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3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  617 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Navigating a time ship into the void beyond the universe, Captain Shetland searches for a new energy for Earth, but instead finds a galaxy-sized black hole--the ghost of all reality. Reissue.
Mass Market Paperback, 279 pages
Published September 28th 1992 by Tor Books (first published 1986)
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Okay, so this book has THE WEIRDEST sex scene I have yet to read: they're standing up, foreplaying and naked, then fall onto the bed, and as they land, he enters her.

I mean, I thought this was science fiction; this is clearly fantasy. Things get injured trying to pull stunts like this. Even as a tween I thought this sounded hard to believe.

Other than that scene, I only remember that the main character had a perfect memory. He remembered EVERYTHING that EVER happened to him. Everything he read,
Nigel S.
...the story is pretty much incoherent gibberish. It's like the guy who wrote this had a brain hemorrhage at some point (I'm guessing somewhere around page 60), but was d----d if he was gonna let himself die before he finished his book. Completely incomprehensible things that go down include the captain wandering around a chessboard like Alice in Wonderland, a dragon eating a gingerbread castle, a fat chick puking everywhere, and a part where it's pretty clear that someone doesn't know what the ...more
A fascinating, if not very well written look at the near future. It is easy for me to 'imagine' how this could become our reality, after the energy resources of earth are used up, and the irrational world government starts eliminating problems through irrational banning of their sources. Oh, wait...
Erik Graff
Jul 24, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
This was one of the worst pieces of fiction I have ever encountered. The 'science' is bad; the plot overambitious and not even remotely plausible; the protagonist, like the title, a 'ghost' primarily characterized by sexual neurosis.

Why did I finish this?

Well, first, I found it at a local bookstore, being given away for free. Second, I have a close friend who devours SF. Third, I recall having read Anthony with some enjoyment years ago. Fourth, I read it as a bedtime book, a purpose which it did
According to the back cover, I read this book in November of 1993... when I took it off the shelf I remembered liking the book, I remembered there was a ghost in space... and that was ALL I remembered. When I got into the book I realized I really didn't remember a thing about it! I find myself wondering how many books on my shelf have false memories attached to them. By the date I was pregnant with DeForest at the time of first reading but can associate no particular events or emotions to it at ...more
Pretty interesting psychological thriller in a classic sci-fi setting. I love the way Anthony explores the human psyche. The parts about future Earth were eeriely similar to my own feelings about how renewable energy technology will advance.
Jaclyn Lamar
This is a decent book. Not my favorite Anthony novel, but an enjoyable sci-fi experiment. It reminds me a lot of Orison Scott Card's Xenocide and Children of the Mind in a lot of ways, but the plot and characters are not as deep or transcendent as Card's. It explores some similar concepts and I enjoy seeing them played out in a different way. I wouldn't seek it out or go through any enormous trouble to hunt it down but if you see it at a bargain book sale go ahead and toss it in your cart.
Akd200 Martin
I skipped through much of this book! I skipped though his descriptions of science concepts I already knew, and I skipped through the existential LSD paragraphs. The biggest thing I liked about this book is that a young man wrote his name on the book page end, and when I read the start of the book about all the "sex" I figured it made all the rounds up to non sex parts though all the young boys at school!
One of those dated sci-fi books from the early 60s that tries to be progressive by making a point to mention diversity. Look, nearly half the crew are women! - of the three, one is the ship's cook and one is a supply clerk or something. Lots of pronouncements about how men are naturally bolder, more promiscuous, etc. Very Heinleinian. Still, I like what it's trying to do with race, at least. Tl;dr: meh.
Funny thing is the first time I tried to read this book, I had a hard time understanding it. I even underlined words to look up in the dictionary, hoping it would help (this was back in high school). Since then, I've read it again once or twice and absolutely loved it - great use of symbolism and it really makes one think about race. One of my favorites by this author.
I just adore Piers Anthony's thoughtfulness, his willingness to sit down with a difficult concept (the afterlife, time travel, the universe, the future of humanity and society) and work it out into something digestible by his readers. Brilliant. Thanks, Mr. Anthony, for taking us on that ride.
Dale Rosso
Interesting story concept, Anthony excels no matter the type of book he writes.
Not a bad book so much as one that requires more thought and patience than I have on an average day (small children will do that to a person). When I was in college I would have loved speculating about time travel paradoxes, the borders of the universe etc.
Jan 27, 2008 Kathleen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tech science fiction fans
Piers Anthony likes to play games in his books, and this one is a game that I particularly enjoyed. My reading group wasn't quite as entertained as I was, though, so it may be a bit too technical for some readers.
Good for a quick read, skip some of the boring parts, overall entertaining. Typical Piers Anthony, some of the same elements from one of my favorites, Macroscope.
Sean Randall
I read the short story and found it interesting. As an expanded (all be it conceptually earlier) work I don't think this really has much more to offer.
BBC Radio Classic Sci Fi Audiobook

A sci-fi adventure by cult writer, Piers Anthony

First published in `IF Worlds of Science Fiction` magazine September 1966.

NB - A green knitted dress is mentioned; knitted items fairly festoon literature.

Worst Piers Anthony book I have ever read. SUPER SCIENCE!!!!
Not Xanth, and well worth the read.
What a strange book.
OK Coates
Young adult 10-15
Mary marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
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Jan 20, 2015
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm
More about Piers Anthony...
On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, #1) A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1) Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3) Bearing An Hourglass (Incarnations of Immortality, #2) The Source of Magic (Xanth, #2)

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