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(Debatable Space)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  223 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Artemis McIvor is a thief, a con-artist, and a stone cold killer. And she's been on a crime-spree for, well, for years. The galactic government has collapsed and the universe was hers for the taking.

But when the cops finally catch up with her, they give Artemis a choice. Suffer in prison for the rest of her very long life, or join a crew of criminals, murderers, and traito
Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 12th 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  223 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Reaction #1 -- The brain exhaustion I feel right now must be the sensory exhaustion one would feel after an all encompassing hours long orgy at the dirtiest, grimiest, sexiest sex club in town. Artemis, you see, is an orgy in itself. It's an orgy of blood and guys and cyborg compartments and circuitry and magma genocide and black hole genocide and godlike being genocide and quantum death. It is an orgy of violence in every shape and form one can imagine and even shapes and forms I've never imagi ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
As with Debatable Space, there's a lot about this book that normally I would dislike. The narrative is less fragmentary, but this one has footnotes (which don't add much to the story) and the same amount of profanity, carnage, and incoherence. The characters are not exactly lovable. And, yet again, it won me over. It does have a different narrative voice, despite similarities; it does have moments where I connected with the characters, particularly the couple of cameos of characters from other b ...more
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Artemis was described like a stone-cold killer and a bookworm. That's why I bought the book. I thought that would be an awesome read, what could go wrong with that ?
Well, the description was maybe too good. Stone-cold, yes, understatement of the century.
It was very hard to empathize with Artemis. The book was cold. The first part "Revenge" is pretty much Artemis killing men one after the other (the part inside the prison and the escape were great though). The first few times it's kind of funny
Mar 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
Look. I like female protagonists. I like violent female protagonists. Sometimes I cam get behind the first person when its a violent female protagonist. Not today apparently.

Essentially, I stopped because it was like reading a 15 year old boy write from an adult female perspective. And it was terrible.
Ralph Palm
Apr 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Having read two of Palmer's novels, and really liking the other(Version 43), I thought this one was very disappointing. The same Over! The! Top! sf-pulp hyberbole is there, but the prose is still stiff and awkward. This poses two problems, relative to Version 43: 1)the main character is not a robot, so there's no excuse for it and 2)it suggests that Palmer is just not very good at and/or interested in putting together a good sentence. 'It's true!'

Moreover, the clever bits and structural twists h
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, used-to-own
With every novel, Philip Palmer is going from strength to strength. I've not always enjoyed his writing style, but his eye for a story is wonderful and his imagination is seemingly endless. Every time I open one of his novels, I wonder when he will find the limits of his inventiveness and it's never that time. ''Artemis'' is no exception to that rule.

''Artemis'' is written as the thought diary of Dr Artemis McIvor, presented here for publication. She starts by breaking out of prison, before taki
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
A bit of spoilers maybe.

Philip Palmer didn't really make a big effort here. He showed us the same universe as in Debatable Space (not a problem) he wrote of the same carnage as usual (again millions of scentient species exterminated, billions of humans killed, lots of people tortured). And the main character was a wining annoying obnoxious bitch who reminded me of Lena from Debatable space and guess what (spoiler): it turns out she's her daughter.

The story doesn't build up anything. It just goe
A.R. Norris
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I have to say, I really loved this book! This is a prime example of how to write a great SF book without drowning the reader in SF concepts. Palmer wove in the cool techie stuff without expounding on futuristic concept monologues.

Usually not a fan of first person, the author chose the perfect POV medium. Artemis's extreme personality and outrageous story called for first person. Only she could've told it and any other POV would've dampened the voice.

The pacing and rhythm of was beautiful. And I
This book has maybe the best first lines ever

Chapter 1
Prison Break

“Fuck you,” I said, then walked into the kitchen. Picked up the mug of scalding hot water. And threw it over my own face.
It hurt. A lot.
I could feel my skin melting.
I began to scream.

