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Cyber Circus

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Fast-paced cyber-punk action; a twisted love story set against the background of the American dustbowl. Love and hate, life and death grapple aboard a vast hot air balloon that is Cyber Circus. Hellequin, last of the HawkEye military elite, awaits the inevitable madness brought on by his biomorph implant. But first, he's determined to save the life of escaped courtesan tur ...more
Published October 24th 2011 by NewCon Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Rating details
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Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The phrase on the cover blurb describes the feeling of this book perfectly: "alternate surreality" Once you get past the terminology and the biomorphed characters and get into the flow of the book you realize there isn't a whole lot of depth to the story. Some very compelling world-building, and some brilliant ideas, but it fell a tad flat for me as an overall story.
The Nat
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hellequin, last of the HawkEye military elite, is desperate to escape the legacy of Soul Food, the miraculous plant food that leeched the soil, destroyed his family, and instigated a bloody civil war. For a man awaiting the inevitable madness brought on by his enforced biomorph implant, there’s only one choice. Run away with the circus…

Drifting above a poisoned landscape, Cyber Circus and her exotic acrobats and bioengineered freaks bring a welcome splash of colour into folk’s drab lives. None
Joanne Hall
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cyber Circus is coming to town, and it's not like any circus you've seen before, a great floating sentient dirigible populated with freaks and broken humans, clinging to the fringes of their ruined society as much as they cling to the soft skirts of the circus that protects and houses them. Cyber Circus rides high above Sore Earth, a barren dustbowl crawling with pimps, hustlers, locusts, Zen Monks, cyborgs and Blood Worms, who will cut you up and rewire you for a fistful of cash.

Jan 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
I started reading this novel around two months ago and quite enjoyed the first quarter or so, having read it on the train. However, I put it down at the end and didn't pick it back up again until fairly recently, which made me start wondering what it was that made me not want to go back. At the end, I think the answer is the lack of connection I had with any of the characters – I worked out that I didn't really care about what happened to them, which made me think that I wasn't enjoying the nove ...more
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amongst the shortlist for BSFA Best Novel alongside books from China Mieville and Christopher Priest, and deserves to be. Not a début novel, as she has already published with Immanion Press, but Cyber Circus will appeal to a wider audience than did Tourniquet. Is this the future or another planet? I was never quite sure and it didn't bother me that I didn't know. In fact, it's one of the attractions. The little bits of information that aren't there give the reader a respect that man ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Sore Earth of Cyber Circus is a grim world, with strange technology and animals, several different species (or races?), and a deeply damaged earth. However, I didn’t ever feel like I got enough pieces of the Sore Earth puzzle to get a real understanding of the place. Each of the poor souls in the Cyber Circus had their own distinct, extremely tragedy-laden histories, but the frequent point-of-view changes made me feel distanced from them. This distance left me feeling a little uninterested i ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This book is a really interesting exploration of the connection between your physical form and who you are. All the characters have lost, changed or had taken from them some aspect of control over their bodies. Hellequin and Nim were surgically altered against their will, Pig Heart started taking on the characteristics of his transplant heart, etc. The eventual conclusion is hopeful, and the love story between Hellequin and Desirous Nim is really beautiful. Black Sunday lost me a little bit thou ...more
L.M. Cooke
The Sore Earth Cyber Circus doesn't care for long introductions. Kim Lakin-Smith doesn't waste too much time in elaborate explanations of why you are where you are, or why the technology works in the way that it does; she simply expects you to accept it. For me,this approach worked well, and didn't bore the reader with reams of needless exposition at expense of story.

The writing style is similarly pared down to a basic, almost distant narrative. I settled into this the more the book went on. At
Zack Hiwiller
I'm honestly a bit surprised that this got nominated for the British Fantasy Award. Really the only thing I could hang my hat on was the New Weird elements. The plot, the dialogue and the world was mostly forgettable. In my Kindle version, there were a number of odd usage and spelling mistakes. Some of them could have been on purpose as stylistic flourishes, but it just happened too much to think it was on purpose. For instance, Hellequin magnified 1000°? Did she mean 1000x? Is that a Britishism ...more
Adam Baxter
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled with this book from the off deciding early it wasn't my cup of tea. It is undoubtedly well written with interesting characters and a well constructed world in which there is plenty of action. Did it make me a fan of this genre? I think not. Did it win me over enough for me to give steam driven circuses and drilling machines another go... probably. If you like steampunk/cybernetics you'll probably love this.
Plenty of action, gore and violence set around two men's obsession with the sa
Nicholas Whyte
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2012, 1202[return][return]Lots of intense description of the Circus inmates and their enemies, and some very sensual sex, but I found it quite difficult to follow what was actually going on. I actually found Black Sunday, the companion novella set in Dustbowl Texas, much more approachable and liked it more. I will certainly look out for more from Lakin-Smith in future.
Erik Lundqvist
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as I am concerned, Kim Lakin-Smith puts the 'punk' in steampunk. I wish there was more to read about Cyber Circus and its fabulous crew. A entertaining and engaging read, best enjoyed with a glass of bourbon to set the right mood. Any fan of dark fantasy or steampunk with a bit of bite will enjoy Cyber Circus. I certainly did. There was even a goosebumps moment.

Read the full review: I Will Read Books
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, I'd never read anything in this genre before and it really surprised at how much i liked it.
It took me a while to visualize the weird and wonderful characters but i thought they were fantastic!
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is wonderful, weird, confusing and challenging to begin with. Stick with it and trust the author to reveal what is going on in her own way. In the end I thoroughly enjoyed it, odd though it is.
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the novel a lot; reminded me of the weirdness I found in China Mieville's works. However, I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. I wasn't ready for the story to be over, I guess. I would like to see these characters again.
Neil Ford
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Am actually reading the Kindle version, but that does t seem to have made it on to here yet. So far, so good
Some good ideas and the potential for some interesting characters, but not enough depth of story and didn't really capture my imagination as I hoped that it would.
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Beardy Pete
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Mark Iremonger
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Lidija Beatović
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Sep 05, 2012
Hayley Stewart
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Sep 28, 2014
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Natalia Osoianu
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Apr 14, 2012
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Stuart McMillan
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