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Santiago (Santiago #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,124 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Bandit, murderer, known to all, seen by none - has he killed 1,000 men? Has he saved a dozen worlds? His legend is as large as the Rim itself, his trail as elusive as a wisp of starlight in the empty realms of space. The reward for him is the largest in history.

"Santiago is a first class space opera." - Fantasy Review.

"If you want, you can read this as a wonderful rip-roa
Mass Market Paperback, 245 pages
Published April 14th 1998 by Denoël (first published March 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,044)
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Mike (the Paladin)
I didn't know what I was getting into here... Let me go out on a limb here. While I don't intend to give a spoiler (I like this book so I wouldn't ruin it for you) I suspect many if not most people who have read quite a lot will see where the book is going and it's surprise won't really be a surprise. That said even if you do spot it, it's worth the ride.

You will I suspect be right at home here if you've r4ead much science fiction. This is another western/science fiction novel where all the face
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Mike Resnick's books are always a ton of fun and this one is among my favorites. Bigger than life characters chasing around the "Outer Frontier" of Resnick's remarkable universe (in which all of his books take place within) in search of the mythical "Santiago." I basically read it straight through and really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

Nominee: Locus Award Best SF Novel (10th)
A friend recommended this to me, saying that "Santiago" reminded him of "Firefly." Being the Joss Whedon obsessed fan that I am, I was immediately intrigued so I picked up a copy of this and the sequel novel, "The Return of Santiago."

And now that I've read half of the saga (which, thankfully "Santiago" is a self contained book), I'm not sure I'm in any kind of hurry to pick up the next installment. It's not that "Santiago" is necessarily a bad book--it's not. It's just not necessarily a great bo
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Three Stars

Good story with a different feel than most Science Fiction.

On the good side, there were colourful characters, and an interesting back story. This reminded me of a the Clint Eastwood Bounty Hunter Spagetti Westerns like "A Few Dollars More" and "A Fist Full of Dollars." The setting reminded me very much of Josh Whedon's "Fifefly" Tv Series (And "Serenity" the Motion Picture follow-up). Basically this story could have been set in any story-adventure world, fantasy, modern, future. It ha
The story is about the elusive and most feared Santiago and how Sebastian Cain aka The Songbird travels the galaxy to hunt down and kill Santiago to collect the large bounty on his head. On his journey Cain comes across the most entertaining characters who may or may not help him in finding the elusive Santiago.

Overall this was an entertaining book. The beginning was a little confusing for me, having to get straight all the characters and their names and how they fit into the story.
May 28, 2007 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another of my favorites, and in my opinion is Resnick's best story and contains his best writing by far. The book is filled with larger-than-life characters crafted to be similar to Paul Bunyan or Johnnie Appleseed, and the whole thing blends and builds to a wonderful mythic climax.
Diane Chen
Aug 18, 2008 Diane Chen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
From Amazon, August 27, 2006: If I could give this a 6-star rating, I would.

I tend to prefer fantasy, with medieval-type settings, with some magic or things of similar nature. This book doesn't even come close, and yet it is one of my favorite books; one of only a handful that I enjoy re-reading.

It starts out as a corny space opera/wild-west style story. You might groan, thinking you have picked up one of the silliest stereotyped stories ever written. (I did, the first time I read it). And yet
Mathew Walls
Nov 19, 2014 Mathew Walls rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
A cast of unlikeable characters and a central premise that defies believability. The "twist" at the end is incredibly obvious and the only thing that makes you even suspect that it might not turn out that way is that the characters all seem to be stupid enough to not think of it.

Basically, the book is about bounty hunters going after a legendary criminal known as Santiago. But no one knows what he looks or sounds like, what his real name is, where he's from or even what crimes he's actually link
Dec 15, 2015 Adrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: papel
Siempre han existido dos maneras de vivir, una libre y otra sometido al orden…
Este libro nos cuenta la historia de ese Universo futuro donde coexisten de manera más o menos pacifica esos dos estilos de vida… La Democracia impone su orden a los mundos humanos y domina a los alienígenas, pero en la Frontera aún se vive de manera libre como en el antiguo oeste americano… Forajidos, cazarecompensas, colonos, timadores, jugadores, predicadores, proscritos…; mundos y mundos que viven al margen y que s
May 17, 2014 Jeffrey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All fluff and no substance. Lauded for "larger than life" characters, I found most of them to be boorish cardboard cutouts of characters. The scenes are hardly described and bland, the best ideas and people are left to languish. There's (view spoiler)

Lauded for being fun, I imagine m
Benjamin Newland
Feb 18, 2011 Benjamin Newland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
Dear Kenny,

Thanks for your last letter. Glad I could remind you of a favorite novel from long ago, and I’m glad to have joined the club of “People that read the *%^#ing classics” as you so eloquently put it.

