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The Immortals

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  638 ratings  ·  75 reviews
In the not-too-distant future the United States is ravaged by disease and stifled by martial law. With whole cities succumbing to a lethal virus known as V-CIDS, the panicked authorities take the drastic action of herding the infected into specially designed internment camps.
Published April 1st 2008 by Margaret Weis Productions (first published May 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
I’m going to try and keep this short. Usually, when I say that, I fail miserably.

Just like there are characters (real and imagined) whom I love to dislike (Hate’s too strong a word for me) because of what they say, every now and then I come across one or two that allows me to put the others in perspective and become less enchanted with disliking them than before. I’m talking about those writers and their books… well, really their books… that find a crack in the wall and allow a new understandin
Jesse Whitehead
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am constantly amazed at the forethought of the founding fathers of our nation. As frustrating as our government is at times there are very good reasons to have it the way it is. The government of the United States is every bit a bureaucracy and many times reacts with a ponderous and apparently comical slowness. Even this has its reasons.

Imagine if the government made snap decisions the way people do in their daily lives. Somebody cuts you off on the road - you honk at them, or maybe speed up a
Mike (the Paladin)
This book is so far as I'm concerned flying under false colors. It's basically a sort of paranoid story of a minority group being forced into concentration/death camps.

The problem is it was so far out i just couldn't get into it. Others like the book fine up you suspension of "disbelief" muscles and try it.

Not for me. I have little enough time for reading. I don't force myself through books I don't care for any more.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've listened to this book a few times in the past. Every time, it's a punch in the emotions, especially as I re-hear details I'd forgotten. I almost want to give this book 5 stars, but it's been a while since I last listened to it so I hesitate. Consider it a 4.5 star rating.

To sum up: It's 2020, there's martial law, and the government has been "quarantining" people infected with an AIDS-like disease into internment camps. The book focuses mainly on the people in the camps, but also gives glimp
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not your typical Tracy Hickman book, but well worth your time. This was a very thought provoking novel about an AIDS-like virus that is being contained by sending the infected to death camps. Interestingly, though, the emphasis is not on the post apocalyptic world, the prison camp society, or the military/government which would do such terrible things. No, the emphasis is on humanity. This is a book about how we treat each other and what is important in our lives. The story was heart-breaking an ...more
Kathleen Lanman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
The book describes a dystopia with a plague, where everyone who is infected is put into concentration camps. And unknown to the general population of the U.S., they are cremated en masse. The book describes a country where the country's passions where inflamed so that this was possible by a media whose purpose became, not to inform, but to reinforce their audience's beliefs.

It is a story of a father and son, who were separated because of prejudices inflamed by the media. There is a story about h
Josianne Fitzgerald
I've been listening to this on as a podcast. Get it from or the iTunes store.

The year is set in the year 2020 something. There is a deadly immune system virus that has swept through the gay population and spread to the rest of the US. The response from the government has been to quarantine people in concentration camps. When the camps fill up, the government bombs them. It's called sanitation. Very few people know it's happening. The story is told mostly from the view point of so
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was another re-read of one of my favorite books. When The Immortals was originally written, it was set in the near future: April 2010. Which That was weird. Anyway, an AIDS-like epidemic called V-CIDS has appeared and is spreading. The government has been rounding up all people infected with the virus and putting them in concentration camps, ostensibly until a cure can be found. The story is about the people in one camp reclaiming their humanity and learning to love one another.

Joe Stamber
The Immortals takes a great idea for a novel and turns it into a mediocre story, although to be fair it may have improved after I gave up on it about half way through. In my defence, I would have continued had I not been listening to the audio book. I guess whoever produced the audio book didn't think The Immortals could stand on its own because they have tried to jazz it up instead of relying on the story itself. The result is woeful. Imagine giving a class of over enthusiastic schoolchildren a ...more
Simon C
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had a pretty hard time with this. There seemed to be one 'info dump' after another with just information being passed on to the reader with no dramatic context.

