The Family Trade (The Merchant Princes #1)
Miriam Beckstein is happy in her life. She's a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine in Boston, making good money doing what she loves. When her researcher brings her iron-clad evidence of a money-launderi...more
The setup is simple enough:
0. Start with an interesting criminal investigation plot and abandon it in three chapters
1. Take Amber, but with only two worlds to jump between
2. Give the protagonist an almost Heinleinesque array of skills to perfectly prepare her for whatever comes up, but take away any prete...more
In one way, I feel that writing like this - general, popular fiction-style writing - is a waste of the format: why bother just writing down EVENTS HAPPENED in the most basic language you can, when you have the entire dictionary at your fingertips, just waiting to be twisted and pulled and wrangled into all kinds of contorted shapes that can...more
For The Win or Reamde are both more interesting in terms of people having double lives in a fantasy world and in "the real world". Amber is a lot more interesting as grand fantasy a long-lost cousin getting reintroduced to a highly political family.
Amber is the obvious comparison. In the first book of the (original) 6 book Amber series, we get a bit of noir amnesia-chase, a battle storming heaven and the protagonist blinded and thrown in...more
When Miriam, an investigative journalist, uncovers something dirty and takes the scoop of the century to her boss, she's immediately sacked along with the analyst whose done some of the research with her. Later, at a loose end, she visits her adoptive mother only to be given a family heirloom, a locket with a strange pat...more
That said, Stross focuses more on the pragmatic than the phantasmagoric. His protagonist, Miriam Beckstein, finds herself at the center of the plott...more
For one thing, the conceit is heavily purloined from Narnia: the hero is a boring person here, but a crucial person Over (or Under) There. Neil
Gaiman found a way to take the curse off it in NEVERWHERE: his restless, mundane hero makes the mistake of helping a runaway girl from Under There, and soon starts to become a nonentity Over Here. Stross goes another way: his heroine simply mak...more
On the good side, the basic concept is interesting: There are multiple worlds out there where history diverged, and a few people with a recessive trait are "world walkers" who can travel between them. Miriam is the lost child of one of these families, and (re)discovers them, her skill, and this other world.
On the down side.... (1) The whole...more
The Family Trade is the first in a series of fantasy novels which attempts to combine traditional sword and sorcery fantasy with modern reality and economic theory. It's at best only partially successful. Truth to tell, I found the economic basis for...more
This book takes a single otherworldly premise -- what if there were a genetic ability to move between our Earth and a parallel world with different history? -- and develops it in fascinating, plausible ways that depend on real history, real economics, and real human politicking. Labyrinthine schemes and adventures! Shifting allegiances! Smart, adaptable characters! It's good s...more
British science fiction author Stross (Singularity Sky *** Jan/Feb 2004) has written "a solid page-turner and an uncommonly promising series launcher," writes Michael Berry in the San Francisco Chronicle. Some readers, however, may be put off by the book's lengthy backstory and a few of the smaller roles read "like stock characters from a historical romance" (Austin American-Statesman). Though Family Trade does not boast the most original premise, Stross pulls off the first of this series with w...more
The story concerns Miriam , who starts the book as a business journalist in Cambridge, Mass: however , when her & her colleague Pauline uncover a massive money-laundering scandal they are escorted from the building. Miriam then receives some family heirlooms from her adoptive mother , 1 of which is a locket.
Then while going throuh documents her mother gave to her she find a locket that enable her to travel between worlds. The world she ends up in is the results of chr...more
Since I have high hopes for Charlie's writing, I thought I'd try again, and I wasn't disappointed. "The Family Trade" is a very promising introduction to a contemporary...more
Stross says right up front that he was inspired by Zelazny, and Piper for that matter and that's pretty much where it begins and ends. The Family Trade doesn't go beyond giving the family members the ability to change wor...more
Adoptee Miriam Beckstein discovers that her biological family actually comes from a parallel world and that she has the rare gift of being able to travel between the worlds. Her family is part of a clan with this ability, powerful and incredibly rich from the...more
The main character is a journalist who finds out in her mid thirties that her mysterious long-dead birth mother did leave something behind that her adopted mother had been hiding that leads to a genetic heritage that transitions her from one version of Earth...more
The premise could have been interesting, but the author always seemed to be one step ahead of me (and not in a good way), and wasn't always good about explaining the conc...more
Adult fiction (of a sort).
Miriam is a tech journalist who gets fired for uncovering money laundering, and according to the dust jacket she eventually finds out that she’s a member of a crime family spanning multiple dimensions. I wanted to be interested in the story, but it was hard for me when the author spent the first three pages describing Miriam getting dressed and driving to work.
(Also, one of my biggest pet peeves...more
Et pour ce premier tome, c'est "heureusement", le second cas.
En effet, si on y découvre une journaliste plongée par le hasard des réalités parallèles dans des conflits dynastiques dignes des Borgia, la fin du tome nous fait arriver à un point de l'intrigue situé à peine quzine jours après le début.
Et en quinze jours, elle a le temps de se transformer d'une journaliste encore sous el choc...more
Overall, I found it enjoyable but something is lacking that I can't quite put my finger on. The reading of the book took me a few days, and it is a good, enjoyable and quick read. Nothing to dense or heavy about it but the book does make an attempt to be that. It did make me feel connected...more
Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.