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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,187 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Spider's 1976 first novel, in its umpteenth reincarnation.

Isham Stone is the second-best assassin left in a shattered world. He's many miles from home, half-dead, his left arm is gangrenous, and he possesses--like everyone else--a sense of smell 1000 times better than a wolf's. Ahead of him, in the stinking ruins of New York, hides Carlson, the greatest killer of all time
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 26th 2001 by Baen Books (first published 1976)
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Megan Baxter
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
But back to this book, which is a very early one by my favourite author of all time, Spider Robinson. As such, it has yet to develop many of the themes that will run so strongly through all of his books, but the seeds of them are there.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
For me, Spider Robinson has always been synonymous with the Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon series, several marvelous collections of short stories with puns and unforgettable characters. I hadn’t been aware that he had published a full-length novel about a year before the first collection of stories was published. Except for having a couple of characters who enjoyed exchanging puns, Telempath has a very different dynamic than the Callahan stories. I was intrigued from the beginning and delighted to ...more
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
1976, high point of the New Wave in science fiction, and Spider Robinson is doing everything opposite to what's trendy. The man worships Robert Heinlein. The old definition of science fiction--a scientific advance causing human problems that get resolved in the story--a definition seemingly more of the 1930s-1950s than of the 70s, pervades his first novel, a book that was recommended to me. So now I read it 38 years later.

The scientific speculation is indeed original--what would happen if a scie
Oct 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was written 1976 and is steeped in hippie ideology's. (Smoking pot to achieve a state of Zen and the ever famous, 'peace and love will conquer all.') The idea the book is based around intrigued me and is relevant to the problems we face in the world today; terrorism. The problem with the book is that the old hippie ideas don't hold water in the real world.

This is straight from the book. Sometimes I felt the author was
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I first read this one when it came out back in !976 and I hadn't realised how much my taste in reading had changed over the years. I don't know if it's because I wasa single teenage girl when I first read it and am now a widowed mother in her 50's but it wasn't as good as I remembered it. Don't get me wrong it was a wonderful book but the impact it had back then just wasn't there any more. I would recommend this if you enjoy nostalgia and the idea of peaceful solutions and a plot so twisted it m ...more
Amanda Bynum
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
OK, this book was whack. I had to read a sci-fi story for a competition-within-the-competition, and this one was short, and on hand, so it seemed a good choice. And it was fine, really. But WHACK. It had a bunch of pot-smoking, and all kinds of love-making, and then there were ghosts (but not really), and dead guys (but not really), and noses smelling at 100 times the power of wolf's due to a diabolical experiment (really). And a leopard.

I like most of Spider Robinson's stuff a whole lot more th
Daniel Malcor
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Packed full of wonderful ideas and characters

As post-apocalyptic stories go this is one of the more hopeful, and there are many important lessons learned along the way.
Ann aka Iftcan
I first read the beginning of this novel back when it was just a short story. It's taken me this long to realize that Spider expanded that short story and made it into a full-length novel.

I enjoyed the short story greatly, and, well. . . I think that Spider should have LEFT it at that length and come up with new characters for this story. The first half of the book are excellent, good world building and lots of action to keep you involved. The second half, while OK just doesn't match the intens
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another post-apocalyptic book, which is a genre I really do enjoy. There are twists and turns, and personal discoveries, and without giving anything away I'll just say that I really enjoyed it. The comedy of Robinson's Callahan books is replaced with compassion, and he does both emotions very well. His writing reminds me a lot of Heinlein, who is another of my favorites, but he brings a modern twist all his own to this book.
Chris Northern
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Spider Robinson's first full length novel is an absolute gem with a plot so convoluted (yet clear) that it would blow your mind to have it explained in one or two paragraphs. I won't even begin to try and explain it.

One of the main ideas, and one that runs like a golden thread throughout Spider and Jeane Robinson's work, is the idea that empathy can be thought of as the embryonic form of telepathy.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophical sci-fi readers
Shelves: sci-fi, gone, philo
What if our sense of smell was hyper-stimulated? Though this isn't the most amazing book I've read, it travels some strange paths along it's post-apocalyptic way, and the story kept me engaged to follow it through. It finishes with a warm and fuzzy feel-good ending. Can't we all just... get along?
Jan 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, sf
Not a bad first novel. You can see his influences quite plainly and for the most part they continue in his later novels and stories. I can not fault a writer whose main theme is empathy is humankind's best hope.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
not as much telepathy as you might expect from the title; but an action packed post-apocalyptic adventure.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Odd... But worth reading .
There ought to be a bookshelf tag for "gave-up-on-this-book-and-I-will-never-finish-it" -- I generally enjoy Spider Robinson's books, but this one never engaged me...
Chad Parker
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Very 70's, hehe!
Kevin Carroll
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Spider Robinson! I too suffer from a love of puns.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction
Mark Mynhier
rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2014
Edward ott
rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2013
Chuck Child
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2012
Eleanor Draper
rated it it was amazing
Sep 02, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2012
Simon Horvat
rated it liked it
Jul 24, 2013
rated it did not like it
Jun 23, 2011
Barbara B. Brown
rated it it was amazing
Jun 24, 2017
Mike Ruff
rated it liked it
Sep 24, 2007
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Spider Robinson is an American-born Canadian Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author. He was born in the USA, but chose to live in Canada, and gained citizenship in his adopted country in 2002.

Robinson's writing career began in 1972 with a sale to Analog Science Fiction magazine of a story entitled, The Guy With The Eyes. His writing proved popular, and his first novel saw print in 1
More about Spider Robinson

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