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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  321 ratings  ·  32 reviews
His planet was stolen, besieged by agents of the Central Worlds Concorde. Now Niki Falcom must fight his way to glory to become one of the great--and last--star-pilots. But behind his fighting power lies a deadly drug that destroys his body's defenses. And while it gives him the strength to defend a planet, it renders him helpless to save himself. Reissue.
Paperback, 281 pages
Published October 1st 1989 by Ace
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Community Reviews

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I recently read a post on the structure of this early Emma Bull SF novel; I was inspired to pick it back up for a re-read. (Thank you, ye-who.)

A couple of years ago I re-read John M. Ford's _The Princes of the Air_, and found that it was the book that I always mix up with _Falcon_. Returning to _Falcon_, I realize how very much it is a love letter to Ford. One can trace any number of plot elements and themes back to Ford's SF novels, _Princes..._ and _Web of Angels_ (both published in the decade
Sherwood Smith
This book had an intense feel of Bull in dialogue with Dorothy Dunnett. If anyone could dialog in fiction with Dunnett, it would be Emma Bull . . . but half of the book is missing. I think she rushed it--read that way--so three stars for what's here, and two missing for what's missing from the text.
I've been wanting to read Falcon since I was in junior high, shortly after I read and fell in love with War for the Oaks. My crummy small town library (where I volunteered my weekends and summers) didn't have it, so I put in an inter-library loan request that was never fulfilled. I guess someone had failed to return it, and it wasn't a big enough title to warrant replacing. When I got my reader a few years ago, one of the first books I purchased was WftO and I got this one discounted for purcha ...more
What a strange book. Parts of it are lyrical and lovely, but the structure is a mess. It starts slowly, in tight third person, and immerses us in the politics of a colony world. Then there's a break in the middle with a ten-year time jump, leaving the original world behind. The second half of the book rotates among three narrators. The original one pops up only a couple of times, and we're told the rest of the story by two new people. Bull does an excellent job of making us care about the newcom ...more
A little disappointing; the book built well, but there wasn't the payoff I'd been expecting. (or the one that the back cover OR the occasional "notes from the future" in the book itself suggested was coming) That's where most of the downgrade comes from, otherwise the book is a fairly good space adventure wrapped around some sci-tech that's more Maguffin than anything else.

I have high expectations from Bull, having loved War for the Oaks (a book where she manages the climax in a much more satisf
After his royal family and homeworld are betrayed, Niki Falcon (né Glyndwr) becomes a gestalt pilot. The good news is that he can directly plug into his starship and fly it with his mind; the bad news is he's now a junkie with five years before inevitable madness and death. He's at the end of that allotted time when he gets the opportunity for one last score: a dangerous passenger, deadly opposition, and a ghost from Glyndwr's past. Also, W. B. Yeats.

Falcon starts slow but gradually builds into
I liked the first part of the book, about a teenage slacker prince turned revolutionary leader. The second half of the book reads like an entirely different novel, one that I didn’t like as well. The writing is fine, but the science fiction elements didn’t work for me.
I stumbled upon this book in a used bookstore--I loved Emma Bull's War for the Oaks and Territory but had never heard of this one until I saw it on the shelf. I was really excited to find it, but felt like it wasn't as amazing as War for the Oaks. The first half of the book takes place much earlier than the second half, so I spent a good while waiting for the "main plot" to start (because Part I seemed mostly unrelated to the plot blurb I'd read on the back of the book, so I felt like I was tryi ...more
Althea Ann
Part one" of this book gives us Niki, a prince on a well-established colony world heavily influenced by Welsh culture (but not the Welsh culture that one usually finds in fantasy novels - more like that of modern Britain.) 19-year-old Niki has been a typically self-centered teenager, but when he returns from summer vacation to find the political situation in his city rapidly deteriorating, he finds a new sense of responsibility. But it seems that it may be his family responsible for the troubles ...more
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Jay Kirkpatrick
"Falcon" is top-notch space opera. I first read it years ago, when it was originally published, and fell in love. Upon re-reading it this year, I'm struck by how many things I took away from the story, sub-consciously, that stayed with me for years. Some of the themes and a few general ideas even ended up in some of my own (unpublished) fiction.

