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The Immortals

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  605 Ratings  ·  65 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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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
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
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.
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
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
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!
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: ebook, own
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
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to catch the big picture of the story, but then it was a page-turner. Memorable characters shape their own destiny against adverse circumstances as the reader keeps hoping for a happy ending. The good and the evil is generally clear cut and it seems it takes huge sacrifices for good people to make the brave decisions of righting wrongs and getting some kind of liberation. Prejudices and hate bring the world in this novel to extreme cruelty and new and yet recognisable "final s ...more
Shalev Nessaiver

Intense. Poignant. AIDS, Homosexuality, Dystopia, Totalitarianism, Forgiveness, Redemption, Immortality.

Excellent ideas and execution. Mediocre prose.

Tangential to the main plot: Political policy was reflected in real-time country-wide internet surveys. Careful deliberation (for which we so often criticize the government) gives way to immediate policy changes - reducing planning to the gut instinct of the masses. Democracy is/should be? about collectively choosing good people, not policy. Thi
Googie DEsigns
Interesting story about a concentration camp that houses sick individuals and what these people go through how they struggling to retain their humanity in a dismal no way out situation. The disease is called V-CIDS, which was spawned from the AIDS virus. The author is usually known for his his work in fantasy with Margret Weis on the Dungeons and Dragons series Drangonlance. Was a little slow to start with but got more intriguing as the plot moves on and thing began to come together. If you like ...more
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say it was not what I expected from Tracy Hickman. I enjoyed listening to this book on and found myself very interested in how he approached contraversial topics in a science fiction format. It is a story about government trying to dispose of an epidemic disease (similar to AIDS) by placing people who have the virus in concentration camps where they are written off by society as already dead. I recomend this book to those who love sci fi and use it to understand those whose ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not care for the book. I found the writing technique adequate, but the handling of government oppression of AIDS-like infected "gay" individuals seemed to be very dated. While, there are some parts of the world today where "gay" individuals are losing their civil rights and being oppressed, the language, understanding and terminology in this book is stuck in the 1990s when the book was written. It was not to my taste.

I suppose readers who might like it are fans of government conspiracy wri
May 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
It was a slow and painful slog, getting into this book. Mostly, I stuck it out because I was intrigued by the premise and wanted to see where Hickman was going with the idea.

The story itself is interesting, but the execution suffers; the writing is a bit choppy, and there isn't a whole lot of depth to the majority of the characters. Still, by the time I was about halfway through, it started to grow on me, and the book hit its stride right around the three-quarter mark. Not the most amazing thin
Tracy Hickman's Immortals is amazing. It's very sad, touching, and some of us have really wondered at the idea of internment. We should never say that this will not happen in this country because it has happened before during WWII and about a decade or so ago, many have suggested the same idea for those who had been stricken with AIDS. So, have we learned from history--hardly. We all know that histroy tends to repeat itself, so, let us not remain silent when those around us even joke with such a ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A truly moving story that reveals our humanity for good and bad... the characters are compelling and the story is rich and believable. I also listened to this via its author's FREE audio release on The many voice talents that contributed to ensure characters sounded different and the audio transition and occasional ambiance track enriched the experience for me to make this one of my top audiobooks.
Michelle Marie
I listened to this one on a few years ago whilst on a road trip and it completely BLEW my mind. Hickman will be at my local comic con this year and I look forward to telling him how much this book impacted me. I have read many many of his Dragonlance books as well as others, but this one.. This one was so unique, well written and frankly socially important, it is a must read. LOVED it..
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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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