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Wildside

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  762 ratings  ·  46 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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 15th 1997 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,130)
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John
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
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.
John
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
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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Joe
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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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
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David
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
Ray
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
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Paul
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.
Oliviatheblue
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
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
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Ruth
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;
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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
Lexi
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
Dirk
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.
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.
roger
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.
Jessi
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
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.
Denise
I enjoyed this book. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because the details of some of the mechanical descriptions were too much. I skipped a number of paragraphs when Gould was too detailed with the technical portions. I still didn't want to put it down until I finished reading it.
Steven
I like the premise, and I think the story was well written for the audience. Some of the events were a bit of a stretch, but then again it's a fantasy book so you have to expect that. I really liked this book when I first read it in junior high.
resanden
Enjoyable read, although the technicalities and descriptions sometimes slow it down. All the aviation stuff made me regret I never became a pilot though. Characters seemed a bit underdeveloped. Superb ending.
Marisa
I read this one after reading Jumper - looking for the same kinds of adventure and world building. This one was not as engaging for me -but it was a well told story with an interesting cast of characters.
Shelley
A very different story from the Jumper series, but still in the same vein of unusual things happening. I really liked this book. Have only read once but think I'll re-read since it's been a while.
Anonymole
Basic test [yes/no:]: Would I recommend you read this book or not. Was it worth the few hours spent reading it? Am I pleased that I spent the time reading it? --- Yes ---
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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.
More about Steven Gould...
Jumper (Jumper, #1) Reflex (Jumper, #2) Jumper: Griffin's Story Impulse (Jumper, #3) 7th Sigma

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“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
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