I didn't believe in what had led up to the main action of the book and didn't really believe in the way people dealt with the situation in which they found themselves. I did like the humanity in the face of terrible things shown by some of the characters but I just didn't really think the subject was properly thought out or explored with
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hakuzo Sionnach
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book via the free podiocast done by Tracy Hickman. At first the background sounds were a bit jarring but emersive.

This was a power story. It felt so real and possible. For a fictional story, there is so much truth to humankind in the story.

We are shown the lives of how a large portion of the United states becomes infected and segregated forever being swept under the rug.

There is only a few twists but the character pull you in and make you feel compassion. If you are looking fo
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, future-sci-fi
This is one of those books that starts slow and takes half the book to have enough happen that you start caring more about the characters.

A lot of things in this "alternate future" of 2010 are built on stereotypical assumptions about GLB (LGBTQA) communities, and I hated that entire one-dimensional part of this universe, but maybe I just don't remember the late 80s/early 90s well enough and I am ashamed that I don't know more about such recent history. Some of the future tech is going in the ri
Ignore the star rating I stumbled. This was written in 1996, it shows. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but in this case the book is set today (ish) and the queerphobia present in the book is stomach churningly bad. The queerphobia is from e characters, not the author, but to be honest I couldn't read it much to confirm that is the entire case, just what I gathered from the bits I did. If I wasn't queer, didn't have queer friends and didn't live through the marriage equality postal survey in ...more
Victoria Lee
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written in 1997 and is set in 2020. I enjoyed the book although you really have to keep in mind when it was written or you will find the views expressed by the government to be outdated. I enjoyed the dystopian setting around the internment camps if you were infected with V-SIDs, the intolerance of people towards what they don't understand or wish to accept, and the conspiracy surrounding the camps. You can really imagine something like this happening with today's intolerance of "ot ...more
Al Eden
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FRIGHTENING. Tracy Hickman set out to write a book based on the experience of the AIDS epidemic. He wound up writing a prescient work about the COVID-19 pandemic and what could happen when the freedoms and rights we take for granted are imperiled. It is a horrifying piece of fiction that could easily be a preview of history.
Chris Zerella
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an incredibly moving book. It is a must read! It rides the boarder between this could never happen in a modern world and I hope this never happens in our modern world so perfectly. I will reread it!
Bernard Campbell
Hickman is usually a fantasy and SciFi writer. This world of tomorrow is closer now than when it was written. The fear, the potential pain is just a day away. Read this and know the future we might just have...
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-i-own
This is either Not For Me, or Not For Me In This Time. I'm not sure which. Though I did finish it, so there's that.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
OMG!!! What a boring chore. I cannot finish this book. 35% through and nothing has happened. A bunch of talk about things that have never been explained.
US ravaged by lethal virus
Joseph Inzirillo
I have been familiar with Mr Hickman's work for almost 30 years. It wasn't until I read Wayne of Gotham that I experienced his writing outside of Dragonlance. That is what drew me to this.

This book is a microscope of all of our collective fears, prejudices and hates tailored to a story that opens our eyes. Mr Hickman blazes the ideas of why we hate and shows us humanity in ways we only see in times of crisis.

This book is chilling and pertinent to everyone. Put aside your hate and see that we a
Jul 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not for young children
Recommended to Ed by: Paul Stone
I bought an mp3 plaer (finally) last winter, A Sansa e250v2 mp3 player but didn't use it. I decided it was time, and I was painting a lot for the last 10 days, so now was a good time to break it in and listle while I work. I really like the player, it is exceptional for $80 new, and I have seen them for $40 used (way less than an iPod). The only thing that drives me nuts is that the e250 v2 display cuts off the chapter number I am on, it doesn't wrap, it scrolls slooooowly. So I need to figure o ...more
Mar 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book because I heard the author give a speech at a writer's conference. I LOVED what Tracy Hickman had to say, I liked his vibe, so I figured I would really enjoy his books. I chose The Immortals because this is his favorite book.

