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Wildside

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4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,024 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Forget the lottery.

Teenager Charlie Newell has just discovered something that will make him and his friends billionaires. What if a world existed in which no humans ever evolved? No cities. No pollution. No laws. A fantastic world filled with unimaginable riches in which everything—everything—was yours just for the taking?

Charlie has found that world. And he plans to use i
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 15th 1997 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1996)
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John
Aug 22, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a tightly written story about a young man who discovers a gateway to another earth inhabited by Ice Age mammals and, apparently, no other humans at all. He hatches a plot to get rich, and invites his friends along to help. The story sticks to a plot that wouldn't be out of place in a Heinlein juvenile from 50 years ago, but it kept my attention all day. This is fun reading for an old fogey like me, but I bet I would've liked it even more if I was still fifteen.
Glen
Sep 04, 2012 Glen rated it liked it
I've thought through numerous ideas similar to this one, so I had pretty high standards going into this book. I definitely enjoyed the premise, the setting, the logistics, and how the events played through to the end. Sometimes the writing was a bit stiff, especially when trying too hard to make the other characters a bit more distinct. At times it did seem as though the author actually wanted to write aviation manuals for a living. Also, the reveal at the end was...weird and kind of unnecessary ...more
Eric
Damn does Gould really know how introduce some characters, to set the rules, and let the story play out. Honestly I was hooked. I will say though it didn't grip me like others though. There were times where I was more questioning then being in the moment. It was still a cracking good time but.. I don't see may re-reads of it in my future. On to the next one though. It's high time I check these off of my list. It's honestly been years.
James Foreman
Sep 11, 2011 James Foreman rated it liked it
A much more coherent counterpoint to Pratchett/Baxter's The Long Earth. Gould has believable, interesting characters that remind me of nothing so much as an 80s-era teen adventure (your Goonies, your Explorers, etc.). I mean this as a compliment.
John
Sep 24, 2009 John rated it it was amazing
Another from the very short list of books that I re-read. I loved this book so much I made a fan site for it, with maps of the locations of the Wildside airstrips, and pictures of the planes.
Lukas Lovas
Jan 17, 2017 Lukas Lovas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was good. Really good. Surprisingly good :)

I enjoyed the Jumper series a lot, but I was hesitant about trying the other books by Mr. Gould. You know....old looking covers, non-jumper characters.... but I decided to give it a go. At first, I had no idea what was going on, as I forgot what the premise was. But after a short while, I got into it and loved it.

The book follows a similar path to jumper - something paranormal happens, and the main character decides to use it in a well thought-out
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Jill
Jan 06, 2017 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, scifi
I love this book. The teens are resourceful, smart, and capable. Not all the adults are as well-adjusted. Charles is a great lead character with big dreams, a code of ethics, and a brain. His friends have their issues, but they all end up staying strong for each other. I sure wish I had access to this gate. Imagine seeing an unspoiled world!

I've read this at least 4 times.
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 John Loyd rated it it was amazing
Wildside (1996) 316 pages by Steven Gould.

Loved it. Wildside is an alternate universe story. Charlie Newell has a gate to an alternate Earth where humans never evolved. There are dangers on the wildside. There is danger of the government or some entity finding out about the gate.

Charlie's Uncle Max died and left him a ranch that contained the gate, and now that Charlie is 18 the ranch is his. He has just graduated high school and he has come up with a plan, first he gets his friend Marie, Joey,
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John
Oct 23, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This book is really close to a 5-star for me. The first 60% of the book definitely was. As usual, I loved the world building and wasn't sure about how the author chose to wrap things up.

Charlie Newell inherits his uncle's farm after graduating high school, and discovers a portal to another version of Earth, one where it seems like humans have never evolved. He recruits his friends to explore the world and make themselves rich while learning more about it. At the same time, Charlie is very caref
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Larryhill
Dec 21, 2015 Larryhill rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Steven Gould takes much pleasure in his Seven-League Boots. He wears them with great success in the Jumper series. Here, in his second published novel, Wildside, he leaps off in a different direction. The heroes of the piece are five young high school graduates, one of whom reveals that on a ranch he received as a bequest there exists a gateway to an alternate Earth: unspoiled and pristine.

