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The Elysium Commission

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  503 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
L.E. Modesitt returns to SF with a whole new future world on the brink of destruction.

A brilliant scientist on the planet Devanta has created a small universe contiguous to ours --and a utopian city on one of the planets. The question becomes, though, an utopia for whom? And why is a shady entertainment mogul subsidizing the scientist? More critical than that, does this ne
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 805)
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What a fun read! A good mystery wrapped in SF is a treasure for me combining two of my favorite genres. This one was a bit too mysterious at times & not helped by quite a few strange names. You really need to remember all the names & I found that tough at times.

But two wonderful quotes came out of this book & are now added to GR:
Deities are invented by fallible and finite beings in the hope and desire to create immortal perfection; unfortunately, such deities only reflect their creat
Apr 05, 2015 Rob rated it liked it
...I do think that Modesitt leans on what he has done before a bit too much in this novel. Not so much in terms of characters (an often heard criticism of his work) but thematically. Over the course of many novels he's laid out a structure of ethics, views on society and human nature that is so central to his work that it is almost misleading to consider The Elysium Commission a standalone story. The author builds on the foundations he has laid in earlier books. They are so interlinked in a way ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I just finished this book. I accidentally had it marked as previously read, by some mistake. But I definitely have not read it before.

And it was my least favorite of Modesitt's books. In general, it is too obscure and cloaked in technobabble to make much sense. I think his books are generally philosophical exercises disguised as fiction, with some mundane life description put in. I love the mundane life description and it is decent. But I think, in general, this book had too much fictional techn
Apr 29, 2012 Des rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A prolific writer, Modesitt has invented a variety of universes, each a bit different, and he writes good economic- and politically-based science fiction. The quality of his writing can be pretty variable, but I still enjoy his books.

But I had to work to even finish this one. The premise is promising: a male private detective in a society run by and whose royalty are women. But that premise is never fully developed. The private detective/protagonist also has a Dark Knight role, but that's never
Tim Martin
_The Elysium Commission_ by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is basically a somewhat film noir-ish style private investigator story set in the far future. The setting is the planet Devanta, many centuries in the future from now, a setting in which humanity has spread among the stars and a number of different human civilizations exist out in the galaxy. The main character is Blaine Donne, a former special operative who was medically retired and now works as a private detective, looking into a number of differe ...more
Mark Muckerman
Part of me wants to cheat and just say "read the other 2 & 3 star review - I concur". However, reading should stimulate individual thought and individual thought should yield personal commentary, so . . .

Just a two star book. I'm a big fan of Modesitt (and not just the Recluse work), but this one falls a bit short on execution and readability. The premise is excellent, and I could see an ongoing series of Blaine Donne adventures - the P.I. of the future who sidelines as a vigilante offers gr
Luis Odicio
My first book from Modesitt but perhaps not my last.

If i understood right the author placed this story in a universe of his creation in which some of his previous books were located. If that's the case then reading the previous books may have given me a better idea of to understand the society in which the book is written.

I was 3/4 into the book when i was just starting to understand the way things the society and it's tiers worked.

The story is not bad, but i probably would have enjoyed it more
Mar 25, 2016 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Before I rant, I want to say I generally enjoy Modesitt's books. The Magic of Recluse and The Parafaith War are part of the reason I enjoy Science Fiction and Fantasy today. However, this book is awful. I'll start with the story. The main character is a detective that basically solves cases by doing Google searches. Then when the author didn't know how to wrap things up, he pulled a Deus ex machina. There is a jarring difference in the story between the "detective" part and the "sci-fi" part. Th ...more
A science fiction/detective novel that takes place on another world involving a private investigator, organized crime, and a scientist creating an alternative universe. Interesting plot, but not very inspired writing.
Lhavanya Dl
Not one of Modesitt's best works but not too bad either. Blaine Donne's character appealed to me and the storyline made for a decent read. I didn't find the intrigue and mystery in this one very erm... mysterious. You kind of know everything already and you're just waiting for most of the events to unfold.

