Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wildside” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  890 ratings  ·  53 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
Mass Market Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 15th 1997 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wildside, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wildside

Grass by Sheri S. TepperParable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerThe Anubis Gates by Tim PowersThe Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonBlood Music by Greg Bear
Most Under-rated Science Fiction
289th out of 1,103 books — 1,244 voters
Little Brother by Cory DoctorowThe Giver by Lois LowryThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy FarmerUglies by Scott Westerfeld
Winners of the Hal Clement Award
11th out of 28 books — 8 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,352)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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.
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
James Foreman
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.
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.
John Loyd
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,
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
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
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
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
Teresa Carrigan
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
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
Wildside had an excellent plot, with a gripping story throughout the book. Although at points I wondered if he author wanted to write airplane manuals for a living, the story was nice and level, with many genres blended into one. It would have been slightly better in my opinion to not have the backstory behind the gate. seemed a little bit "over-the-line" to me.
Jenn Myers
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
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
Rose Ann
Mar 31, 2014 Rose Ann rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults
I do remember that I read this book previously, around 1997 or 1998. I remembered the passenger pigeons. I remember that I did not quite understand how "the gate" worked. Upon re-reading it, I did find it to be engaging and entertaining. I still don't understand the science.
Dale (Aus)
Enjoyed the story, similar to a S.M.STIRLING book in some ways that I read a while back, nice continuous story line with good character building. Would read more of these.
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
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
Rodney Haydon
This was a fun book! I really enjoyed it. Steven Gould wrote an exciting yarn on this one.
So far, Jumper is my favorite of his, closely followed by this one.
I have enjoyed any / ALL Steven Gould books I have read and Re read. I think I have read this one 3 times!
May 16, 2008 Ruth rated it 4 of 5 stars
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;
Chris Knight
A little juvenile at times, but the story and concept was interesting.
Sandra Strange
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
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
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.
Aaron Hunt
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.
Amazing story about an amazing, unspoiled and dangerous place. Has an ending I didn't see coming. A complicated and well orchestrated tale from beginning to end.
Phasma Felis
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.
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.
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 45 46 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Matter for Men (War Against the Chtorr #1)
  • When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth (Overclocked #2)
  • The Radiant Warrior (Conrad Stargard, #3)
  • Presságios de Inverno (Acácia, #2)
  • A Boy and His Bot
  • Hunting the Corrigan's Blood (Cadence Drake, #1)
  • The Dark Lady: A Romance of the Far Future (Birthright #13)
  • Promised Land
  • Resonance
  • Into the Deep
  • Terraforming Earth
  • Dark of the Moon
  • Stamping Butterflies
  • Washington's Providence (A Timeless Arts Novel, #1)
  • Star Trek: The Disinherited
  • The Tranquillity Alternative
  • Rolling Thunder (Thunder and Lightning, #3)
  • The Madness Season
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.
More about Steven Gould...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“A hungry man thinks only about how he can feed his family today. He doesn't care that how he feeds them today destroys his children's tomorrow.” 1 likes
“Steering is for people who know where they're going.” 1 likes
More quotes…