Nik Falcon begins the story as the black sheep member of the ruling family of a huge city. Returning from a summer-long vacation during which he paid no
Aug 20, 2008 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers of Emma Bull
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's been a while since I read it, so take this all with a grain of salt. Unlike most (all?) of Emma Bull's other books, this is sci-fi, and I think one of her earliest, though I'm too lazy to go check. What I liked best is that the characters never veer into stock sci-fi character territory. What I didn't like was that the big event of the ending seemed like it wasn't really placed in a broader context of the setting and most of the book could have been the same if it was something different. S ...more
May 24, 2012 Cheryl added it
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
I just don't remember this well enough to be sure whether I 'liked' it. I think I had trouble understanding it - and I may not have finished it, as I may have been confused that it tried to be more than just political & family intrigue in an SF adventure, or something.... I had recently been blown away by, and completely mystified by, Bull's "Bone Dance" and, iirc, these two were nothing like each other. I have no idea, either, whether it would help me understand/ appreciate Bull's work more ...more
Gregory Close
4 1/2 Stars,
This was an interesting book, full of wonderful ideas and prose and characters that packed quite a bit of narrative punch for such a short novel. I will look for more work by Emma Bull, she is a wonderful writer and a bit of a philosopher, I think. I was left wishing that she'd developed the story a little more - into a larger book or a pair of books. The ideas and characters were certainly worthy of it - but part of the story's charm was in its brevity, so perhaps author knows best.
emma bull delivers!

this book departs from her usual urban fantasy into science fiction.
as usual her characters are layered and her plots come together to make sense of one another in the end.
in my opinion her pacing is more solid in this book than it was in finder or in territory, and she explores leaving more information unrevealed through the bulk of the book.
overall, i think this works for her, and builds a suspense that kept me intrigued all the way through.
Apr 26, 2010 Daniela rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007, sf
Very good. I liked it at lot.

At the beginning it read like fantasy and then turned into science fiction. Very fascinating, especially the second part. It felt a bit as if something in-between was missing. I also would have liked it if some points had been dealt with in more depth, amaong them the science and the development of the main character, yet still, great book.
Sometimes I wonder if there is anything Emma Bull can't do--when she's not writing novels she's playing in bands and who knows what else. Unlike her other novels, "Falcon" is straight science fiction. Exactly like her other novels, the protagonist is impossible not to warm up to and the story keeps you turning pages and guessing.
Cj Tremlett
I don't think there's a single Emma Bull book I'd give less than five stars to. Someday I'm going to write up some lengthy thought type thing about heroes and Niki Falcon is definitely going to be a big example. He understands the down sides of being a hero even when he's in the middle of becoming one.
Someone explain to me why I let this book sit on my shelf for YEARS before reading it? I should have known it would be a delight, considering how fond I am of everything I've ever read by Emma Bull.

Love Niki. Love this universe. Majorly crushing on Chrysander Harris. Really wish there was a sequel.
I had such an emotional response to this one - I could see exactly why other people saw flaws in it (the two sections of the book being a bit too disconnected), but it was total love for me. Emma Bull does the best heroes ever!
This book me a few pages to get into, then grabbed and didn't let go until its odd transition in the second half, which took only a few pages as well. I would have loved a more intricate ending, but on the whole it was a great yarn.
I know War for the Oaks is supposed to be her first book, but I'm guessing this was written first. It is choppy, and it doesn't seem to know where it's going. I was disappointed -- I love War for the Oaks.
This is a re-read, of course. Emma is one of my favorite authors. I took a lot more away from it than when I read it last, which would probably have been at least five years ago.
Even though I did push through and finish, I can't really give a review because I don't remember too much of it. Just didn't keep me interested enough.
Absolutely heartbreaking and fantastic. I couldn't put it down. Compelling hero, surprising love story, and a fabulously out-of-nowhere ending.
Interesting Sci Fi about a man whose family have a lot of power that's suddenly dead and his path to avenge them.
Action packed, interesting concept, the ending needed a little more explanation.
Her least important and most fun novel. I reread it constantly.
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Emma Bull is a science fiction and fantasy author whose best-known novel is War for the Oaks, one of the pioneering works of urban fantasy. She has participated in Terri Windling's Borderland shared universe, which is the setting of her 1994 novel Finder. She sang in the rock-funk band Cats Laughing, and both sang and played guitar in the folk duo The Flash Girls while living in Minneapolis, Minne ...more
More about Emma Bull...
War for the Oaks Finder (Borderlands) Territory Bone Dance Shadow Unit 1

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