Gould's genius both here and in the Jumper novels is that he takes this one great leap of fairy-tale imagi
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Mitchell
In honor of meeting the author at an upcoming kaffee klatch at sasquan, I thought I'd read an old one. Actually I'm hoping to get to Helm and Blind Waves before then - but we'll see if I run out of time.

As I remembered this was a fun read, kind of like a much different much more detailed and modern version of Tunnel in the Sky. And it starred young adults that were actually young adults.

I've read a number of travel-to-alternate-world books before and since this one. Wildside is actually pretty l
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Joe
Mar 03, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read Reflex, also by Steven Gould. I liked it, so I decided to get another one of his books. Like his other books, this is a pretty straightforward science fiction novel. In this book, the main character discovers a portal that opens to an Earth in a parallel universe -- a universe that never had people.

Because there were never people, species that are extinct in our world are plentiful there. The main character retrieves a few passenger pigeons and sells them to zoos back on our Eart
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Andrea
Oct 05, 2015 Andrea rated it did not like it
Cribbio, codesto Stephen Gould è completamente matto, ma proprio matto da legare, toglietegli la penna, perdio!
Gli servono quattro 18enni che sappiano tutti prendere un aereo e condurlo per un migliaio di chilometri. Me lo vedo che si chiede: dove cazzo li trovo quattro brufolosi esperti piloti? Ci ha pensato un po' e li ha mandati a scuola di volo, tutti e quattro. A due di loro fa anche fare un - vi obbligo a crederci, credeteci! - un corso di meccanico per aeroplani! Diventa anche tu Meccanic
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Jenn Myers
Jan 24, 2011 Jenn Myers rated it really liked it
I was surprised by this book. When I first started reading the book, I was getting some creep-vibes from the main character. I was certain he was setting his friends up so that he could kill them and wear their skin (or something,) but as you relax into the book, you realise that the guy is just a normal kid. Well, "normal" if you count being particularly savvy and always having an alternate plan ready as normal.

The kid, Charlie, finds himself with access to an alternate world where many of the
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Teresa Carrigan
Nov 14, 2012 Teresa Carrigan rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Interesting hard SF. Main character is 18yo when the book starts, and almost all of the book takes place while he is still 18yo. Possibly suitable for YA, but not for juveniles (underage drinking, implied sex).

The story reminded me of older hard SF books from the 40s and 50s. The protagonist is super competent. He doesn't pull scientific new inventions out of his hat by dint of hard work and super intelligence, but he does have a very wide range of skills. While any one skill is believable in an
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David
Jun 25, 2012 David rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Gould's "Jumper" about a guy who could teleport anywhere in the world he could visualize. This time around, a kid has inherited his uncle's barn which has some sort of gateway in its barn-- a gateway to an unspoiled earth where Sabre Toothed Tigers and Mastadons still roam. Gould does a good job with showing us the way millions could be made with such a portal and also how, even when things are kept as quiet as possible, the feds will move in. (Makes me wonder if Gould ever ...more
Oliviatheblue
Jul 28, 2013 Oliviatheblue rated it really liked it
3.75 My review is definitely biased because I love airplanes and avionics, if your not interested in the details of plane use and maintenance you will not like this book. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. However I definitely wish there was alot more about the be wildside and all the different creatures living there. I'm also not a bif fan of the ending. I guessed the twist at the very beginning of the book and felt like a lot was still left unexplained/ conveniently fell into place. ...more
Jennifer
Jan 28, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of all time! What if a zoo got a hold of an extinct species? Where did it come from? What would they do with it?

The kids keep a good balance between conservation and profit-making, all through Charlie's uncle's barn-door portal to an uninhabited version of earth.

I've heard of some authors updating their 80's/90's set books for modern times, but I think this story would be absolutely destroyed by genetic preservation corporations and government black ops...

I love this boo
...more
Ruth
May 16, 2008 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
In the barn of the farm Charlie inherited from his uncle, he finds a portal to a parallel world, one untouched by the ravages of man, and he and a small group of friends set out to explore this new world while simultaneously hiding it from those who would misuse it.

