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The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, with Winds and Accompaniment

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3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  544 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
The colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest in making sure the flow of longevity drugs re ...more
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Tor Books
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Scott Radtke
Jan 03, 2014 Scott Radtke rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this due to a positive Kirkus review, and I am honestly surprised I finished it.

I give every book at least 100 pages to grab me, and this one took them all, and a couple to boot, before I stopped wanting to take a red pen to it. I couldn't tell if Modesitt writes like this in general or it was a quirk of the narrator but I had three major problems here:

1) The narration was overly descriptive and yet, somehow, completely inscrutable.
2) Characters were only differentiated by their names and
...more
Jim
Pretty good, but a bit too low key & obtuse, even for Modesitt. That seems to be a general trend in his writing. I really appreciate that he's not writing for idiots, though. It was a good mystery & a very different SF setting. His take on the ecology was interesting, too.
Jenny
Apr 20, 2014 Jenny rated it it was ok
In a soundbite, this book is slow but intriguing. The world was rich and the descriptions left me with very vivid imagery. I liked the overall idea, but I wasn't able to really appreciate it until almost the very end of the book, and even then I felt it could have been done better.

Other reviewers have praised Modesitt for his writing in this book, but I confess I had trouble with it. I was kind of flabbergasted by all the super long, run on, complicated sentences. I would lose track of what the
...more
Matthew Coiner
Sep 28, 2013 Matthew Coiner rated it really liked it
Shelves: brain-candy
Modesitt is one of my favorite fiction authors. I've enjoyed both his sci-fi and fantasy. This book was a real treat for me. In a way, Paulo Verano reminded me of Karl, the lead character in "Wellspring of Chaos" and "Ordermaster."
Unlike many of the characters in his sci-fi novels, this man has no prior military training, isn't trained within the story, and isn't a pilot. He is well-educated, though, and does practice martial arts in his spare time as exercise. He is just a man who suddenly fin
...more
Liviu
Oct 05, 2013 Liviu rated it really liked it
another sf book that was so-so - enough interesting stuff to keep going and an author I really enjoy, but have seen the content millions times and this book had nothing special either (content this time being alien world, alien aliens, humans not understanding them and doing by stupidity/malice stuff that may throw everything out of balance and wreck the world etc etc - even the title is an obvious hint as the hero is the "one eyed man in the country of the blind" - see Embassytown for a celebra ...more
Howard Cincotta
Aug 06, 2014 Howard Cincotta rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
Mondesitt, author of shelves of multi-volume fantasy and science fiction, has done something unprecedented here: created one of the most boring alien worlds imaginable, populated it with a collection of dull workers, and added a protagonist who proves to be in indefatigable bureaucrat and little else.

I picked up this novel on the recommendation of Asimov's book reviewer: bad decision.

Paulo Verano, having been taken to the cleaners by a ruthless ex-wife, heads off to the remote planet of Stittara
...more
Fantasy Literature
Sep 17, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Modesitt’s science fiction work, even when he gets on his political soap box for gender, socially progressive politics, and environmental issues. The One-Eyed Man is a solo novel that encompasses all of these topics, but this time there is almost a feeling of cynicism that I really enjoyed.

Paulo Verano is an idealistic Environmental Analyst who has just been taken to the cleaners. In a scene that is familiar to many, his ex-spouse has left him for another person and has financi
...more
George Irwin
Nov 03, 2013 George Irwin rated it liked it
People who love all over this book are not terribly critical. Like all of Modesitt's work, it is a very complete and deep world, but also suffers from a distinct lack of drama or actual action to move the plot forward. The book echos his story, "The Eternity Artifact" and others. This isn't to say it's a horrible work, or bad, but it has its pluses and minuses. I really enjoyed his take on an ecological event within a nature situation, and was more comparable to modern situations (though not as ...more
Jarod
Nov 25, 2013 Jarod rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was ok. I had trouble understanding the political environment the main character was dealing with. There were hints, but nothing that really spelled things out. Also the main character would see clues in his investigation that led to the conclusion, but there was not enough information for me to see what was so important with the observations. Some of the characters were interesting while others were rather flat and forgettable. This made things difficult when the characters were refer ...more
Connie Jasperson
Sep 20, 2013 Connie Jasperson rated it it was amazing
The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment, by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

