Book Reviews

First Impressions Friday: Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward


Released: 1980
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Pages: 345

My favorite episode of any Star Trek series is easily an episode in season 6 of Voyager titled “Blink of an Eye.” In it, the starship Voyager decides to investigate an alien planet that appears to have temporal anomalies. As they move closer to the planet, however, they become trapped in its orbit because of its strong magnetic field.


As if that wasn’t bad enough, they soon realize their presence is causing seismic activity on the planet’s surface. Then it gets even weirder: they are shocked to discover that time passes much more rapidly on the alien world than it does for Voyager.

Even though the ship is only trapped for a short time, centuries have passed for the planet’s inhabitants. At a primitive level when Voyager appeared, by the time the ship breaks free from orbit, the societal and religious development of the population below them has evolved around the strange ship in the sky that seems to cause their planet to quake.

The way the episode is carried out is extremely fascinating and is one of the episodes I could easily watch over and over. So when I learned that the plot was inspired by a book I knew I had to read it!

For a work that seems really high regarded in the science fiction community, it was surprisingly hard to find a copy. I eventually got a well loved used copy, but I’m only just now getting around to reading it as part of my determination this year to read more of the books I own.

**Oh and by the way, here’s a fun fact for you: Both the Voyager episode and the book inspired The Orville season 1 finale, “Mad Idolatry.”**

So, what do I think so far?

Yeah, I don’t think Bookstagramming is in my future.

The synopses for this book all start out by calling it a “hard science fiction” novel and they really weren’t lying. The author was a physicist so the science in Dragon’s Egg is intense to say the least. I’m not embarrassed to say that quite a bit of it goes completely over my head because I think it would for most readers.

Despite the science heavy text, it’s been really interesting so far. The prediction of how complex study astronomy would be carried out in the future is quite fascinating and I’d love to find out whether any of it is done that way.

Our primitive species isn’t humanoid like it was in Voyager but luckily there are diagrams in the back that help you picture these sentient blobs. I’m struggling to wrap my head around their relative time, though as their typical lifespan is only a few of our hours, but I’m getting there.

I’m sure I’ll update you more as I go along, but for now I’m enjoying what I’m reading–even if it’s breaking my brain a little.

Have you read this? What did you start reading this week? Let me know in the comments!

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