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Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future (Santiago #1)
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Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future (Santiago #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  946 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Bandit, murderer, known to all, seen by none...has he killed a thousand men? Has he saved a dozen world? 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.
Paperback, 376 pages
Published August 15th 1992 by Tor Books (first published March 1986)
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Most Under-rated Science Fiction
84th out of 1,032 books — 1,072 voters
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StoryBundle #8 - The Sci-Fi Bundle
2nd out of 9 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,652)
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Stephen
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)
Michael
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
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Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
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
...more
Eileen
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.
Craig
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
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
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Benjamin Newland
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
...more
Alex
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
...more
Roger
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
Avani
Aug 26, 2008 Avani rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Firefly
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.
Jeffrey
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
...more
Les
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
Ron
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.)
Arlene Allen
Way before Firefly - this is an awesome combination of myth, spaghetti western, and space opera.
John
Dec 11, 2009 John is currently reading it
Not every hero starts out that way. Not every bad guy is a bad person.
Brendan
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
...more
Nich Weidman
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
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Mathew Walls
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
...more
David
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
...more
Adam
Jan 31, 2014 Adam rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Josh
Santiago is the sci-fi equivalent of a Wild West manhunt with spaceships taking the part of horses, laser pistols standing in for six shooters, and aliens playing the role of the Indians (in one instance, quite literally). At times, it's just plain bad, but it's also a lot of fun. Despite a rough start, which follows a tiresome meet-and-greet formula, you will be laughing one moment and rolling your eyes the next. The author's genius creation is Black Orpheus, an incarnation of the mythical anci ...more
Descatalogado
Cuando me recomendaron el libro, me dijeron que sólo con el prólogo ya te enamoras - y tenían razón. Un western espacial en toda regla, el libro comienza describiendo cómo Santiago ha cometido todo tipo de crímenes en medio universo, convirtiéndole en el ser más odiado de la galaxia, y cómo decenas de cazarrecompensas han ido en su busca y han fallado. Pero quizás esta sea la vez...

Me gusta el ritmo del libro: un capítulo, los versos de presentación de un nuevo personaje. Pistas, persecuciones,
...more
Vincent
Where is our Santiago? This book has always stuck with me because the goal of Santiago wasn't to change the universe, it was to draw attention away from the regular joe's just trying to make a living.
Kaj Samuelsson
Dec 15, 2012 Kaj Samuelsson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kaj by: Friend
Shelves: favorites
I had never read a Science Fiction before and the only reason I picked up this one was because it said it is like a western in Science Fiction. This book had more pages than I usually read at that time. But when I started to read I could simply not put the book down. I had to force myself to put it down so I could go to work next day without being like a zombie. I read on the tram and on the bus and in the breaks at work and immediately when I came home I continued reading, not even putting the ...more
Taylor
Meh.

An attempt to build a far future space folk tale. As such, all the characters ended up being caricatures. The bad guys are bad, the better guys are not as bad, and there are almost no good guys. But, despite the body count, none of it felt all that "dark" nor was the danger all that visceral.

And the talking! Every character would talk talk talk talk. Bounty hunters and art "collectors" and murderers all stop to shoot the breeze before getting to the killing and/or heisting.

I like Resnick's
...more
Charl
Jun 25, 2014 Charl rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Interesting. A character-driven story, not usually my thing, but this one kept me engaged all the way through. High marks for this kind of story, from me.
Joe Clarke
Does what it says it will. basically a western set in space, and none the worse for it.
Raj
Mar 06, 2010 Raj rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
On the galactic frontier, the name of Santiago strikes fear into the hearts of men. The bounty hunter Sebastian Cain decides to finally go after the most wanted man in the galaxy. This is his story.

I picked this up purely because I've loved the Resnick stories that I've heard on Escape Pod. This seems to be an older work and is more light-hearted than the stuff I've encountered before. It was easy to read and not too taxing. The ending also wasn't too much of a surprise.

Not the Resnick standard
...more
Steven Stewart
World hopping bounty hunters chase after the most wanted man in the system... but who will catch up to him first? Read to find out.
Needlehawk
You know the mythos of the Confederate soldier turned gunman after the Civil War? The one who repents of his ways and becomes a lawman? The one who still does the right thing even though he has become completely jaded, and somehow manages to keep his soul at the end?

Well, take that mythos, infuse it with larger than than life folk characters (think Pecos Bill or Paul Bunyan), and set it in the far future and you have Santiago. It's very odd, but it works, which is a testament to Mike Resnick.
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Michael "Mike" Diamond Resnick (born Chicago, March 5, 1942), 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 Pola ...more
More about Mike Resnick...
Starship: Mutiny (Starship, #1) Starship: Pirate (Starship, #2) The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales, #1) Sherlock Holmes in Orbit Starship: Mercenary (Starship, #3)

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