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The Colors of Space

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Published: 1963
Language: English
Wordcount: 46,918 / 142 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 78.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 13,405
Added to site: 2007.03.12 16253

It was a week before the Lhari ship went into warp-drive, and all that time young Bart Steele had stayed in his cabin. He was so bored with his own company that the Mentorian medic was a welcome sight when he came to prepare him for cold-sleep!

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the Lhari that way, yet they're as human as we are! Slaves of the Lhari!"

Bart felt the involuntary surge of anger, instantly controlled. "It's not that way at all. My mother was a Mentorian, remember. She made five cruises on a Lhari ship before she married my father."

Tommy sighed. "I guess I'm just jealous--to think the Mentorians can sign on the Lhari ship as crew, while you and I will never pilot a ship between the stars. What did she do?"

"She was a mathematician. Before the Lhari met up with men, they used a system of mathematics as clumsy as the old Roman numerals. You have to admire them, when you realize that they learned stellar navigation with their old system, though most ships use human math now. And of course, you know their eyes aren't like ours. Among other things, they're color-blind. They see everything in shades of black or white or gray.

"So they found out that humans aboard their ships were useful. You remember how humans, in the early days in space,

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.2 from 9 reviews: *****
Lisa Carr

Fresh out of school, Bart heads down to the Lhari spaceport to meet his dad. Instead of his father, a stranger using his dad's identity shows up, hands him false documents, and enlists him in a plot to steal the secret of the Lhari warp drive.
A fairly interesting story of a kid in over his head in a universe where humans and aliens have an uneasy co-existence. Bart is an interesting character who has lots of chances to make the wrong choices--and sometimes he does. He grows throughout the book, which is really about trust and morality.


Barfishly bad story about a kid who undergoes extensive plastic surgery to disguise himself as an alien in order to learn the secret of intergalactic space travel. There were a couple interesting ideas in the book. But I wouldn't read it again.

Leah A. Zeldes

Young Bart Steele unexpectedly finds himself caught up in an intergalactic conspiracy as Terrans try to steal the warp-drive secrets of an alien race. Along the way, he finds out that the aliens are more human than he'd believed.

Goshwow and earnest, today this has the feel of a juvenile, though it probably wasn't intended as such.


The Lhari are the first space faring race, have made contact with humans and established spaceports and trade. There is just one problem; they are keeping the secrets of their space drive to themselves. Humans are resentful and feel like second class citizens. The Lhari use humans on starship trips, but put them in deep sleep during warp drive, ostensibly to protect them from death due to exposure to the drive's effects.

Bart Steele a 17 year old novice astrogator is in a Lhari spaceport to meet his father, but quickly becomes embroiled in a plot to wrest the secret of the drive from the Lhari. At first he shares the human prejudice against the Lhari, but contact with them in an intimate way (which I won't give away) allows him to get to know them and see both sides of the issue. This then puts his humanity and courage to the extreme test.

Comment; This is a great story with a satisfying and positive ending. The protagonist embarks on a "mini quest" which not only changes and matures him, but in doing so, enriches the relationship between both the Lhari and human races as well.

Susan Temple

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It is not the typical pulp fiction novel with good guys and bad guys. It has depth in a very easily digested package. And rather than a simple shootum up space opera, we have a well presented story about a young student, his journey to manhood, the lessons he taught several star systems, and a message for us all.




Good read. Nice sci fi adventure tale. Pretty standard plot of young man off on a great advednture, But well written for entertainment.


Fast paced SF novel about interstellar travel. Light, but entertaining.


A lovely story. Full of hope.



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