The Blurb:
In The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue With Winds and Accompaniment, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr., the colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest
...more
Josh
Apr 08, 2014 Josh rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this book. THere are so many genres involved in the story that it's hard to know how to categorize it. It's like a sci-fi detective story, almost like an X-Files episode in novel-form. And I mean the first years of the X-Files, aka the good ones. Within the first couple of pages of the story, our hero, Pablo Verano, is divorced, virtually bankrupted, and given a new assignment at the outer limits of the colonized univers ...more
Sarah
Oct 06, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
So, the final verdict? The One-Eyed Man is thought provoking, very realistic, and incredibly subtle in so many ways. This is one of those rare books that speaks to anyone at any period of time because the story is so important to all of us. The futuristic world(s) and advanced technology are all very nice touches, but Verano is one hell of a protagonist, and his story is one that will resonate.

Read my full review here:

http://www.bookwormblues.net/2013/10/...
Reading Reader
Mar 18, 2014 Reading Reader rated it it was ok
Meh.

Modesitt repeatedly has his protagonist describe himself as 'methodical', a word which can well be applied to the book as a whole. He methodically sets the stage, introduces the characters, develops the conflict(s), brings them to a climax, and ties up the loose ends. The pieces are all there, some in painful detail.

The only thing missing is... the spark. There's little life here, and certainly no magic. The sum is unfortunately not greater than its parts.
Paul
Dec 04, 2013 Paul rated it did not like it
Didn't finish; it's hard to get enthused about a protagonist that thinks that talking about capital gains tax is great dinner date conversation. NEXT!
Bob Lopez
Dec 29, 2013 Bob Lopez rated it liked it
Wow. A lot of eating. Some lager. Lots of research. Not very exciting though the librarian in me really appreciated all the hard work.
Brody
Oct 27, 2015 Brody rated it did not like it
Uhh, the book was a writing exercise inspired by the painting on the cover and reads like one, true story.
Katherina Haas
Oct 20, 2013 Katherina Haas rated it liked it
A little slow it was hard to keep my attention
Patrick St-Denis
Apr 30, 2015 Patrick St-Denis rated it really liked it
Many of you will recognize John Palencar's cover which initially was meant to be used for Ian Tregillis' Bitter Seeds. Later on, David Hartwell used it for what came to be known as the Palencar Project. Interestingly enough, L. E. Modesitt, jr., one of the authors invited to submit a story based on Palencar's illustration, quickly realized that he had more than a short story in the works when he simply couldn't stop writing. Hence, he wrote an entirely different story, "New World Blues," for the ...more
Mjhancock
Nov 04, 2014 Mjhancock rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, aliens
Call it a 2.5. In The One-Eyed Man, we follow our hero/ecologist Paulo Verano. Desperate to escape an unpleasant personal situation, Verano accepts a job offer to perform an ecological survey of a planet called Stittara. Stittara is a colony world with a small population, known for two things: the seemingly nonsentient skytubes that appear in its upper atmosphere, and the source of ingredients for longevity drugs that are essential to the galaxy's upper class. Verano quickly learns that the loca ...more
Keilani Ludlow
Dec 29, 2013 Keilani Ludlow rated it liked it
Hmmmm... what to say. Read someone else's review for a synopsis. This is a fairly typical Modesitt sci-fi in many ways, a little less technology than in some, but still definitely a "Modesitt". If I had picked it up and started reading without knowing who the author was, it wouldn't have taken me long to guess.

Our hero goes to another planet, effectively cutting him off from any and everyone else he has ever known, to complete a survey for the government. He does so knowing it's good for him to
...more
Garrett
Mar 22, 2014 Garrett rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book because it was recommended by the author as a good book to start with (I thought that I had not yet read anything by L.E.). I had forgotten that I had read another book of his before - Flash - which I had liked. I also have the Magic of Recluse books on my list of "to buy" books for the future some time. I'm interested to see where L.E. takes me with his fantasy as compared to what I've sampled of his SciFi.

This book reminded me a lot of the Elijah Bailey (Robot) books by A
...more
Mark
Jul 10, 2015 Mark rated it it was ok
Lesser Modesitt, 2.5 stars.

