The expanse of space made smaller by a focus on some flawed but great characters. This book is mostly space opera but there is also mystery and noir aThe expanse of space made smaller by a focus on some flawed but great characters. This book is mostly space opera but there is also mystery and noir as well as some horror elements. Humans are only (only!) in this solar system but the space is both massive and small - massive by how far everything is (high g travel!) but the focus is in tight on just a few characters.
I seriously enjoyed the horror factor, was sucked in to the characters, and had a really hard time putting the book down. The story moved well even though it was split between two narratives (cliff hanger chapters? Oh yes. Everywhere). Probably the only thing that bugged me just a tiny bit was a lack of explanation of some of the tech - but this isn't a hard scifi book and it doesn't claim to be (in fact, in the back of the edition I read there was a small interview with the author(s) (yes, there are two) and he specifically stated that while sure, he worked with an astrophysicist, the book is _not_ hard science fiction). Some of those tech things are interesting in a hard scifi book but also can get in the way of the story - it is a small thing.
I am so happy I read this book.
But seriously, horror and scifi. How much more can I ask for???...more
My librarian friend was looking for books for me to read and this book jumped out at me. Really, I can't pass up anything by Zelazny and the additionMy librarian friend was looking for books for me to read and this book jumped out at me. Really, I can't pass up anything by Zelazny and the addition of Bester... well, I had to read it.
Bester began this book and then died. Zelazny picked up the manuscript and finished it. The beginning doesn't read like the other Bester things I have read. The flow is very choppy. When Zelazny starts up, although there is no specific point where you can tell that the authors have been switched though it is quite obvious that by the end it is all Zelazny, there is a lightness and easy flow in the prose. I was not a huge fan of the relationship involved nor the fact that many things were told rather than shown but it is a fun read.
I was expecting something more along the line of Pet Shop of Horrors or even Needful Things (Pet Shop is better I think if only because Needful Things was one of my least favorite by King). However, the story ends up being much more fanciful than that. The customers that come in are interesting and fun to work with but their stories are not the focus, nor are the consequences of the trades that they make. Instead the main character, Alf, is trying to learn more about the proprietors of the Psychoshop, Adam and Glory. The book unfolds to reveal that much more is involved than just a story or even how well the customers are taken care of. There are some very sci fi twists, and even some minor philosophy, mixed into the fun.
As usual with Zelazny, and even Bester, I wish some of the ideas had been more fully fleshed out but the style of the story and the writing does not lend itself to extensive detail work unless the story is to suffer. However, I am a total sucker for fanciful stories with science fiction twists. Wonderful light reading that will spark some fun thinking though nothing too deep....more
The translator of this book deserves a medal. Not only is it an amazing book, it doesn't read like a translated work.
This is not my usual fare but I aThe translator of this book deserves a medal. Not only is it an amazing book, it doesn't read like a translated work.
This is not my usual fare but I am thrilled that Scott forced it on me (though boy, did I have a hard time remembering the title which is why this review is so late). It is a beautiful work that hooked my die hard fantasy/sci-fi only self. I am disappointed that more of his works aren't available in english. It really makes me want to better my very sorry spanish understanding so I can read this and other books in the original language....more
I loved this book. It was great: full of sci-fi goodness, new ideas, thought provoking space, and pleasant characters.
Sometimes I really just want toI loved this book. It was great: full of sci-fi goodness, new ideas, thought provoking space, and pleasant characters.
Sometimes I really just want to ponder the stars without being dragged through character angst and change/development/growth*. The characters aren't super deep but they are believable, not the paper doll cutouts many sci-fi (and fantasy!) stories have. I even liked the explanation of the love letters though I am not sure it was a good move or even necessary. Don't get me wrong, the characters in this book grew and changed but they were the medium for the story. Of course, to be fair, if that medium wasn't believable and enjoyable the book's sci-fi wouldn't float. The world's reactions and how the characters deal with it is interesting to read and move the story along wonderfully. In my opinion, hey are not the purpose of the book though (If they were an additional point to the story than this book would be much longer and would probably lose focus). The purpose is what is going on and why and that is just what I wanted to read.
I pondered the immense distances between stars and the extraordinary length of time it takes for things to happen while trying to figure out who was behind it all. It was one of the most satisfying sci-fi books I have read in a while. Well written with an awesome concept and no major screw-ups.
*If you want character focus with a sci-fi twist, read The Time Traveler's Wife....more
Wow. This is amazing. The author took one of the most basic ideas in sci fi and turned it into very compelling literature. The love story that this boWow. This is amazing. The author took one of the most basic ideas in sci fi and turned it into very compelling literature. The love story that this book follows is so engaging and the characters very real (and the writing is superb which was a balm to my book loving soul after the last, horrible awful book I read). Basically, the time traveler, Henry, sometimes leaves his time and goes to another time. He shows up naked and has to figure out how to survive for however long he is there. He will disappear if he is stressed out too. His wife, Clare, meets him when she is six and gets to hang out with him from time to time as he shows up there fairly often (at various ages no less). The book follows how they deal with it.
It doesn't attempt to explain the time jumping other than that it exists. It isn't the point of the story, it is the enabler of the story.
The times aren't difficult to keep track of. The story is told mostly linearly even if Henry jumps around in it. I was expecting to have to remember a lot of dates since I thought the story would be told from his perspective. However, the author sticks to an easier convention of following the person most affected and, I would argue, the actual main character of the story: Clare.
Since I borrowed this from the library, I need to create a new shelf: to buy....more
This isn't your basic superhero story. Moore takes the superhero genre and makes it better. Super hero cops patrol a city full of super heroes. The stThis isn't your basic superhero story. Moore takes the superhero genre and makes it better. Super hero cops patrol a city full of super heroes. The story isn't about how or why these super heroes are but how the city functions. There is a murder and a huge scandal. I think anyone would enjoy this little series. The cliché "I'll save you!" is, thankfully, no where to be found. The characters are real people who just happen to use super powers. The powers aren't treated as anything special which avoids a lot of the problems other, ongoing series have....more