Modesitt brings in this whole thing about samers, straight-straights and whatnot. But it seems to be more in passing mention. I felt there was a lot more stuff to it that was left unexplained
Jun 26, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a rather confusing story that is above all things science fiction but also a sort of a military sci-fi mixed with a PI novel. Blaine Donne is ex-SpecOps and takes on commissions for unusual requests: locating people, possibly offering threats, finding evidence to support someone's claim etc. He is asked from a shady character to look into any links between two men and something called Elysium. Because this is a "real" career and not something on TV he also takes simultaneous jobs and in ...more
Steven Allen
I really like this author's Recluse series, but for some reason I cannot get into his other science fiction. I read this book, quickly hoping that it would get better - it never did. Rather predictable outcome, and shallow characters, that I could tell were merely set dressing or cannon fodder. Disappointing read from such a great author on the story line but awesome tech details, with vivid descriptions of pocket universes, parallel worlds, and other hi-tech futuristic items.
Theresa DePaepe
My first book by this author. As a long-time and avid lover of science fiction, I was disappointed. Themes and characters introduced but not fully developed. I was tempted to abandon this book until I was nearly 2/3 of the way through it when it finally picked up. I read based on the recommendation of my (now deceased) BIL and will try another one before abandoning this author altogether. I feel like the author was more interested in making up names for things than in truly concentrating on the ...more
Joe AuBuchon
Jun 16, 2015 Joe AuBuchon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A mystery with a bit of action on-world and off-world, twists and turns. A good, fun read a bit like the Alex Benedict stories of Jack McDevitt.
Sep 13, 2009 Doreen rated it liked it
I would have probably enjoyed this book more if I were more technology-oriented. All the scientific and flight terms flew over my head (ha!), and I didn't feel personally engaged through what I'm sure were thrilling scenes. I did enjoy the private-eye scenes, and thought well of the interpersonal scenes, even if some felt like set pieces (particularly the Siendra and Krij scenes.) I think my main complaint is the slight disjointedness of the narrative. To a certain extent, that's the point, but ...more
Blaine Donne is a retired military operative currently working as a problem-solver for hire. when he gets a flurry of small and unrelated cases, some of which link into something neither small nor unrelated...Blaine is drawn into a situation he had no idea existed.

as usual, L E Modessit's prose is straightforward but charming with a world that feels real - internal logic and all :) - and characters i could relate to.

the science in The Elysium Commission is, unlike Brazyl which i read just before
Jul 07, 2010 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and exciting, but suffered from the number of fringe character names we needed to keep track of. Blaine Donne had several cases going at once, and the narrative gave us too few clues to connect the names with the cases.

As I started the read I was reminded immediately of FLASH, without the extended set-up. I solved the name problem by going back to the beginning when I was more than halfway through. With the background I now had, and by writing the names down as I came to them, I was
A decent hard-boiled sci-fi mystery. Not Modesitt's greatest work. The beginning was confusing because everything's first person pov, but the pov shifted with each chapter. And since many of the chapters were short (we're talking 1-2 pages at the beginning), there were more than a few chapters that I had *no* idea who I was following.

The ending felt a little rushed and anticlimactic. And the characters weren't really well-developed.
Jul 04, 2010 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You wouldn't know it, but it's a private eye mystery. Kind of. The science was pretty weakly explained or not explained, the action was okay, the mystery part was okay, but the action parts were really small compared to the slower parts. So, not that great.
Aug 22, 2008 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Private Investgator in Futuristic Multiverse. Mmmm..not bad.
Mar 19, 2013 Kirk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyable story, but not very substantial.
I've read better books by Modesitt...
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L. E. (Leland Exton) Modesitt, Jr. is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is best known for the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, then moved to New Hampshire in 1989 where he met his wife. They relocated to Cedar City, Utah in 1993.

He has worked as a Navy pilot, lifeguard, delivery boy, u
More about L.E. Modesitt Jr....

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“Deities are invented by fallible and finite beings in the hope and desire to create immortal perfection; unfortunately, such deities only reflect their creators and inspire their followers to similar imperfections.” 5 likes
“Hatred is a form of faith, distilled by passion to remove all rationality.” 5 likes
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