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Head Full of Mountains

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  13 reviews
When Crospinal’s ailing father dies, he is left alone in the pen, surrounded by encroaching darkness. The machines that tended to him as a child have long ago vanished, and the apparitions that kept Crospinal company are now silenced. Struggling with his congenital issues, outfitted in a threadbare uniform, Crospinal has little choice but to leave what was once his home, s ...more
ebook, 300 pages
Published August 8th 2014 by ChiZine (first published June 15th 2014)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  42 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Ms. Nikki
Jul 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Although this read flows lyrically, the jumbled and confusing thoughts of Crospinal and the world he lives in don't allow for a smooth read at times.

The ideas in this story were utilized in such as way as to blow the mind of the reader. Cros talked with a projection of a dog, a girlfriend who broke up with him that seemed no longer alive, ghosts, and other machinery that watched him constantly.

This is a somewhat sad tale of a forgetful boy, not just any boy, who must venture out from his norma
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
HEAD FULL OF MOUNTAINS is a unique science fiction find-- complex, sophisticated, challenging, novel. Brent Hayward's imagination never ceases to amaze me. He creates a comprehensive and fully immersive world with such vivid imagery. Mind you, it is not a pretty world but rather a fractured, fragmented one populated by equally irregular, damaged and fragile characters.

Crospinal was raised in isolation, with only his father and artificial constructs for companions. He suffers from physical infirm
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hauntingly beautiful sci-fi. I couldn't put this book down. Hayward's storytelling flows like poetry, with an incredibly unique style of writing; I will read anything that Brent Hayward writes.
Derek Newman-Stille
Environment, body, and belief system are all in flux in Head Full of Mountains as the ship that the last remnants of humanity are travelling through space on constantly changes configuration, recycling old parts while building new ones. Crospinal’s body alters from a disabled body in a space suit that recycles his nutrients, to a gradually stripped body exposed to all of the biological contaminants and biological wonders around him, and constantly rebuilt by machines to match an able-bodied expe ...more
Barry King
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Like a lot of Hayward's fiction, this novel interleaves a theme of flawed and broken humanity on all levels: physical deformity, mental discontinuity, plans gone aft agley, terrible lack of foresight, and is also a nod to the persistence of life in all its unique shape and individual striving. Hayward's protagonists, here and elsewhere, achieve an ultimate triumph, on their own, equally flawed terms, and his stories always remind me how the perfect and the ideal are often the enemies of the good ...more
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very well written in terms of artistry and the weaving together of words to form an otherworldly narrative detached from anything resembling our own reality. At times, it made me feel a profound sense of the temporary nature of our existence, both as individuals and as a species.

However, I took a star away because I felt the author could have done a slightly better job of giving the reader context and understanding. It wasn't the timeline jumping or world jumping in and of themselves so much as
There were many parts I liked, but I am certain I didn't follow any of the actual story line, whatever it was. It was definitely ethereal and eerie and I loved the feel of it, but I just finished it and I can't tell you anything that happened except what it said on the back of the book.
Josef Hernandez
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brent Hayward may be the best science fiction writer out there right now

For a full review, please go to and follow me on Twitter @josenher
Terry Drymonacos
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
wow, reading again
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
Interesting attempt at something high concept, just not for me.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
270 pages, that’s how long I followed the protagonist around a (literally) amorphous setting, with no sense of motivation or purpose. I’m tired. It’s time to stop when you start hoping the lead character dies—I don’t care at all what happens to him and at least it would be some kind of action. It’s like the Odyssey except with no destination and not at all heroic. I kept at it so long because it’s a creative setting and the author can write (if not pace a plot or create a sympathetic protagonist ...more
Antonio Urias
Jul 25, 2014 rated it liked it
This review and others are available on my blog.

Head Full of Mountains was an unexpectedly lyrical novel set at the end of time. Crospinal has spent his life keeping his father company, living in a world of machines and secrets, untouched and heartbroken. As his father slowly dies, the machines die with him, leaving Crospinal alone and uncertain with a task and purpose he cannot understand, and was never explained.

The novel follows his confused, uncertain entrance into a world he was unprepare
Natalie aka Tannat
Disappointing. It started off interesting, as I liked puzzling out what exactly was going on, but Crospinal quickly grew tiresome and I could barely stand him by the halfway point.
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Author of the novels Filaria ('08), The Fecund's Melancholy Daughter ('11), and Head Full of Mountains ('14), and of several shorter fictions, collected in Broken Sun, Broken Moon ('19).

UK born, raised in Montreal, lived in LA for a spell and as an expat in Poland. Currently resides in Toronto.

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