The January Dancer (Spiral Arm #1)
A triumph of the New Space Opera: fast, complicated, wonder-filled!
Hugo Award finalist and Robert A. Heinlein Award'swinning SF writer Michael Flynn now turns to space opera with stunningly successful results. Full of rich echoes of space opera classics from Doc Smith to Cordwainer Smith, The January Dancer tells the fateful story of an ancient pre-human artifact of great
_The January Dancer_ is a very good space opera…I wish it had tipped over into great. There is a lot going on here to love: a sufficiently deep future history created through the liberal use of allusion that references any number of existing earth cultures (heavily relying on Celtic and cultures from the Indian subcontinent) along with some pretty swell creations of Flynn’s own (the Hounds, ‘those of Name’, the Terran Corners, the Rift, the People of Sand & Iron, etc.) in which...more
As you may have surmised, I very much enjoyed this space opera. It reminded me a bit of Iain Banks' Culture books in the irreverent style of writing and the variety of worlds Fly...more
And in both books Flynn feels the need to interrupt those gorgeous main stories multiple times with secondary plotlines. It seems apparent that the...more
Written in a Celtic-laden language which gives it an archaic feel that complements its far future, space opera setting, The January Dancer tells the story of "how the Universe went insane" once an obscure crew member of a down-on-luck tramp freighter stopping on a nameless world for repairs, shifts a backhoe and touches a st...more
The novel's framing story is mostly set in an inn. A mysterious harper has tracked down a man for a story. As he tells the story about the Dancer, an alien artifa...more
There are several characters to keep up with, but they are well developed enjoyable to read. He builds a universe that is vast and complex. This makes it a little hard to follow the geography, but he has a map in the front of the book.
The plot is interesting and he even suprized me a little in...more
Everything in the universe is older than it seems. Blame Einstein for that. We see what a thing was when the light left it, and that was long ago. Nothing in the night sky is contemporary, not to us, not to one another. Ancient stars exploded into ruin before their sparkle ever caught our eyes; those glimpsed in glowing “nurseries” were crones before we witnessed their birth. Everything we marvel at is already gone.
So begins The January Dancer a modern space opera full of the action, politics, a...more
Giving up because no matter how hard I try, I can't get into this thing. Although it is billed as a "space opera," it's more like hard-as-diamonds SF with an abundance of purple prose. (Bailed at 48%.)
I confess, I bought it because it passed the first page test:
"Everything in the universe is older than it seems. Blame Einstein for that. We see what a thing was when the light left it, and that was long ago. Nothing in the night sky is contemporary, not to us, not to one...more
I'll forgive a lot if the writing is good, but with this book there seemed to be more style than substance. At the halfway point I realized that I didn't care about any of the characters, I didn...more
The frame story, however, turns it into almost a mystery, as one character recounts the events to another, subtly telegraphing future...more
A well-told story of galactic proportions. Interesting main characters, though almost clichés. A junior partner's crush on a senior rings false. Science as a near myth--worse a "religion"-- losing out to technology (go figure) is a nice touch. Historic figures as gods to far-distant future was well-played. Earth itself as an almost forgotten myth is good. Loved the Anycloth with embedded technology.
The framing story was a good way to maintain interest and introduce uncertainty....more
The story: Captain January's ship has broken. While attempting to find repair materials on a local planet, he finds an animated twisting stone. Wars will be fought for this stone. People will die to possess it. It may destroy the human race.
Problems with this novel? It...more
At a glance, January Dancer is a let down, but as I read it more and as I understand the storytelling, I get where the series is going. If you are looking for sci fi action with sonic booms, you won't get any of it in this book.
The first book is mor...more
The style of writing displayed by Michael Flynn is a wonderful mixture of Science Fiction and Poetry. The story has a feel of fantasy to it, even though this is not a fantasy novel. When i first started the book, I believed the book was strange, and it took me a chapter or two to get used to the tone and style. But once I did, boy oh b...more
The setting is in the far future, with faster-than-light travel having spawned the spread of humanity among the stars, though the original inhabitants of Earth are now li...more
The novel contains several points of view, although it is really a...more
But the story telling style of Flynn is not fast and easy. The novel is framed by a second story of a minstrel trying to draw forth the tale of the artifact and it's effects from a scarred man in a tavern. The tale is told in fits and starts, adding to the complexity...more
I experienced this as an audiobook and my mind wandered a bit, though it's no fault of the novel. I was just in a distracted state early on and missed some key points. I tended to lose track of the characters and the story -- however I kept listening in spite of this because of the language and the ambiance. In many ways that is why we read space opera, is it not?
This work is chock full of everything one could want in a space opera. It seems to be paying a lov...more
The problem for me though, was that the various threads of the plot were just too complicated to easily follow, and this blunted the excitement that should have carried the story forward. The reader, it seems, was intended to pay careful att...more
|Hoyt's Huns: February 2014 -- Space Opera -- January Dancer -- spoilers allowed||23||10||Mar 03, 2014 12:32PM|
|Hoyt's Huns: February 2014 -- Space Opera -- January Dancer-- no spoilers||10||8||Feb 10, 2014 10:02AM|
Michael Francis Flynn (born 1947) is an American statistician and science fiction author. Nearly all of Flynn's work falls under the category of hard science fiction, although his treatment of it can be unusual since he has applied the rigor of hard science fiction to "softe...more
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Yet, light rays go out forever, so that everything grown old and decayed retains somewhere the appearance of its youth. The universe is full of ghosts.
But images are light, and light is energy, and energy is matter; and matter is real. So image and reality are the same thing, after all. Blame Einstein for that, as well.”