If your life were centuries long and you could visit anywhere in the cosmos, where would you go, what would you do? What would culture be like? I Want the Stars deals with the existential crisis of finding purpose in a universe that is fully attainable, at your fingertips to be plucked. But humans still have a lot to learn, and finding common ground with other species can be difficult, if not impossible. Will the humans reach a new level of understanding, and can they get along with foreign species long enough to find out?
I Want the Stars is a science fiction novel by Tom Purdom, first published as an Ace Double in 1964 and rereleased by Journey Press in 2020.
A group of “young” people have everything at their fingertips but grow bored and decide to explore uncharted areas of the universe. The make contact with a telepathic alien species and are caused to panic under the emotional stress of what true telepathy entails. From there they visit the planet of the Borg, an ancient and all-knowing species that welcomes all aliens and wants to share their knowledge and help to advance other species through series of lessons geared towards each respective species. Miscommunication abounds and not all varieties of aliens are capable of getting along.
Praise and critiques:
I’m always a sucker for alien species, and this book contains many. The various cultures and ways of life depicted in I Want the Stars deliver in the ways I appreciate when it comes to all of these intriguing alien species. I particularly enjoyed the way in which telepathy is handled, as something that would be too overwhelming for most. The adventure and action scenes are fast paced and fun, making this book a quick read. While I enjoyed the majority of the book I found the ending slightly disappointing, as it only brushed over what I had considered to be the main mystery delivered in the beginning of the book. Despite the ending falling slightly short for me I did love how I Want the Stars delves into the decadence of the future, something I don’t see enough of in science fiction, not in the crass Moorcock vein, but rather pursuing the psychological shifts that occur do to abundance and total access to the cosmos.
Fans of unique aliens and adventure stories with depth will enjoy this book.
4 of 5, a great book but the ending lacked somewhat.