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Brightness Falls From The Air
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Brightness Falls From The Air

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  408 ratings  ·  37 reviews
They have gathered now on Damien and are about to witness the last rising of a manmade nova. They are 16 humans in a distant world about to be enveloped by an eruption of violence--horror and murder oddly complemented by a bizarre unforgiving love. But justice is not all that's about to be found. Judgment is coming and the 16 unsuspecting ones are on the threshold of the m ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 1985)
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Umberto Rossi
Alice Sheldon (vero nome di James Tiptree Jr.) è nota per i suoi meravigliosi racconti, ma ha al suo attivo almeno un romanzo veramente notevole, di space opera sofisticata, come questo (tradotto in Italia come E sarà la luce, titolo non solo infedele ma del tutto fuorviante). Romanzo complesso, solo apparentemente un fanta-thriller ambientato su un mondo lontano dove una comitiva di turisti si raduna per assistere all'esplosione di una stella; la trama, che inizia con tonalità da commedia, si r ...more
Duane Poncy
I never thought I would be giving a two-star review to anything by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon). I love everything I have previously read by her. Much of the writing in this book is amazing, the suspense often riveting, and the concept behind it was potentially brilliant, but it was tremendously flawed, in my view. The cloyingly sentimental dialogue was at stark contrast to the chilling thematic material. The sweet, kind-hearted, heroic child porn producer, for instance -- I'm not being pr ...more
Jennifer Taw
A very detailed and deliberately paced sci fi adventure focused on (often failed) efforts to prevent, overcome, and make reparations for the worst human depredations. Exploitation as a dynamic permeates every aspect of the story, and is examined through the interpersonal, interspecies, financial, political, and professional relationships. Sheldon/Tiptree emphasizes that targets of exploitation may be unaware, resistant, naive, or entirely complicit, depending on their circumstances and the socia ...more
Bryn Hammond
I read in her biography (James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon) she was uncomfortable with the novel format and they had to push her into it. That makes me feel better. I worship Tiptree, but it hurt to try to read this back in the day and it hurt again last year. She was a short story writer. Though she seems to settle at the extended short story of a hundred pages.
May 11, 2012 S.B. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to S.B. by: Roberto Bolano was reading it
Shelves: science-fiction
I wonder why there's a correlation between sci-fi books and their character's unusual eye color? It's like if you're a character, fabricated by a sci-fi writer, your eye (and hair) color will be mentioned again and again and I guarantee it will be a highly uncommon color. I was thinking this and then up popped this sentence by Tiptree: Reality needs no friends.

She doesn't care if all her characters are unrealistic! Neither do I, anymore, violet colored eyes are nice to imagine, sometimes. This b
J.L. Dobias
Dec 16, 2014 J.L. Dobias rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF & SFF fans
Shelves: book-shelf-09
Brightness Falls From the Air by James Tiptree Jr.(Alice Bradley Sheldon)

I can honestly say I've read few of James Tiptree and that is mostly because she was mostly writing short stories and though I've read a few short stories now and then I prefer novels. She has two of those to her name and this one was in e-book format and after recently reading one of her short stories I felt compelled to read a novel.

Though the novel starts with a paragraph that sounds quite descriptive it is misleading in
I had a hard time deciding how to rate this book. On the whole, it's probably only three stars. It's not as consistently compelling or well-written as Tiptree's short stories and novellas and the plot is sometimes contrived. But there are some scenes that are five-star scenes, in which the emotion and the writing transcend the rest of the book.
Just found my review of this book.

A really original book. This is an absolutely genuine big gift. The two main plot strands are well woven together, and the whole is deeply thoughtful. I'd rate this not far behind 'Brave New World', although it does have occasional stodgy moments, and verges on the silly once (?) Very very good though.
Bev Hankins
One of my all-time favourite science fiction novels by one of my all-time favorite authors. It's been a long time since I read it, but I remember loving it. I should go back and reread so I can give a proper review.
One of the most compelling books I can recall ever reading.
Inizia come un "dieci piccoli indiani" su un pianeta alieno, indugia un po' troppo nel raccontare i suoi personaggi, poi si avvia al violento apice boreale della sua trama fitta di misteri, che in realtà è ben più sopportabile dell'epilogo orribile destinato ad alcuni personaggi e dell'ombra cupa gettata proprio in chiusura dall'autrice.

Una chiusa che tinge il bellissimo titolo evocativo con un sospetto, alla cui luce bisogna riconsiderare il proprio giudizio sui Dameii, la fatata popolazione a
Althea Ann
I've read several books that won the Tiptree Award:
(Candas Jane Dorsey - Black Wine,
Elizabeth Hand - Waking The Moon,
Nicola Griffith - Ammonite
Maureen F. McHugh - China Mountain Zhang
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness -
all books I'd highly recommend!)

but somehow, I'd never read a book by Tiptree (Alice Sheldon), only a short story or two.
So I picked up this book, which the cover says is her 'greatest novel.'