I loved this! It was like Neal Asher on coke. Faster, and more emotional. The books is written as a historical document from the future (the fictional diary of Artemis), which makes it character-driven rather than action-based. Don't get me wrong
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
Slogged through a fair amount of this book, just couldn't make it. Didn't really find any hook to get into it. Lots of violence but for the first two sections, who cares? That's how far I made it, by the way, the prison section than her multiple murder/revenge section.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Ahem. A guilty pleasure. Pure unadulterated violence but Artemis is such a compelling character somehow? And there are so many thought provoking aspects to this book that I still think about some of them often despite viewing this book as kind of pulpy, not terrible deep feel-good sci-fi

Yeah. All the mixed feelings.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audible
I struggled through this book because I thought there had to be something redeeming in it. Nope. Violent, and she's mean and cold, and there's really no character development. Nothing.
May 16, 2020 added it
Shelves: unfinished
Didn't finish. Almost half way through and honestly I have no idea what it's about and can't say I care to find out
Norah S.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Sure got a lot of "stinkers" all in a row!
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Liked it, but took a put-down-and-pick-up or two to get through. Not tight as Red Claw or as engaging as Debatable Space, but a good snarky space romp.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Artemis by Philip Palmer is a sort of sequel to his wonderful debut Debatable Spaces. In small doses, I greatly enjoy Philip Palmer's cinematic style prose and ultra-violent sf, while his fractured prose brings a change from the usual genre conservativeness. But here it lies also the problem with his books, namely that all too often there is an element of artificiality, of "this is a Matrix like game" that tends to take away the enjoyment a little.

Still, Artemis was a page turner for most of its
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm going to be very lazy and refer you to Liviu's review here - I enjoyed the book very much but the breathless picaresque romp of it all carried on just a gnat's too long, in the end, and I'm not as enamoured of the tie-in with Debatable Space as others seem to be. Enjoyed it, but it wasn't necessary to the enjoyment of the book per se - touch of the over-egged pudding perhaps. Nevertheless, still love Palmer's style and vision; ideas out the wazoo, real and touching characters, and in the fin ...more
Ian Woods
May 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't have thought of myself as a prude. But "Artemis" didn't engage me simply because of the unnecessary swearing and the over-the-top violence. It was too unbelievable! Like watching a movie where all of the bad guys are completely hopeless shots who couldn't hit a barn door with a howitzer and yet the main characters are able to mow them down as though they were literally mowing! I'm prepared to give Palmer another chance but if it reads the same then I won't be bothering again after tha ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Tongue-in-cheek splatterpunk space opera with a serial revenge plot holding it together (think Kill Bill or Best Served Cold) but also plenty of detours and fake-outs. A brisk read in spite of its length.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I've said it before, but Palmer books would make amazing movies by Quinten Tarantino.

Artemis is highly entertaining. Fans of Debatable Space will love this. Fans of organized crime might really dig this. So good!
Once was enough. Possibly great for young teenagers
Peter Okeafor
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I read a review that called it Tarantinoesque. The closest novel I have read to Tarantino.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Cracking read! Hugely enjoyable Sci-Fi tale. Artemis makes for a bold and intriguing heroine; some excellent action set pieces and a nice bit of a twist at the end.
Letta Raven
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I like the premise and there is some good stuff in here. That being said, the version I read was in a sample book from the publisher and could have used some editing.
Jean-Francois Bibeau
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Classic Philip Palmer! Awesome read.
Don Abeysekara
not bad
Jason Bowden
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well.. It was really really good at first. The style was engaging.. It lost me toward the end but it was still enjoyable.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Full of gimmicks and missing the substance to make it engaging.
Caroline Muse
rated it really liked it
May 04, 2013
rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2013
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I started writing when I was 14 and wrote a short story for the school magazine about a bank robber who is killed during a heist and goes to Heaven - can't get through the Pearly Gates, and has to break in. Nicely synthesising all the genres I still love to mash up...

When I came to London from University I started writing and combined that with working for theatres and TV and film companies as a s

Other books in the series

Debatable Space (4 books)
  • Debatable Space
  • Red Claw
  • Version 43

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