Got another one for you, not quite as old, and not quite as famous, but so much fun. Have you heard of Mike Resnick? He’s written quite a few books, none of which I had read before I picked up Santiago. This is another recommendation from Card’s interview with GoodReads. In the interview he t
Jul 14, 2013 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't understand what all the fuss is about with this book. Fantasy Review said:

“Santiago is a first-class space opera, maybe the best ever written.”

Other people kept referring to "larger than life characters", still others said it was the best book they'd ever read and that the plot twist was magnificent.

Well, all that seems like a good endorsement. I started reading, 30% into the book I found it boring and not first-class at all. I kept waiting for the "larger than life characters" to appea
Dec 12, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure when my desire to be a writer first sparked, but I can tell you when it roared into full flame; it was the day Mike Resnick spoke at my high school. I was a junior, and I’d been a voracious reader for years. I’d even written a short story for my English class, taught by one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Henry. It might have been Mrs. Henry who arranged Resnick’s visit.

To be perfectly honest, the thing that sealed the deal for me was Mike talking about how he slept as late as he want
Apr 10, 2012 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You gotta love a book with character names such as: "Sebastian Nightingale Cain" aka "The Songbird", "The Angel", "Poor Yorick", "Jolly Swagman", "Man-Mountain Bates", "Virtue McKenzie" aka the "Virgin Queen", and "Moonripple". And all of these colorful characters want to know where the uber criminal/terrorist "Santiago" currently resides. Some want to kill him, others want to kiss him, many want to capture him, one wants to steal from him and another wants to interview him. Resnick broke the mo ...more
Bill Rogers
Jun 29, 2015 Bill Rogers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago and enjoyed it. Now I've re-read it. Usually when I do that the magic is gone. Not this time. I might be more impressed with Santiago this time than I was before.

Hard science fiction it ain't. The reader knows that the characters travel planet to planet aboard starships because Resnick says so, but that's almost as much detail as he gives.

No, this isn't a book about space technology. It's about myths; how they are made, how they are spread, and how they are kept.

Siddhant Mohalanobish
If the world were just dime-store westerns, this book would be rated as a five-out-of-five dime-store western.

At its heart, this book is just a western novel ... "In Space". Space, as a theme, isn't explored and is just used by the author as an excuse to introduce deus-ex-machinas, exotic locales, and the like without having to actually flesh them out -- "Because Space". The book could've just as well been set elsewhere- maybe the fantasy world of Wild Wild West (starring Will Smith as Black Orp
Dec 28, 2015 Avani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Firefly
Shelves: favorites
This would also have been a 4.5 star review if I could, but I rounded up because the book was just so much fun. I don't like most comedies, even under the guise of science fiction, but this book manages to be light-hearted (there are a lot of deaths) and funny while still maintaining a serious undercurrent and not overusing puns and popular culture references. I also liked the ending. Overall, the book is warm, fuzzy, simple, and fun. Highly recommended.
May 02, 2014 Les rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has to be said that Mike Resnick writes very enjoyable, fun and entertaining stories and this is no exception. Santiago is the second full-length novel in the 'Birthright' universe that I've read where Man has spread across/infested the galaxy and I can see why it's such a popular book with sci-fi fans. It's a space-opera with a distinct 'Western' feel, with outlaws, gamblers, drunks and bounty hunters all involved in the affairs of Man across the space that he shares with various other senti ...more
Dec 29, 2009 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Good book, Fresh--if obvious--plot twist. Not so much SF or fantasy as a horse opera set in space, but that worked for George Lucas.

