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The Prophecy Machine (Investments #1)

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  68 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Hooters, Hatters, and menacing evil...

Even in a mystical world where centuries ago animals were magically changed into humans, the land of Makasar is considered strange. Its two major religions are Hatters and Hooters. During the day, Hatters, wearing hats of course, wander about jabbing pointy sticks into bystanders. The night is ruled by the Hooters, who hoot and set fir
Paperback, 342 pages
Published November 28th 2000 by Spectra
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Jun 13, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
Welcome to Makasar, or rather, your not welcome at all. At least that's how Finn, Master Lizard Maker and his party were greeted. He and his wife, Letitia Louise are on their honeymoon and wish to spend it somewhere pleasant. And they were too, until the ship they were sailing on, The Madeline Rose, stopped at a port in Makasar. Now, in this upsidown society, Finn has to deal with a world where wrong is normal and right is a deadly sin. Not only are the people unfriendly and wary of strangers, b ...more
Jessica Lynn
Jan 20, 2011 Jessica Lynn rated it really liked it

The novel The Prophecy Machine is written by Neal Barrett Jr. He typically writes science fiction but has also written westerns, mystery/suspense, historical novels and has had short stories in major magazines such as The Best From Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nebula Awards. He was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and was the toastmaster at the 55th World Science Fiction Convention. The Prophecy Machine was based on "The Lizard Shoppe," which appeared
Mar 30, 2012 Octochan rated it it was ok
It's been a while since I read this, but I don't think I'd read it again. I read it mainly because I recognized Daniel Merriam's art on the cover.

If I recall correctly, the culture of the place the main characters end up in made no logical sense, the characters themselves completely failed to do anything constructive to get out of their situation, and left just as confused as when they arrived; the last being more or less also how I felt about the book. I certainly don't think I figured out wha
Angela Poire
Feb 13, 2014 Angela Poire rated it liked it
I picked this up because it was a seminal work in the steampunk genre, however I was left disappointed to realize that the early promise of this novel would never go anywhere, the series never made it past the first book and steampunk would take another several decades to gain anything more than a cult following. While historically interesting it would be best for the avid reader to avoid beginning this book as there remains a great deal of untold story, I personally cannot bear to be left in th ...more
Caroline Berg
Interesting ideas, lacking in the execution. A very unique world where science brought several animal species to human level of sentience – making them bipedal and humanoid in appearance and then making it against the law for humans and the “newlies” to fraternize. The main character is a Master Lizard Maker – he makes mechanical lizards. That is his sole speciality – and he is quite good at it, seeing that foreign kings want his work. However, he is way too verbose (and I know, that's in charac ...more
Jody Ruth
Jul 23, 2012 Jody Ruth rated it it was ok
Y'know what, I really enjoyed this at the beginning, and the book does weave a fine fantasy tale...

But the dialogue... the dialogue...

The politeness of the characters grated on every page, and - as I have been taught - dialogue should always be read aloud to make sure it works. And I sounded like a mencap when I tried it.

I'm not saying 'don't read this book', as I would never do that to a writer, and I think you should try it in case my ear for dialogue is way off.

If it was easy on my ear... eye
Dec 25, 2014 Amanda marked it as so-bad-i-didn-t-finish
have had this book for a long time and just saw it listed on a classic steampunk list along with my fav's from Blaylock, Powers, etc. Never really knew this was steampunk but now i'm more excited to read it than ever. With its opposing religions of Hatters and Hooters and mechanized lizards as well as a mysterious machine how could it be bad?

Apparently it can not only be bad but horrible- I can't read anymore of this
K. Axel
Oct 07, 2008 K. Axel rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read this book, but the overall feeling still lingers, and let me tell's a warm and fuzzy feeling. The language is fun, slightly weird (which, if you've read other reviews of mine, I clearly like) and even...original. Strong characters who develop as the story unfolds, but also a great story with lots of weird events happening.

Expect the unexpected.
Regina Hart
Sep 09, 2013 Regina Hart rated it it was ok
Meh. The Prophecy Machine was filled with some quirky ideas, and it was a page-turner that read quickly. However, the ideas are never well-fleshed out or grounded in any meaningful context. There's no rhyme or reason, no motives, no real substance.
Mindy Jones
Jul 17, 2012 Mindy Jones rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Surprisingly good. A little silly, but it's sci-fi. I'll probably read it again.
Scott Stephenson
Aug 10, 2015 Scott Stephenson rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
If you like bizarre, but very intriguing books then you've got to read this.
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Neal Barrett, Jr. was a writer of fantasy, science fiction, mystery/suspense, and historical fiction. His story "Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus" was nominated for both the 1988 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and the 1989 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.
More about Neal Barrett Jr....

Other Books in the Series

Investments (2 books)
  • The Treachery of Kings (Investments, #2)

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