It took me a long time to get into this book. This is the reason for the three stars rather than four. The basic reason was that I had a very difficult time suspending my disbelief. It turned out that this was something that really could have been
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A poignant and relevant book set in the near future where AIDS has been cured and a new more deadly virus has emerged. The virus is so deadly the US government mandates the victims of the virus must be placed in concentration camps and categorized as pre-deceased. With no rights and no hope this bleak outlook is part commentary on the perils of a government out of control and people making impulse decisions on life-affecting topics as well as an example of the human spirit enduring when it seems ...more
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a deadly epidemic sweeps through the paranoid and homophobic country, advanced technology accelerates the move to martial law, internment camps, and mass executions. In the midst of chaos and cover-ups, a group of prisoners tries to find a purpose in their shortened lives and impending deaths.

Hickman wrote The Immortals at the height of the AIDS crisis and clearly understood the importance of his book's subject matter; unfortunately this means he gets a bit heavy-handed and sermonizing at tim
Geoff Young
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hickman creates a believable world and a compelling scenario that examines the question of what it means to be human, to be alive. The dialogue gets clunky in places, and military jargon overwhelms at times (especially toward the end), but the story moves.

Well told, with an ending that is both satisfying and perhaps less happy than some might prefer. Not without flaws, but engaging and thought-provoking.

Discovered the author while listening to Writing Excuses. He was a guest in Season 2, Episode
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, ebook
This isn't a perfect book. In fact, I'd say there are several flaws. But that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a powerful story that I really enjoyed.

In short, the U.S. has set up a series of concentration camps to hold victims of V-CIDs, a new AIDs-like disease that is killing millions. The novel focuses on the internees, their struggles within their camp, and how they try to create a life beyond this one.

As someone who doesn't live in the U.S., I don't think the premise of the stor
Maggie Cats
Not what I was expecting from fantasy author Tracy Hickman--this book takes place in an alternate USA where an AIDS-like virus has decimated the population and those infected are herded into death camps in the southwest desert.

I wouldn't say it's an uplifting story, but there is hope. The focus here is on what it means to be human and to be remembered rather any specific character and despite the bleakness of the plot, there are some beautiful moments. However, I gave it three stars more for pa
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NYT Best-selling fantasy authors Tracy Hickman, with his wife Laura, began their journey across the 'Sea of Possibilities' as the creators of 'Dragonlance' and their voyage continues into new areas with the 'Drakis' trilogy, 'Wayne of Gotham', a Batman novel for DC Comics and his 'Dragon's Bard' collector's series . Tracy has over fifty books currently in print in most languages around the worl ...more

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“[P]eople only make decisions based on what they know. You can have everyone in the country vote freely and democratically and still come up with the wrong answer - if the information they base that decision on is wrong.

People don't want the truth [when] it is complicated. They don't want to spend years debating an issue. They want it homogenized, sanitized, and above all, simplified into terms they can understand...Governments are often criticized for moving slowly, but that deliberateness, it turns out, is their strength. They take time to think through complex problems before they act. People, however, are different. People react first from the gut and then from the head...give that knee-jerk reflex real power to make its overwhelming will known as a national mandate instantly and you can cause a political riot.

Combine these sins - simplification of information and instant, visceral democratic mandates - and you lose the ability to cool down. There is no longer deliberation time between events that may or may not be true and our reaction to them. Policy becomes instinct rather than thought.”
“[A] couple I had known - who were old friends - asked me what I was going to work on next. I told them I wanted to write a near future book about AIDS concentration camps. They were vehement in their response: they thought it was a terrible idea. Their words both shocked and saddened me. "Do you really want to write a book about homosexuals?" they asked me. "Won't people who read your work be influenced toward sin?"

I notice that I don't hear from them much lately.”
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