Liked using the verses of doggerel as a devise for propelling and explaining the plot. (Especially cute that almost all were admitted to be in error.)
Apr 09, 2016 Travis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a really enjoyable Tale that ran across the Galaxy. on a deeper note you could look at this as the view from the inside of any fanatical group.
Feb 05, 2016 TP rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm not sure how I found out about this book, but boy am I glad I did! It was tons of fun and really hard to put down. The only way to describe this novel is that its a "space western." The story is about a hunt for the legendary criminal Santiago, who nobody has ever seen. It takes place in a part of the galaxy called the Inner Frontier, which is not unlike the wild west. There are bounty hunters, saloons, aliens, bribery, space travel, gambling, a little whiskey drinking, plenty of interesting ...more
Arlene Allen
Way before Firefly - this is an awesome combination of myth, spaghetti western, and space opera.
Dec 11, 2009 John is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Not every hero starts out that way. Not every bad guy is a bad person.
Robert Stenson
Nov 23, 2015 Robert Stenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future For those who like hard science in their science fiction, this book is not for you. Oh, there are faster-than-light spaceships (including one that used to be a human*), laser and sonic pistols, alien races, and a galaxy-wide civilization, but this story is all about the characters; the science takes a back seat here.

The story is told in six parts (Books) through the eyes of six of the many characters that populate this tale, all of whom have a compelling reason
Mar 14, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ένα απολαυστικό, διασκεδαστικό και περιπετειώδες space opera μυθιστόρημα, το οποίο διαδραματίζεται... παντού. Το σύμπαν είναι αχανές, γεμάτο με πολλά πλανητικά συστήματα, με χιλιάδες πλανήτες, μικρούς και μεγάλους, με μικρές και χαώδεις αποστάσεις μεταξύ τους, και με διάφορα είδη εξωγήινων.

Τι γίνεται στην ιστορία; Ένας χαμός! Σε γενικές γραμμές, έχουμε διάφορους τύπους, όπως κυνηγούς κεφαλών, δολοφόνους, δημοσιογράφους, ληστές, συλλέκτες έργων τέχνης και ένα κάρο άλλους, που στήνουν συμφωνίες μ
Aug 09, 2013 Brendan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's exactly as mythical as the title implies, a space western in the classic vein of American tall tales. The plot, the characters, the dialog, all go down beat for beat exactly as you'd expect.

What makes it good is the way in which this familiar and formulaic story is executed. It's hard to describe, but every character is note-perfect, behaving entirely consistent to their role or archetype. Most books have a moment or two of confusion, where characters are sub
Nich Weidman
May 29, 2013 Nich Weidman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slight confession: This book has been one of my favorites since I first discovered it as a kid, and I've read it maybe 10 times, so I may be a bit biased at this point.

In some ways, this book bites off more than it can chew - honestly, the end is a bit rushed and falls together a bit too easily - but it largely succeeds at what it is trying to do. Resnick has always been, at heart, a Western fan who writes sci-fi. This book is based in a universe that manages to be Firefly years before Firefly w
Apr 11, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Santiago is such a pleasure to read. It has some of the most colorful characters in a sci-fi novel that I have read. The plot is engaging and there is a decent twist at the end.
The book follows Sebastian Nightingale Cain, much to his anger called the Songbird. He is a bounty hunter on the trail of the most notorious outlaw on the space frontier. The book is interspersed, at the beginnings of chapters mostly, with the ballad of Black Orpheus, who writes about the various characters on the frontie
Gary Holt
Jan 16, 2015 Gary Holt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting set of characters; the colorful characters kept me reading to the very end, even though this sort of novel (kind of a wild west, transposed out into space) is not my usual favorite.

As you get further into the novel, you start to realize there are some interesting moral questions, which turn in the end into a fascinating conclusion. Not at all what I expected from this novel, but I liked it. A lot.
Jan 31, 2014 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
If you enjoyed "Firefly", you should read this.

Is "Santiago" predictable. If you've ever seen a western or western pastiche, yes. Is it still awesome? Yes. The framing device of the ballad of the Rim is fantastic. The legend of Santiago is well written. The characters are only two dimensional, but in this kind of tale, you're not looking for more.

Read it.
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Michael "Mike" Diamond Resnick, better known by his published name Mike Resnick, is a popular and prolific American science fiction author. He is, according to Locus, the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short science fiction. He is the winner of five Hugos, a Nebula, and other major awards in the United States, France, Spain, Japan, Croatia and Poland. and has been short-listed ...more
More about Mike Resnick...

Other Books in the Series

Santiago (2 books)
  • The Return of Santiago (Santiago, #2)

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