For science fiction, Starfish is surprisingly depressing, but very much a product of its time. Watts collects a cast of both the emotionally abused and domineering abusers and sets them alone together at Beebe Station near the Pacific Ocean's floor; mentions are made to the fad of recovered memories, briefly popular in 1990's psychotherapy, and the entire novel has a bit of a dark, earthbound, "grunge" feel. Still, the story has aged well, and while sometimes a downer, Starfish doesn't overburden itself with atmosphere at the cost of plot or character. Peter Watts placed this and his other novels in the public domain. They're well worth reading.