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Vanishing Point

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  194 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
It Happened one night, suddenly, without warning: 90% of the human race disappeared without a trace. Vanished, never to be seen again. There were no portents, no notes, no bodies, no clue as to where they went or whether they would ever come back again. People woke to find their lovers no longer beside them. Children woke to find their parents missing, parents woke to empt ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 15th 1994 by Tor Books
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Community Reviews

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Mildew Fairy Reads
Vanishing Point was originally published in 1993. This new publication comes at a time when dystopian novels have become the rage.

It’s been 30 years since a huge percentage of the population just Vanished. No trace was left behind. The Vanished took nothing with them and there were no bodies. Those who were alive back then lost many loved ones, and trying to rebuild their lives has not been easy. A lot of them live their lives in fear; not knowing if it will happen again, wondering if their lov
Not a terrible novel. An interesting premise set in a part of the country (the Bay Area in Northern California) that I have visited many times. The Winchester House (a great place to visit if you ever get the chance) plays a key role in the novel. However ,while it was intriguing, it was weighed down a bit much by the New Age/Hippie ethos and that hurt the story. After a while the story lost me. The author tried to hard to make other dimensions real and how can you make something beyond our comp ...more
First of all, that book cover is terrible. It screams, "1993!" The novel itself holds up pretty well more than 20 years after publication. Although references to saving everything on disks are dated, overall Roessner doesn't get into too much technology that dates her. (Although possibly if I was more tech-skilled, I would feel differently.)

The book opens 29 years after The Vanishing -- a morning when 10 percent of the global population woke up to find the other 90 percent had simply disappeared
Aug 28, 2008 Nancy rated it really liked it
A very absorbing, thoughtful story set 30 years after the mysterious vanishing of 90% of the population. Centered around two main characters, Nesta is the scientist looking for the cause of the Vanishing and Renzie, fearless and confident leader, cope with loss, loneliness and survival in an uncertain world. Recommended.
Melissa McCauley
Jun 14, 2011 Melissa McCauley rated it it was amazing
This book kept me up late reading and I was sorry to see it end, I would like to read a sequel to see what becomes of the characters. It is a rarity in the science fiction world: a novel with well-developed characters with believable motives and a realistic look at love and relationships.

Thirty years after most of the world’s population disappeared, a band of survivors inhabiting the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California try to find the cause of the catastrophe and rebuild a society
Jul 30, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What would life be like in a world where 90 percent of the human race disappears overnight? Now what would that world be like 30 years later, when, just as a new generation had asserted itself, aberations and anomalies make that world unstable again? And that's just the beginning of this fine read.

Roessner is a fine word-crafter and an excellent storyteller. The "post-Vanishment" world is well-conceived and believable, and her characters well-developed.

I'd just previously read Susan Randall's W
Sep 11, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it
I've become pretty jaded about post-apocalyptic fiction thanks to current trends in YA fiction, simply because the ideas in a lot of it are not particularly striking. But I do love this particularly story when its told well, and Vanishing Point is a great example of that. It's set in my old stomping grounds of Silicon Valley (seriously, about a mile up the street from where I used to live) in the Winchester Mystery House and its environs. I love how it's a multiple generational story, that has a ...more
Nov 15, 2015 Kevmcveigh rated it it was amazing
one of my favourite quirky SF novels, reviewed in full here
Dec 21, 2014 Mae rated it really liked it
Ahh I had seen this book on our family bookshelf for so so many years and the cover (I know, I know) drove me away. Then, when I move away, my mother sent me off with a bag of books she was ready to get rid of and I resolved to read them all. This was in there and I'm glad it was so I was finally forced to look beyond the cover. The plot was engaging and realistic enough to suck you in. The end was just way fun and incredibly satisfying. I could have done without the physics, but other than that ...more
Sep 24, 2015 Deidre rated it did not like it
I know it's cliche but I do sometimes pick out books by their cover. When going thru racks at a book fair I often pick up what catches my eye visually, read the description and maybe first page and then decide to buy or not buy. This cover is awesome. Unfortunately the book is not. It started off ok and I was intrigued by some of the characters and future/sci-fi elements. However, as it progressed the details of the science were explained in great detail and took up pages at a time, distracting ...more
Apr 21, 2015 Mina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how I missed this one so long. It seems like it's often left out of lists of "survivor" type SF (post-apocalyptic stuff, although this one technically is not post-apocalyptic).

