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Days of Atonement
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Days of Atonement

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  250 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The author of Hardwired and Voice of the Whirlwind moves closer to the present in this science fiction thriller, set in the next century, that is a taut study of a small town which must learn to cope with high technolofy--and the arrival of the men and women who use it. "Highly recommended".-- Booklist.
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 15th 1992 by Tor Books (first published 1991)
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early work by an sf writer i really like. bit too early, maybe - he doesn't quite pull it off, though in its own way it's plenty ambitious, juggling alternate history, quantum theory, the western genre, psychological thrillers, and a biblical theme to make its mean. the result is interesting, but the writer's not always in control of his material. and the book acquires in the reading a kind of crazed quality that's supposed to belong to the protagonist but makes me worry about the writer's state ...more
When the book disgusts me 3 times and I'm only 6% of the way through, I think it's time to move on. It is a very depressing, seamy culture, and I don't want to know it any better.
The scene that made me give up? Our police chief is remembering his earlier days when he used to participate in a favorite activity on week-ends, brutal boxing matches at the local bar between cops and ex-cons to see who could bloody the other more. As our "hero" is leaving the ring blinking back blood, he looks out in
The ending of this book was unfulfilling to me because the protagonist didn't really solve any of the underlying problems driving the story. Instead he just went on a religiously stoked fanatical shooting spree and destroyed a lot of property. He probably killed some innocent people, too, since he set two huge brushfires in a populated area, though the author doesn't address this. Not does he address how this course of action, apparently justified to the protagonist by the desire to protect his ...more
I picked this up to read and realized I had only read this book one time about 15 years ago. So it felt like a new book to me. I can say that it was light on scifi elements but the scifi in it is still core to the central plot and the ending. This is mostly about the very flawed central character, Loren Hawn police chief od Atocha NM, and Williams really does a great job of writing the story from his point of view. He is not a sympathetic hero and there is a lot of old school small town policema ...more
This is an amazing book.
Loren Hawn, Chief of Police in a small town in New Mexico, has a murder to solve. The problem is, it is an impossible murder, because he saw the same man die twenty years earlier. This is a mystery deeper than a small town policeman should have to solve, but solve it he must. Hawn is a strong man, quick tempered, and a fighter with a tendency to rage. But, he also has a strong sense of duty and some uncommon detecting ability.
I will avoid any spoilers. Suffice to say Chie
This book was an odd dichotomy for me - there were aspects of it that I really didn't like, and yet it kept pulling me forward. The book was published in 1992 but is supposed to be taking place after the turn of the century. But there are so many technological advances that have happened between 1992 and now, that their absence was often a bit of a shock. The lack of cell phones and laptop computers spring immediately to mind. The main character was very well written, but a bit hard to like. WJW ...more
I really liked this book when I first read it, and it has added poignancy today.

At the time it was written, America was about to build the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC). This book is a police procedural from the point of view of the local town's sheriff when some of the odder possibilities of having a supercolider in your town start happening. There's a neat Jewish mythology theme in background, with a sensitive main plot that starts with an authentic feeling examination of the social st
Eric Smith
Enjoyable enough, but it lacked the special inventiveness that one comes to expect from Williams.
Now, this is a book! Tough guy small town sheriff trying to figure out a mystery that hinges on high energy physics, armed with nothing but his wits? YES! Any book where a cop interrogates a physicist with questions like "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DELTA T?!?" is guaranteed to be pretty darn good at a minimum.
Ben Thurley
A tightly plotted techno-thriller bringing small-town New Mexico politics together with high-energy physics and corporate malfeasance.

It's a good read, generally pacy and punchy, but let down somewhat by the reliance on fairly OTT gunplay to bring about a forced climax over the last 50 pages or so.
A nice science fiction police procedural. I probably would have rated it higher if I liked the characters better.
A nice piece of punk/sci-fi. Fairly standard police mystery with nice high end physics twists.
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Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy -Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few - a few are historical adventures, and the most recent, The Rift, is a disaster novel in which "I just basically pound a part of the planet down to bedrock." And that's just the opening chapters ...more
More about Walter Jon Williams...

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