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The Final Encyclopedia (Childe Cycle, #7)
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The Final Encyclopedia (Childe Cycle #7)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  633 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In The Final Encyclopedia the human race is split into three Splinter cultures: the Friendlies, fanatic in their faith; the truth-seeking Exotics; and the warrior Dorsai. But now humanity is threatened by the power-hungry Others, whose triumph would end all human progress. Hal Mayne is an orphan who was raised by three tutors: an Exotic, a Friendly, and a Dorsai. He is the ...more
Paperback, 696 pages
Published October 10th 1985 by Ace Books (first published October 1984)
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Asimov's Foundation is probably the best known sf future history series. For a long time this has seemed odd to me, because it really doesn't hold a candle to Dickson's Childe Cycle. Dickson had a vast vision of telling the story of future human evolution. Not evolution to be a bit taller and smarter or having gills or the ever popular beings of pure energy, but evolution to a new level of Creativity. One of the main threads of the series is how space colonization lead mankind to fracture into m ...more
Christopher Sutch
This is a great book (though tremendously long) that at last states, more or less plainly, what's going on in Dickson's Childe Cycle series. Along with the other main-trunk novels of the series, _Dorsai!_ and _Necromancer_, this book continues to lay out Dickson's arguments about history and evolution by setting up the final conflict (this was to have happened in the unpublished final volume, _Childe_, which will not probably never see the light of day) between two evolutionary forms of humanity ...more
I loved the entire Childe cycle when I first read them 25 years ago. But, with The Final Encyclopedia (the 5th book I believe) I realize that I just read a large number of pages in a novel in which nothing much happens. Hal Mayne, the protagonist starts out as a young child and through the course of the book grows up. However, mostly he flys to the Dorsaii, or to the Exotics, and then to the Friendlies asking for their help but not giving them any details. He does this 2 or 3 times until the end ...more
An Epic Conflict

An Epic Conflict

I love Gordon Dickson's Childe Cycle. I enjoyed Hal Mayne's journey among the splinter groups of mankind, and particularly liked the author's humanizing presentation of the people of the Friendly worlds. In this book the reader can begin to understand this culture and even identify with them. Some of the hero's inner soliloquies are too wordy and convoluted and become tiresome. Nevertheless, this is one of my favorite books in The Childe Cycle.

This book answers a lot of the previous questions, ties up threads that have been left dangling. I wish it had been about 1/2 the length. Certainly 1/3 could have easily been cut. There is a lot of repetition of points previously made. They're hammered home here, multiple times each.

It's an interesting theory that Dickson puts forth: an almost intelligent racial evolution. While I found it repetitive, some readers might like the various ways he puts the same material; different perspectives &
mark mathurin

A vision of the inner workings of man seeking that forever go beyond the limits all feel imposed on themselves in this frail shell we call Self. A nice combination of thrilling chases interspersed with philosophical and poetic musings..each time I read this it means something different, something more than each younger me discovered. Dickson created a classic series gaff publishing this imho...
This is perhaps one of the finest SF books ever written. Dickson is at his most eloquent as he writes the story about Hal Mayne and his slow movement toward Destiny. Part of his Childe cycle, and more essential, part of his Dorsai universe, this grand tome is at once captivating and thought-provoking. There were times I stopped in mid-sentence to savor either the concept or the language.

If you are not a the core a science fiction fan, then this book will probably leave you cold, but for all of y
Otis Campbell
Thought I oughta bare my naked feelings,
Thought I oughta tear the curtain down.
I held the blade in trembling hands
Prepared to make it but just then the phone rang
I never had the nerve to make the final cut.
Clearly the pinnacle work of the series, at least philosophically. This work is a bit much on the exposition, but a good read nonetheless.
Oct 19, 2012 Enrico added it
i've been re-reading the dorsai series. it's an excellent idea -- to
bring together various strands of humanity via some sort grand synthesis.
but it's really showing its age. oddly for science fiction, it seems to rely
largely on mysticism to solve it's plot problems. that does not appeal to
I've read this before, but I'm re-reading it now, inspired by just reading "The New Space Opera" anthology. I remember the inspiring grand sweep, and am charmed anew by the literary and musical references. Hal Mayne hears Peer Gynt as he descends into the mines and now, so do I.
I thought this was the coolest book ever when I was 12. This was before the Internet and the concept fo the final encyclopedia really blew my mind.

Also funny because I read this first and didn't know it was book #7.
Steve Smy
Really need the title on record here to be fixed!!

A magnificent tome! While drawing so many loose threads together, new ones are left to draw us on further…
Just didn't quite work for me - well written and entertaining anyway
A pretty slow moving book.
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Gordon Rupert Dickson was an American science fiction author. He was born in Canada, then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota as a teenager. He is probably most famous for his Childe Cycle and the Dragon Knight series. He won three Hugo awards and one Nebula award.

More about Gordon R. Dickson...

Other Books in the Series

Childe Cycle (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Dorsai! (Childe Cycle, #1)
  • Necromancer (Childe Cycle, #2)
  • Soldier, Ask Not (Childe Cycle, #3)
  • Tactics of Mistake (Childe Cycle, #4)
  • Spirit of Dorsai (Childe Cycle, #5)
  • Lost Dorsai (Childe Cycle, #6)
  • The Dorsai Companion (Childe Cycle, #8)
  • The Chantry Guild (Childe Cycle, #9)
  • Young Bleys (Childe Cycle, #10)
  • Other (Childe Cycle, #11)
Dorsai! (Childe Cycle, #1) The Dragon and the George (Dragon Knight, #1) Tactics of Mistake (Childe Cycle, #4) Soldier, Ask Not (Childe Cycle, #3) The Dragon Knight (Dragon Knight #2)

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“But you keep fighting!”
“Of course!” said Child. “I am of God, whatever or whoever else is not. I must testify to Him by placing my body against the enemy while that body lasts; and by protecting those that my small strength may protect, until my personal end. What is it to me that all the peoples of all the worlds choose to march toward the nether pit? What they do in their sins is no concern of mine. Mine only is concern for God, and the way of God’s people of whom I am one. In the end, all those who march pitward will be forgotten; but I and those like me who have lived their faith will be remembered by the Lord—other than that I want nothing and I need nothing.”

Godlun dropped his face into his hands and sat for a moment. When he took his hands away again and raised his head, Hal saw that the skin of his face was drawn and he looked very old.
“It’s all right for you,” he whispered.
“It is fleshly loves that concern thee,” said Child, nearly as softly. “I know, for I remember how it was in the little time I had with my wife; and I remember the children unborn that she and I dreamed of together. It is thy children thou wouldst protect in these dark days to come; and it was thy hope that I could give you reason to think thou couldst do so. But I have no such hope to give. All that thou lovest will perish. The Others will make a foul garden of the worlds of humankind and there will be none to stop them. Turn thee to God, my brother, for nowhere else shalt thou find comfort.”
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