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Deadman Switch

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  342 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Society has come to terms with a mining operation that requires the sacrifice of death-row inmates. But what happens when one inmate turns out to be innocent?

Only the recently dead can helm the “deadman switch” to pilot a ship through the Cloud, a mysterious solar entity that shields the Solitaire solar system and its valuable heavy metals. Two convicted murderers are rou
ebook, 374 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (first published October 1st 1988)
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I enjoyed this one - very twisty plot line, I did not end up where I was expecting to be!
Bryan Schmidt
Timothy Zahn is one of my favorite writers and has been very influential in my own writing. Like me, Zahn writes a lot of space opera, and he's most famous for his Thrawn series of Star Wars novels. But he's been writing a long time and has some great other stuff as well. His Quadrail series (Night Train to Rigel, Odd Girl Out, etc), in particular, is a great read.

Recently, I heard about another of his books, Deadman Switch, which features spiritual themes. Since I use a lot of spiritual themes
Timothy Zahn is a guy who likes specific archetypes. In this sci-fi story, we have a moral, idealistic guy who notices things most other people don't (but not Luke Skywalker), a wealthy, crafty benefactor who is loyal to his people and knows how to influence people (but not Talon Karde), and a very capable and bitter woman with a mysterious past who is forced to work with the hero against her will (but not Mara Jade). Zahn builds believable dialog and interaction between these and many other cha ...more

I enjoyed this book! I'm new to science fiction and found this to be a great way to begin. The authors style of writing is a bit different then I'm accustomed to, but I didn't find it to be problematic. For example, no physical description of the characters are given. However, I didn't even notice until I was halfway through the book! I've been an avid reader for over twenty years and I usually disregard the authors character description anyway and let my mind form one as the story develop
"Deadman Switch" is an immensely though-provoking book told in Zahn's typical style - which means the story flows beautifully, the characters are fleshed out nicely, the scenes are vivid and it all wraps together while becoming increasingly suspenseful.

Mining companies and researchers had been trying to reach Solitaire for years in order to harvest the heavy metal from the rings around its moons. However, there was a cloud of sorts surrounding the area that rendered their Mjollnir (hyperspace)
Erin Evans
The planet Solitaire is protected by a cloud that shuts down "mjollnir" drive. But when a pilot dies trying to enter the cloud and his body is taken over, he is able to pilot the ship into the cloud. The other explorers on board discover space rings with valuable metals and the practice of using death-row convicts as "zombis" begins. Gilead is a Watcher, a member of a religious sect that has trained to observe things closely, giving him almost mind-reading powers. His boss sends him to Solitaire ...more
I wanted to give this 3 1/2 stars. It was a very original idea and started with a lot of promise. The writing is done well and it's easy to follow and easy to read. I think the characters could have been fleshed out much more. I also feel that the religion of the Watchers was glossed over. I felt that it should have been better explained since it was the basis for the main character's motivations. The quotes that are meant to give insight into the religion aren't really very enlightening. Overal ...more
Christa - Ron Paul 2016
Another great book by Timothy Zahn. Well I shouldn't really say "Another" as it was one of his firsts. I have only just gotten around to reading that's all. It is about a man. He is part of a religion called "The Watchers" who are rathe rlike human lie detectors only they can tell every emmotion from little more than your eyes. He is sent to a place where many cool and misterious things happen and th ending it happy if unexpected. I would recomened it to all sci-fi lovers and mystery loveers as ...more
Tyler Juch
I really enjoyed this book from start to end. Lots of interesting ideas and engaging plot devices. My only gripe would be the rise and fall of the plot. The book had a climax, but it wasn't OBVIOUSLY the climax. The plot points were kind of strung together like Christmas lights, not going up or down. Some questions that I had were left unanswered. If this book had a sequel, I would probably read it. I'm glad I picked this book as a random read"
An interesting, if slow plotted story about a star system behind a barrier that requires a human sacrifice in order to pass. Despite the cost, humanity has colonized it, using condemned criminals to pay the price. But when a member of an unpopular religious sect uncovers the truth behind the barrier, he'll force everyone to do the right thing even at the cost of his own life.
It's a tricky book to judge. It was free of the language that was in The Icarus Hunt(as well as the strangely out of place scene in the bar), but I felt like the plot and urgency was missing.

Can I recommend it as epic-saga Science Fiction? Yes sir.

Will I read it again? Probably not.
A fun read that wasn't at all what I expected, Without giving spoilers, I enjoy when sci-fi authors use their imaginations in creating other worlds. One of those sci-fi books I really liked, but probably won't read again just because there's other stuff to read too.
John Kiernan
Very good read. I always am surprised with Zahn books, you never know what is going to happen. You're following the 'plot' along (sometimes thinking `what a boring plot`) and then the whole thing changes and nothing is what you expected.
I picked this up because I had enjoyed Zahn's groundbreaking Star Wars novels, and I wanted to see what he could do in his own universe. As I recall, it was entertaining, but not enough to compel me to continue seeking out his novels.
Decent read. Not bad, not amazing. Not as good as Zahn's later works.
I am a huge Zahn fan, and this is one of his best
Very interesting. Recommended.
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Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he bec ...more
More about Timothy Zahn...
Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #1) Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #2) The Last Command (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #3) Specter of the Past (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, #1) Vision of the Future (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, #2)

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