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1977 It was first published as a novelette in the May June 1972 edition of Worlds of If Science Fiction.

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    About " Gregory Benford "

  • Gregory Benford

    Gregory Benford is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist who is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine.As a science fiction author, Benford is best known for the Galactic Center Saga novels, beginning with In the Ocean of Night 1977 This series postulates a galaxy in which sentient organic life is in constant warfare with sentient mechanical life.

  • 272 Comments

  • Benford works with a fascinating concept here.In the Ocean of Night was first published in episodic format, before the pieces were cobbled together to form this first novel in the Galactic Centre series. It’s a good novel too. However, there is a problem with the pacing, undoubtedly because of its episodic origin. The novel consists of a number of separately defined timeline sequences, which makes sense given the plot progression. It is heavy stuff all round, but the problem lies with the seco [...]


  • Started off strong with asteroids and mysterious aliens, but then, near the end Big-foot. I'm not even kidding. Big-foot.50% Intriguing science fiction25% Inter-personal relationships that are at least mildly interesting20% Lame social and religious blah blah 4% Random digressions into poetry (yeah, I don't quite get that) 1% Big-foot No, seriously!


  • A third way through the book I had to put it down, this rarely happens to me. I tried very hard to read it, if you put the $’s down to buy you want read it. I must preface this review with the fact I’m an emotional void in true life and books getting involved in relationships real and written should be avoided at all costs. I also spent a number of years in the Army, thus hippies, holding hands and singing in circles with happy clappers, existentialist god and mung bean books leave me cold. [...]


  • loved the lifting sweep as a misty dust of snow sprang up beneath the machine like chiming crystals attempting to fly anew—farewell—this unflagging energy of the mind he loved the most as each sense in turn made a fresh grab at the greased pig which was the world even as he waves upward at the veiled white faces receding,a good representation of the incoherence ,that is this book


  • Don't stop here!This initial book of the series is the weakest in the series, but it should not discourage you from continuing with the series which is quickly becoming my one of favorites. There are some that suggest you skip this first novel and jump right to volume 2. The completionist in me could never allow me to do that but looking back, I think it's a totally viable option. If you can suffer through it, you will see that Benford does begin setting the stage for a story of a much larger st [...]


  • I bow before the master. author Andrew Leon has been politely asking me to give Gregory Benford a chance for almost a year now. When he first asked me to, I had assumed that I already had. Back in the 90’s when I first started reading science fiction in earnest I found that the sci fi portion of my local bookstore was pretty well stocked with authors whose last name started with ‘B.’ Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, David Brin, Ben Bova, they are probably others that I can’t recall at the mom [...]


  • So, some random thoughts. First, I really need to steer clear of hard sf written in the 1970s and 1980s because the rampant sexism really bugs me. I've written about this before, when it comes to Ringworld (1970) by Larry Niven or Sundiver (1980) by David Brin. I realize that terms like "white privilege" can be really politically loaded, but for me it's not about politics. It's just about the annoyance of men who write male protagonists who treat women as nothing but sexual objects. It's fundame [...]


  • A nicely written sf novel, showing a heavy and positive influence from the new wave works of the late sixties.This is basically a first contact story with a fair amount of soft sf content, including religious fanatics, sexual experimentation, and some attempts at prose poetry. None of this "experimental" material is so poorly carried off that it damages the work; in fact it would not be nearly as good without it.Many reviewers have expressed dislike for the sexual content in the novel; I would d [...]


  • Before discussing the book itself, it seems appropriate to consider its theme, which is pretty simple and familiar: humans vs. artificial intelligence. That's a conflict that has been envisioned for a long time – at least since the middle eastern golem folklore, followed by works such as Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau. At present, with the rapid technological progress of computer-based AI, the opposition between humans and "intelligent machines" ("robots") is as heatedly debated as [...]


  • My favourite thing about this book has got to be Nigel Walmsley. He's probably one of my favourite characters in fiction, ever. He's such a fun main character: very passionate but at the same time extremely cynical, which makes for a lot of amusing scenes. The storyline of this book is a very interesting one and I enjoyed the other characters too: Mr Ichino and Nikka are fun, and I was surprised at the emotional depth that was involved with Alexandria's storyline. I didn't really expect emotions [...]


  • A series of episodes dealing with man's first contact and one man's struggle against those elements of humanity who would sooner destroy or supress aliens than welcome or attempt to learn from them.However, the aliens turn out to be quite different than he expected and subject to as much fear and petty mindedness as humans are.



  • I still think about this book. Dr. Benford is the author of my favorite poem of all time, "Blood on Glass," and I am a poet. I want it to be read at my funeral. I also respect and admire the scientific, if dystopic, branch of his work best expressed in Deep Time, so I am predisposed to like him. That said, I applaud his three-dimensional, spiritually challenged characters, the sentience of his landscapes, his erudite exposition, and his compelling narrative. My advice? Read Dr. Benford's work wh [...]


  • white british dude whose only personality trait is getting irrationally angry at complete strangers about religion goes from being in a polyamorous relationship with two women to getting a petite Japanese manic pixie dream girl to fall in love with him via impressing her with weed? and being incredibly patronizing towards her. (and of course those three women are the only ones in the entire novel) plus the occasional misogynistic introspection from the pretentious white british dude. the scifi s [...]


  • It was okay. The third act got a little strange and the ending was mysterious. Some interesting ideas, good character development.As for the series, I'm skeptical of the whole machines-fighting-people idea. If machines have enough intelligence to build themselves, then they probably have enough to rapidly self-evolve until their powers become godlike and any fight with us would be hopelessly in their favor.


