A very interesting story. And I think that is one of the main reasons why I liked it so much. And when I say interesting, I mean weird, strange just v...moreA very interesting story. And I think that is one of the main reasons why I liked it so much. And when I say interesting, I mean weird, strange just very odd. It is about a commune where the people are deaf and blind and how they all get along with one another. John Varley does a great job at describing the community and how they all live. A fantastic tale, but like I said very odd indeed.(less)
This is the second time I have read this one and it is one of my favorite novella's and if you were to put it in both categories novels and novellas i...more This is the second time I have read this one and it is one of my favorite novella's and if you were to put it in both categories novels and novellas it would still be one of my favorites. Though, there are a lot of parts that are outdated it was still easily understandable (and I saw no problem with that since it was written in the '84) and one was easily able to simply update the subject matter, which mostly had to do with computers. In your mind, as you are reading it, for an example when Charles Kluge's superb computer was a Texas Instrument, you could simply translate to Mac or PC or even some other modern computer.
In John Varley's introduction he mentioned that he hardly knew anything about computer and that he faked a lot of it and used a hacker's guide book and did some research on hacking on the computer that again he didn't know much about. I read the introduction last and I have to say he did fool me. I thought he knew his stuff pretty well. Just shows how good of writer he is to do something like that. Write a story about something you hardly know anything about on the subject matter. Kudos Mr. Varley!
I liked this book, in fact I got hooked at so many parts. As I am a slow reader and me having finished this book in a couple of days should tell ya so...more I liked this book, in fact I got hooked at so many parts. As I am a slow reader and me having finished this book in a couple of days should tell ya something. The book is mainly an exploration novel of another land during the earth year of 2850. The exploration of the Ringwold is magnificent and is detailed crisply into my imagination. It is also about the characters too; a great character building story I must say. In a way I found that the characters in the book and their interactions between each other had to be the most interesting part of the story. It had 4 main characters that were all very different to each other in many, many ways; and somehow made the perfect team. The 4 characters are Louis Gridley Wu, Nessus, Speaker to Animals, and Teela Brown. Wu is a 200 year old human man that is in perfect physical condition, due to life extending drugs. Nessus is a Pierson's Puppeteer which has two forelegs and a single hindleg ending in hooved feet and two snake-like heads instead of a humanoid upper body. The heads are very small, containing a forked tongue, extensive rubbery lips, rimmed with finger-like knobs, and a single eye per head. The Puppeteer brain is housed not in the heads, but in the "thoracic" cavity well protected beneath the mane-covered hump from which the heads emerge. They use the "mouths" to manipulate objects, as a humanoid uses hands. He is in charge of the operation to the ring world and the being that finds the team and puts it together. Then there is Speaker to Animals or just Speaker and is a Kzin. A Kzin is a very warlike and bloodthirsty race of cat-like aliens. The Kzinti are larger than humans, standing around 8 feet and weighing around 500 pounds. These tiger-sized bipeds have large membranous ears, a barrel-chested torso with a flexible spine, and large fangs and claws. He was responsible for the expedition's safety on Ringworld and because if that he was in charge most of the time. And last we have Teela Brown, a twenty year old human girl. Her sole qualification was that she was descended from "lucky" ancestors, six generations of whom were born as a result of winning Earth's Birthright Lottery. The Puppeteer saw this as a kind of artificial selection, tending to breed for a psionic power of good luck. He hoped Teela would bring luck and success to the entire expedition. The team was a great mixture of characters and the main reason for the 5 stars. What an imagination Larry Niven had! (less)
What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making...more What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making someone despicable actually likeable. The Hero, more likely the anti-hero (it is up to you to choose) of the story, Jack is a character most would think to dislike, but simply for Zelazny work of masterful science/fantasy fiction, and in the first few chapters and especially at the end he makes you end up rooting for Jack, the Jack of Shadows! This is a book I plan on reading again. It is short and simple but also long and complex; in a good way that I don't understand how Zelazny does it, but he can condense a masterpiece in under 200 pages. (less)
First off; I am ashamed of myself that I waited this long to read this novel. It truly is one of the greats! Right when I finished this book, I went r...more First off; I am ashamed of myself that I waited this long to read this novel. It truly is one of the greats! Right when I finished this book, I went right away to a local book store and got Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2) & Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3) and I am hoping to get around to them soon. The characters are some of my favorite, Jessica and Paul are fantastic and even the Harkonnen characters are great. This book is one of my all-time favorite and definitely deserved the all of the awards it received and am excited to and glad that there are more and even more books to come.what a world! (less)
What an amazing EPIC novel. I can't wait until the next book A Clash of Kings If it is even nearly as good as A Game of Thrones it would still be a fi...more What an amazing EPIC novel. I can't wait until the next book A Clash of Kings If it is even nearly as good as A Game of Thrones it would still be a five star book. I am glad I finally got around to it! (less)
I was really hoping to enjoy this book a lot more than I did; though it wasn't bad in the least bit, in fact some sections and some lines are very mem...moreI was really hoping to enjoy this book a lot more than I did; though it wasn't bad in the least bit, in fact some sections and some lines are very memorable, in that wow kind of way. She truly is a spectacular writer, even her books that I like the least, I still like. One of the reason's I thought I would enjoy this book a lot more than I did is because I really enjoyed reading Rocannon's world and I heard and read somewhere that that book was her first written or first published, not sure exactly. So, I hoping she honed in her skills as a writer over the next 2 years and produced an even more spectacular book than the first one. I really enjoyed the beginning and especially liked that the humans were the aliens. I believe this is the first book I have read that the human beings were considered the aliens and were called the aliens in the book. The part where the young girl is describing the humans and when she saw one for the first time he wasn't nearly close to what she thought they would look like. That was my favourite part of the book. Truly genius.(less)