Two things bothered me enough to keep it out of 3 star range. First there is a dynamic where every major character is somewhere on the spectrum of lying paranoid afraid of being assassinated. Simply telling someone the name of the corporation you work for is at points considered to involve major trust issues. It could be very interesting social SF to read about how this culture could arise and how people deal with the psychological pressure of living this way, but the
...more
Joy Schoenberger
Nov 07, 2014 Joy Schoenberger rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Modesitt's Characters are always the same

I have read many of Modesitt's fantasy novels, and the main character of this one is the same as the main character of all of his books: boring, flat, methodical to a fault. And they always drink lager for some reason, and Modesitt feels the need to tell us the details of every meal his character eats.

One thing I found very annoying was the the main character kept having these ideas and hunches, but Modesitt never said what they were. You had to kind of t
...more
Jacinda Dees
Jun 07, 2016 Jacinda Dees rated it it was ok
If I had known this book was more of a mystery than an all-out sci-fi book, I may have hesitated more before reading it. While I am familiar with, and enchanted by Modesitt's fantasy books of nearly any of his various series, I had not yet read any of his science fiction stories. Couple that with the fact that this stand alone novel is highly regarded by other Modesitt fans, and you can start to understand my disappointment in my perusal of this book. Set up as it is in an out-system planet with ...more
Ruth
Nov 27, 2013 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: spec-fic
c2013: FWFTB: colony, ecological, skytubes, hurricane, secret. A really interesting read for me. Branching out into Mr Modesitt's sci-fi after having enjoyed the Imager series, the discussions and details of non-essential plot points did not particularly faze me(' People don't like restrictions. Ambitious politicians exploit these dislikes. The comparatively honest ones pick semi-legitimate grievances. The less honest ones don't bother with legitimacy; they just pick the things that make most pe ...more
Whitney
Feb 06, 2014 Whitney rated it really liked it
Having read some of L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s other works, The One-Eyed Man was a completely different style. Don't read this book if you are expecting space battles, magic, or a hero who is a highly trained combat specialist. The hero of The One-Eyed Man is an ecologist on a freelance contract studying the impact of the human settlements on the ecology of the planet Stittara. The pacing of the story is slower than your typical science fiction as it follows Paulo as he travels the planet testing diff ...more
Rob
Aug 30, 2015 Rob rated it liked it
Modesitt remains my "go to" author, when I have nothing else in particular to read, and this was no exception. This may be because I'm comfortable with his pacing and story-telling, though I know some find it difficult to follow.

In "The One-Eyed Man", we get to see Modesitt in a hard sci-fi thriller, and this was a nice change. Perhaps best of all, was his description of relative time in space flight (which was kinda shiny), and the other-worldly aspects of being on a truely alien world. The dis
...more
William Bentrim
Dec 27, 2013 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing
The One-Eyed Man by L.E. Modesitt, jr

Modesitt is a philosopher. His books are entertainment, for sure, but are also philosophic guides for behavior. This book is not in the Imager Portfolio, it is a stand alone that does a fine job on standing alone.

Paulo Verano, the main protagonist, is facing a dismal future dealing with an emotional mistake. His salvation comes through a exceedingly long distance contract that will put his current situation behind him in both time and space.

Modesitt provide
...more
Henry Lazarus
Dec 05, 2013 Henry Lazarus rated it liked it
L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s latest takes place in a future in which travel between can seem like weeks but actually take decades in the real world. Ecologist Paul Verano is willing to accept the loss of real time because his marriage fell apart and his teenage daughter won’t talk to him. He is sent to do a survey of Sittara, a planet settled for a thousand years and a source of anti-aging drugs. The planet with ists beautiful skytubes, and massive hurricanes that force human settlements to live underg ...more
Joy
Oct 24, 2014 Joy rated it liked it
It's just a political move, window dressing, when the government sends an ecologist out to Stittara. There's no way they will abandon the production of the longevity drug. The time dilation of the long trip means the people left behind will be long dead before Paulo Verano can return, so his one-way trip to Stittara is an opportunity.

THE ONE-EYED MAN makes a very slow start. For at least the first half of the book, Modesitt seems to prefer his creation of an ecology rather than the telling of hi
...more
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L. E. (Leland Exton) Modesitt, Jr. is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is best known for the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, then moved to New Hampshire in 1989 where he met his wife. They relocated to Cedar City, Utah in 1993.

He has worked as a Navy pilot, lifeguard, delivery boy, u
...more
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“Intelligence is overrated by any species that has it, and that's provable by the fact that all intelligent species are outlived by a factor of a hundred to one, if not a thousand to one, by nonintelligent species, who don't have the brains or perversity to destroy themselves or their environments.” 3 likes
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