  • Dreary, mysoginistic crap. Combining all the very worst aspects of Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein, with nothing that made any of those three any good.I thought Heart of the Comet was pretty bland when I read it way back when, but this set impressive new lows.Back to the second hand bookshop with you, book, and I'm not even bothering to crack open the sequel.


  • ‘2019: NASA astronaut Nigel Walmsley is sent on a mission to intercept a rogue asteroid on a collision course with earth. order to destroy the comet, he instead discovers that it is actually the shell of a derelict space probe – a wreck with just enough power to emit a single electronic signal…2034: Then a reply is heard. Searching for the source of this signal that comes from outside the Solar System, Nigel discovers the existence of a sentient ship. When the new vessel begins to communic [...]


  • Attention: spoilers ahead!When I purchased this title I made a mistake: I didn't check the date of the first publication. I listened to the audio book, which was published in 2012. Into one third of the story I started to suspect that the original book is older than my daughter, and later my suspicion was confirmed by mention of microfilms used in 2034. I should have known better to check the reviews more thoroughly before buying it. In the Ocean of Night was born in 1972. Almost as old as me. I [...]


  • Poor. I don't know if it's just me or are - on average - 'hard' fantasy novels better than hard science fiction novels? I've been trying and trying to find *good*, unpretentious hard SF authors who don't try to bend over backwards to put in unnecessary drama into the story to accommodate critics, and I haven't moved beyond Stephen Baxter yet. Baxter too, while spectacular in his vision, had no idea how to do humour, so most of his books were filled with brooding prose.The back cover summary sugg [...]


  • I think this is my first Benford book, and initially I was reasonably impressed. Benford can write, and this doesn't feel like a "fix-it" novel, at least not at first. It is terribly '70s, of course, but some writers have managed to overcome that.The story is somewhat diffused-feeling. Our hero is a British ex-pat named Nigel who begins by investigating an enormous object heading toward earth, one that will cause devastation when it hits. His job is to blow it up, which he's about to do when he [...]


  • Ce livre raconte les premiers contacts entre une civilisation humaine du début du XXIème siècle (entre 2010 et 2020) avec des entités extraterrestres. Plus exactement, on découvre la vie d’un astronaute anglais, qui va vivre tous les contacts avec les étrangers et se retrouver propulsé de fait sous les projecteurs comme une sorte de héros. Une sorte seulement car dès le premier pas vers les étrangers, de nombreuses vies humaines seront perdues (majoritairement parce que le vaisseau e [...]


  • “A splendid, brilliant, overwhelming book. I wish I had written it. Best s-f novel I have read in years.” --- Robert Silverberg It has been awhile since I ventured into the territory of sci-fi. The wait was worth it, as I have inadvertently stumbled on a truly great, hard science fiction writer. As both a physicist and a poet, Benford combines his delivery of the conventions of sci-fi with the prose of lyricism. “Perspective defies the innate order. The handiwork of man blinds even this aw [...]


  • I must admit. First, if I can’t for the life of me, get into a book, I put it away. I will not finish the story because, for whatever the reason, I just could not get into it. This book was difficult for me to get into and I would have followed my rule, only this time I was reading the book as a buddy read. My middle son picked it for us to read together. He was reading the book in ebook format and I in paperback.This was a struggle. There is so much back story regarding Nigel Walmsley’s sex [...]


  • In the Ocean of night (1977) 333 pages by Gregory Benford.This is sort of a first contact novel, three times over, and in each instance Nigel Walmsley is on the forefront. The first part was too quick to think the book was over, but at the end of the second encounter I thought that's a good place for an ending. Then I see that this was originally published as three or four short stories/novellas. I didn't see any discontinuity, just a good stopping point. The third story picked up and built upon [...]



  • The novel opens with Astronaut Nigel Walmsley landing on a comet headed for a collision with Earth is a huge derelict spaceship. His decision to delay detonating a device to divert the ship’s course as he investigates does not sit well with the public.Years later as the New Sons religious organization spreads across the globe a new object arrives in the solar system: a robotic scout ship sent out by robotic societies fearful of biologicals. Because of his past encounter, Walmsley and his NASA [...]


  • The cover sums it up nicely: blue balls.Warning, there may be a few spoilers below.There is some really cool ideas in here, but they're completely overshadowed by Benford's need to overly develop his cardboard characters. For example, many pages are dedicated to the Nigel's (the main protagonist) relationship with two other women. His feelings, how he doesn't identify with one of them when the other isn't around etc. This is fine as far as it goes, but this type of drama ends up consuming 90% of [...]


  • A nice hard-sci fi novel, written by a professor of astrophysics, and it shows. Pleasant to be intellectually challenged by a book now and again. Benford's books definitely do so -- heavy on the physics and chemistry of space, a topic I never studied in school, so lots of new ideas to grappel with. Fun! Overlooking the weak plotting (and, yes, the whole crazy 'Bigfoot thing'), I kinda both hated and loved the way Benford breaks up the heavy, factual science of the story with an inuitive, non-lin [...]


  • A good, but flawed book. It reads as though it was written as a bunch of shorter pieces and then published as a book (which, I believe, is in fact the case). And, although that can work, it didn't really for me, at least here. They're just too uneven, and reading them in quick succession makes the inconsistencies stand out too much. I thought that many of the ideas and themes were first rate, and the characterization and prose were fine. I had trouble suspending my disbelief in Nigel's personal [...]


  • Full review: infinispace/2015/03/reviewIn the Ocean of Night started out promising, but it's "fixup" novel structure quickly began to crack through the interesting facade. What starts as a mysterious and potentially threatening first contact scenario quickly turns into a political/neo-religious read strewn with the land mines of inconsistent and broken science. For example, the main character has cybernetic implants in his brain that can allow an alien AI take over his body, but he lives in a wo [...]


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