The Space Eater

Ebook edition published September 2016Ebook sales page

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The Space Eater -- 2004 US pb cover

The Space Eater by David Langford was the author's first straight science fiction novel, making use of various alarming side effects of an imagined matter transmission technology, and featuring perhaps the most unpleasant means of interstellar travel in SF. There are also high-tech soldiers and a variety of boys' toys in the form of exotic weaponry, ranging from handguns to planet-wreckers.

The first twenty-first-century edition of The Space Eater became available in mid-2001 as an ebook from E-Reads via An E-Reads print edition, delayed until March 2003, was withdrawn along with the ebook in 2004 and print rights transferred to Cosmos Books for a new edition with a much better cover. Click here for complete wraparound jacket. A ebook version has been available from Ansible Editions since September 2016: see link above.

  • Publication Date (Fifth Edition): October 2004
  • Publisher: Cosmos Books (an imprint of Wildside Press), USA
  • Format: B-format (trade) paperback
  • ISBN: 1-930997-79-5 (possibly also hardback, 1-930997-86-8)
  • Page Count: 232
  • Cover Artist: David A. Hardy
  • Availability: Wildside Press
  • Reviews

  • Publication Date (Fourth Edition): March 2003
  • Publisher: e-reads, New York
  • Format: B-format (trade) paperback
  • ISBN: 0759241856
  • Page Count: 236
  • Cover Artist: uncredited
  • Availability: Out of print
  • Reviews
The Space Eater -- 2003 US pb cover

The Space Eater -- 1987 US pb cover
  • Publication Date (Third Edition): 1987
  • Publisher: Baen Books, New York
  • Format: A-format paperback
  • ISBN: 0671656198
  • Page Count: 281
  • Cover Artist: J.K. Potter
  • Availability: Out of print
  • Reviews

  • Publication Date (Second Edition): February 1983
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Timescape, New York
  • Format: A-format paperback
  • ISBN: 0671459023
  • Page Count: 224
  • Cover Artist: Unknown
  • Availability: Out of print
The Space Eater -- 1983 US pb cover

The Space Eater -- 1st ed cover

  • Publication Date (First Edition): 1982
  • Publisher: Arrow Books, London
  • Format: A-format paperback
  • ISBN: 0099288206
  • Page Count: 301
  • Cover Artist: Unknown
  • Availability: Out of print


Robert Day, Deep Waters Reading, 24 January 2015

Dave Langford’s only hard-sf novel to date is a tour de force of theoretical physics with the nastiest matter transmitter you will ever come across.

John Toon, Infinity Plus, November 2006

"... in general it's very hard to fault this novel. The characters are rounded and engaging, the story is lively and well told with intrigue a-plenty, and the science, however out there it may be, is explained in accessible terms and thought-provoking. A very rewarding read."

Vector, June 2005

"... a high-tension hard sf thriller, this is great stuff and recommended to all."

Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Making Book, 1994

"... a most excellent work, not at all vulgar. While, 'tis true, the characters were forever dying, one of them quite frequently as I recall, still, once I had its measure the book seemed quite pleasant and familiar."

David Pringle, The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction

"Witty and technologically inventive"

Colin Greenland, Foundation

"The skill of sympathy that is part of Langford's repertoire ensures that [the narrator] is a very likeable person. Other assets the author displays include a lot of physics, chiefly in the area of gravity/black holes/spatial gateways, bound to baffle me but a feast for buffs, I'm sure; also an abiding good sense that compensates for many defects of the traditional form. [...] Langford's novel manages to be both light and substantial, trad space entertainment but without the old infidelities to terrestrial experience."

Sue Thomason, British SF Association Vector

"Interesting and entertaining reading. Langford combines elements of an exciting gadget-based adventure story with some thoughtful and thought-provoking characterization. [...] Not simply a promising first novel, but a good novel, first or otherwise, even if a rather harrowing one."