A little more technical detail in places than I'd prefer, but Gould does like to plot out exactly how one might accomplish a task like this. Gould also seems to have a thing for casting rogue government/military units as his bogeymen;
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Sandra Strange
Sep 03, 2009 Sandra Strange rated it it was ok
Eighteen year old Charlie Newell’s uncle has left him his ranch-- and the door in the barn that leads to an alternate reality where man never evolved. Charlie and his friends use their knowledge very cleverly to make themselves rich, and experience adventures and learn about themselves, as well as a nature that lives in our world only in their imaginations. Interesting premise, but the story is so politically correct as to promote casual acceptance of premarital sex and the outing of one of the ...more
Paul
Apr 08, 2014 Paul rated it liked it
Not too bad. The synopsis is a bit misleading. In fact, the real story doesn't begin until about 60% into the book. The first half of the story seems to be all about light aircraft and aviation with all the associated (and mostly boring) jargon that entails. However, if you can plough through all of that, the last 40% is worth reading with a surprise ending. I think Gould ascribes far too much ingenuity, fast learning and quick thinking to such young people. Charlie is just too good to be true, ...more
Lexi
Jun 08, 2010 Lexi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book started slowly, but once it picked up, I could not put it down. Although there is a lot of focus on the minutiae of preparing for and exploring the Wildside, it is all building to the book's ultimate climax, unlike Jumper, where the minutiae of teleportation was more interesting than the actual plot. After reading three of Gould's books, it is safe to say he is very interested in details, which helps create very realistic and believable sci fi premises. Off I go to find his other books ...more
J.
Oct 02, 2016 J. rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This was a great book as long as you can overlook a few of Gould's idiosyncrasies: Mary Sue characters, men are evil, global warming blah blah blah and (big surprise) even though only 2-4% of the population admits to being sexually confused they always end up in Gould's books.

Overall though, it was a well narrated, fun audiobook. I wish I could recommend Gould's other books, but I hated the Jumper series sooooo much.
Dirk
May 19, 2011 Dirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is considered a YA book but I liked it. Basically this kid that just graduated from High School inherits his uncle’s farm and in the barn he finds a gate to another world. A world just like ours but without people (apparently) He gets a few of his buddies from school and they attempt to make a little money by going through the gate and doing some gold mining.

Not everything goes as smoothly as they would like though and adventures are had.

A fun and quick little book.
Rory
Sep 21, 2016 Rory rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up, scifi
Too YA for me. Conquistador by S.M. Stirling has (I think) a similar premise. A gateway to an undeveloped alternative reality. But this is a YA book, and all the characters are teenagers, and they annoyed me, and didn't like any of the characters. So I gave up.
Aaron Hunt
Nov 08, 2014 Aaron Hunt rated it it was amazing
Finished this at 3am this morning, so much for an early night curled up with a good book. It's a really good story I have to say, bit techy with the flying jargon but otherwise an involved plot that keeps you guessing just when you think you've got a handle on how it'll play out.

I was looking for a good book to read after failing to get into several others already on my Kindle and this one delivered it with a punch.

Loved it.
Phasma Felis
Apr 27, 2013 Phasma Felis rated it really liked it
Here's a novel twist: a bunch of teenagers discover an apparently supernatural phenomenon, and...investigate it cautiously, rationally, and without unnecessary risks. If these guys were in a horror movie, it would end after half an hour with the monster still locked away and everyone safe at home. It's really nice to see a story like this where the teen protagonists aren't all idiots.
Jessi
Mar 21, 2013 Jessi rated it liked it
Shelves: my-bookcase
I enjoyed it for the most part. The idea and everthing was different and intriguing, but I just wish there was more action as I had expected from the wildside. Most of the book just seemed to be preparations with a dash of exploring and wildlife and some action between the two groups of people. I liked the book just wish there had been more 'meat' to it.
Sam Nyfeler
Jul 02, 2012 Sam Nyfeler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been fascinated with the concept of alternate universes and picked this book not only because I like the writing style of Steven Gould but because I was interested on the writer's take on the subject. The story does NOT disappoint. Moreover, I found myself strongly wishing the writer would take on a sequel.
roger
Jan 25, 2009 roger rated it really liked it
After having read Jumper and liked it...A friend recommended this one to me. I really enjoyed it. A simple, easy read about friendship and finding your own place in the world. I admire the drive of the main character (Charlie), and was glad to see the author instill strong ethics into this character. Inventive and original...where can I get a gate to another earth? Sign me up.
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Steven Charles Gould is an American science fiction author. His novels tend to have protagonists fighting to rid government of corrupt antagonists. The struggle against corruption is the focus, rather than the technology.
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