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3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  176 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Ten years ago the world's governments collapsed, and now the corporations are in control. Houston's Pulsystems has sent an expedition to the lost Martian colony of Frontera to search for survivors. Reese, aging hero of the US space program, knows better. The colonists are not only alive, they have discovered a secret so devastating that the new rulers of Earth will stop at ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published August 1st 1984 by Baen Books
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Community Reviews

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Jul 23, 2011 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Published in 1984 as a near-future science-fiction novel, the technology described in it is very much rooted in the early 1980s. Only the existence of a human colony on Mars, the attendant interplanetary space travel between it and Earth, and the occasional use of lasers as weapons, are significantly futuristic (apart from a new technological discovery that takes place in the course of the book). Thus, there are no references to mobile phones, CD-ROMs, flash drives, DVDs, computer games, MP3/MP4 ...more
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Oct 09, 2012 Allan Dyen-Shapiro rated it it was amazing
I love Lewis Shiner's later work and his short fiction, so I picked up his first novel. This is the one that got him lumped in with the cyberpunk crowd. Yes, there is augmentation of humans with computer hardware. Yes, it is dystopian. And yes, fans of cyberpunk (me included) would enjoy it.

But it's much more. It's also traditional science fiction that hearkens back to the Golden Age. Quick turning plot, set on Mars, physics as the driving force behind societal progress.

And it's a period piece p
May 12, 2009 Melinda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-sf
Shiner shows us an Earth where unchecked capitalism has left our cities in ruins and our people crushed under the heel of monolithic corporations. Nationalism is dead, but it's been replaced by the same greedy bastards that once used Nationalism to line their pockets.

Did I mention this was written in 1984? I suppose there's a reason that science fiction published in 1984 resonates so strongly right now. I try not to think too hard about it because it makes me want to throw up. In fact--hang on
Neon Snake
Aug 25, 2015 Neon Snake rated it really liked it
Brilliant - Golden Age Sci-Fi skewered with a mid-80s realness.

Sci-fi, I think, tends to benefit more than most other genres from a shot of real (with the exception of books like Stainless Steel Rat), to pop the earnestness of the more po-faced hard-fi. I've had this on my list of "cyberpunk books to go back to" for a while, and I'm glad I did. Read by the oh-so-Clint tones of Stefan Rudnicki (also of Hardwired), it did much to take me back to the late-80s and discovering the genre for the first
Dec 24, 2015 morbidflight rated it really liked it
I actually really liked this, and though I had a suspicion that it was an older novel, it read very nearly timelessly. By that I don't mean that it wasn't Cold War era space projected forward a bit, but that it could have been written anytime in the past forty years. The characters made more sense after reading their focalization, which is a tad bit unfortunate. It reminded me of the kind of utopian dystopian sci fi I used to read, the golden age stuff.

Also, it's definitely cyberpunk. If the co
Richard Swan
Jun 24, 2016 Richard Swan rated it it was ok
Frontera didn't do it for me. I read it off the back of one glowing Amazon review but, all-in-all, I didn't like the characters, and the classical references felt very crowbarred in to me, like Shiner had enjoyed that stuff as a child and really wanted to get it in no matter how jarring. For a book written in the 80s, it was very low tech, too--Shiner's imagination on what shape future technology might take is very limited.

I was baffled as to why so many choose to class this as cyberpunk, as th
Jim Cherry
Sep 07, 2010 Jim Cherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s hard to know how to review Frontera, as a debut novel? It is Lewis Shiner’s debut novel but it was originally published in 1984, and is part of the definitive editions Subterranean Press is publishing of Shiner’s work. So, do I take into account Shiner’s later work to give the novel context? Or should I review it as any literary debut?

Lewis Shiner is categorized with cyberpunk writers like William Gibson. I really don’t see it, Frontera and the other science fiction that Shiner has written
Aug 18, 2015 Modi123 rated it liked it
On face - not a bad book, but nothing super duper spectacular. Nations have broken down, corporations are picking up the pieces, and a colony on mars was thought dead. A whole mess of intrigue, the colony's there, and old nation-state axes begin to grind. A lot of greek-heroic subtext (or not so subtle sub text). Some descriptions fell flat (I guess the colony had other people, but you are damned if you didn't have a name), and the disjointed plot prods were so so.
Nov 06, 2015 Kris rated it liked it
Some interesting stuff but not enough to overcome the annoying (outdated) classic scifi elements - I don't mind these at all in an otherwise strong book, but in a book like
Dec 26, 2015 Lee rated it it was amazing
An early entry into the Cyberpunk genre. The characters are rich and believable, with a complex backstory. A spellbinding look at the early human exploration of Mars
Jul 01, 2015 Thomas rated it liked it
Good read, but leaves you hanging a bit at the end. Still, I enjoyed reading this early work by one of the folks who helped establish the thing we call cyberpunk.
Oct 04, 2015 lluke rated it liked it
Felt either too short and rushed, or too long and drawn out, otherwise fine I guess. it was strange to be reading about Mars, while "the Martian" is getting so much attn.
Sep 14, 2016 Cgarvie rated it liked it
Really 3.5 starts oh ho0w i long for half stars

Enjoyed teh story but found it a difficult read
Jan 21, 2016 Cristián rated it it was ok
Interesting setting, but poorly developed story. It's been a long time since I've been dissapointed this much by a book.
Would definitely not recommend it if you have something else in your book "backlog".
Erik Angle
A great, breezy read with some very interesting concepts.

I've been going thru Lewis Shiner's work in order of publication. This was his first novel (everything before was short stories). Very nice debut. He continues to climb the ladder of my favorite authors.

If you want to read a cyberpunk novel taking on a golden age sci-fi topic, then you'll want to check out Frontera.
M.k. Yost
Nov 05, 2013 M.k. Yost rated it liked it
Shelves: mars
Points for being short and not overly didactic, but a few dings on the over-all score for not discussing Mars so much as transporter technology and antimatter.
Dec 12, 2011 Jossy rated it liked it
Overall, I liked it. But I like space a lot.
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