I guess the hype got to me, because I was a little disappointed - it wasn't a
Natasha Hurley-Walker
Fairly straightforward old-fashioned sci-fi romp. Aliens, spaceships, culture clashes. Much of the plot seems farfetched given that the author could have made better extrapolations about the technology available. (view spoiler) Since much o ...more
Acquired this book by accident (free scifi, couldn't resist), sat on my shelf for at least four years, and the only reason I read it now was because it was a hardback and thus sits best on my over-the-tub book holder. Much better than I expected: Interesting aliens (wish we had seen more of them but they are shy), nice hard science to go with the cultural experience, and a different angle on the time 'travel' aspect.

The characters, perhaps there are too many of them, or maybe the author just did
Otis Campbell
The hurt heals slow
And who can believe in tomorrow?
When brightness falls
I'm waffling between three and four stars for this book. On the plus side, it was very evocatively written, I loved the characters, and it had some extremely original ideas. On the con side, however, there were many points in the book where I wanted to shout, "Oh come ON! Stop being so naive and DO YOUR JOB!" because people kept ignoring clear threats and acting on partial information. However, it was a fun story, and a good introduction to James Tiptree Jr.. I will read more by her.
Two visions of the future meet: the wide-eyed utopianism of Golden Age sci-fi with which the book opens is torn apart to reveal, just beneath the surface, a history of genocide, war crimes, torture and personal suffering. It's overstuffed, the writing is all over the place - often clusmy and clunky, but just as often genuinely brilliant - most of its large cast of characters never graduate beyond caricature. Still, its power is undeniable, and its bloody, wrenching debunking of the heroic sci-fi ...more
Lovely prose and beautiful imagery. Although the characters were interesting, they weren't given enough development. I feel compelled to deduct one star for the use of the deus ex machina "time-flurries" and the unbelievable stupidity of the main characters. Otherwise Brightness Falls from the Air is an intriguing story about beauty, love, and the greed and horror humans are capable of.
I TRIEDto like this book (I love SciFi, and I always want to read SciFi by female authors), but there were just too many subplots and too many characters--any of the subplots (the murdered star, the drug distilled from the Damaeii, Cory's memory wipe, the rescued-children porn stars)could have made a good novel on its own, but combining them into one was just too much! I made it half-way through, and then tried to skim from there, but even still, I could now force myself to continue.
Best feature: double-binds and ambiguities.

Locked-room mystery set in outer space, with various interlocking puzzles that hold a claim on life and death, murder and massacre. Vivid villains and victims, clowns and lovers--very entertaining if only for the variations on standard themes. I think the main issue with this book is that it tries so hard, even resorting to a start-to-finish present tense as if to emphasize 'these crises really do matter'...or maybe I'm must missing something.
I've read many Tiptree short stories, but this was the first novel of hers I'd read. I enjoyed it, but parts seemed implausible. The plot was somewhat contrived by the main characters' inability to actually pay attention to what was going on around them, and also, that they were too damn trusting. Still, I enjoyed it and at some points was so deeply caught up in the plot that I didn't really care how stupid the main characters were, and their flaws seemed more real than contrived.
Izabela Kolar Furjan
Sjaj se s neba ruši
Sara 93 1997 953-618-732-9

Format: 20x12 cm

Uvez: Tvrdi uvez

Izdanje: Godina: 1997

Stranica: 424

Cijena: 59,00 kn

Wanted to love this novel because Sheldon is one of my favourite short story writers ever but sadly this just feels like a short story artificially inflated to novel length (in fact the central idea was already done much better as a short story in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever). Although the characters are engaging and the central conceit plays out well this feels baggy and underwhelming by the end.
Karen Heuler
The characters were well-formed--once I got out from under all the confusion with so many characters coming at me so fast. The setting was great, the event of the planet shells coming towards the station, very nice. A bit too much human atrocity? But I really enjoyed reading it, and I admired some of the plotting. Not perfect, but powerful
Brightness Falls From the Air is a fun novel written by James Tiptree Junior I found a lot more accessible than her short stories. The plot is pretty old school scifi with a bit of a who-dunnit, creepy father-adopted-daughter relationship with romantic understones, and time-warping second chances.
Read like she was being paid by the word, a padded out short story. I'd read Tiptree was an exceptional SF writer, but based on this, the first piece of hers I've read, I doubt that. Too bad.
night music -- bring on the clowns ♫
Rated high for imagination and vivid images that stick in the mind.
Else the rating would be lower for plot hinging several times on characters doing dumb, dumber and dumbest things.
Feb 23, 2009 Andrew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: light artists
Shelves: genre, scientific
It's not common to find a science fiction book that adheres to the neoclassical unities, but Brightness Falls From The Air is not a common book. Unsettling and recommended.
Good, but not great. If only I had identified with any of the characters a bit more. Mostly a murder mystery set in the future, on an alien planet.
John Lum
Blech. Ridiculous soap opera--I tried this partly because I haven't read much sci-fi by women, but this was not a shining example.
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"James Tiptree, Jr." was born Alice Bradley in Chicago in 1915. Her mother was the writer Mary Hastings Bradley; her father, Herbert, was a lawyer and explorer. Throughout her childhood she travelled with her parents, mostly to Africa, but also to India and Southeast Asia. Her early work was as an artist and art critic. During World War II she enlisted in the Army and became the first American fem ...more
More about James Tiptree Jr....
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever Up the Walls of the World Ten Thousand Light-Years From Home Houston, Houston, Do You Read? Warm Worlds and Otherwise

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