It's a solid story of the small group of people left behind after a mysterious "vanishing" event rebuilding civilization and investigating the uncanny event itself while dealing with less-friendly survivors.

What really sold me was the fact that the Winchester Mansion (unnamed in the book, but will be obvious t
Jun 03, 2013 Gothmom rated it it was ok
Good up til the physics came in.
Jeff Frane
Mar 26, 2016 Jeff Frane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Particularly these days, a post-apocalyptic future that isn't dystopian is unusual, and Vanishing Point is nothing if not unusual. Thirty years after 90% of the human race simply disappeared, people are still struggling as much with "what happened?" as "why?" and each community finds different answers. Vanishing Point is set in the remains of San Jose, California, in and around the Winchester Mystery House (which is a real thing).

Some people refuse to leave their crumbling homes, convinced the
Apr 20, 2016 Ann rated it liked it
I'm not a big science fiction reader but this was a good story. This book was first published in 1993 and was probably a front runner in end of humanity fiction. In a world where 90% of the world's population vanished, factions formed among the survivors. Not 30 years later, new generations are the new adults and they have grown up with no luxuries and strong survival skills. I liked the beginning of the book but it started to drag a little with all the science explanations.
Feb 15, 2015 EL rated it it was amazing
I might actually rate this as 4.5 stars, but I love this book. It is satisfying on a lot of levels. It is one of the few sci fi books that I have read that use children as a major portion of the story without making them too cute. It is primarily sociological (but really, what good science fiction isn't in some way?). It takes an unique view of alternate realities and explores that view.

The author takes an interesting viewpoint: What would happen if most of the people in the world disappeared o
Ted Kocot
Sep 16, 2014 Ted Kocot rated it really liked it
The physics is a bit of tooth grindy, but it's not a story about that, it's a story about how people have responded (or have failed to respond) to the event, so the author might have been better served to be even more handwavy about it than she was. Not that it stopped me from reading it through the night.
Aug 23, 2013 JayeL rated it it was amazing
2013: the basic story is very good and can be enjoyed on a basic story level. Like the continuums in the book, though, there are a lot of levels to think about mostly having to do with personal relationships, but also fear, power, reaction to change, the effects of being wrong and office politics.

This book is worth reading over and over because of the complexity of the ideas and the made up language that the author assumes we all get right away--unless she is trying to put the readers in the pl
Venture Press
This book is published by Venture Press.
Jan 16, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Jun 16, 2009 Sharon Reyes rated it:

Read in August, 2004
I thought of this book after I read "The Rapture of Canaan." This is sort of a layman's "Left Behind." It's set in San Jose, mostly at the Winchester Mystery House, where a group of people woke up one day to find that half the world's population had spontaneously disappeared. The group at the mystery House interacts with other groups who were left in other places (an office complex, a movie theater, etc.). Action ranges as far afield as Or
I love this book. First because it starts out totally re-imagining both an apocalypse and the post-apocalyptic struggle, and second because it makes the marvelous Winchester Mystery House into a character that can be appreciated without actually going there. This story carries the essence of "what if" to places you would never imagine on your own. Brilliant.
Dec 16, 2014 Katt rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub
3.5 / 4 stars.
Mar 04, 2016 Christopher rated it it was amazing
A Dystopian story that avoids the usual, predictable cliches of the genre.
Jan 24, 2012 Quiana rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite books. Read it in high school and still regard it with high esteem. Will re-read it, soon.
Feb 22, 2015 Denise added it
re-reading a lovely book written by a friend... just as good as it was when it came out over 20 years ago...
Feb 28, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing
Such a good book; every few years, when the details get hazy, I re'read the book.
May 09, 2010 Daniel rated it really liked it
That the Winchester house would be a great place to live after the apocalypse!
Miss Ginny Tea
Aug 19, 2012 Miss Ginny Tea rated it liked it
Great concept. Possibly a bit too sprawling in its scope.
Nov 30, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it
The ending was really good. Interesting book.
Ventsislav Peychev
Ventsislav Peychev marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2016
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Michaela-Marie Roessner-Hermann is an American science-fiction writer publishing under the name Michaela Roessner.

Born in San Francisco, Michaela Roessner was raised in (successively) California, New York, Pennsylvania, Thailand, and Oregon. Trained as a visual artist, she holds a BFA in Ceramics from the California College of Arts and Crafts and an MFA in Painting from Lone Mountain College, and
More about Michaela Roessner...

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