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When All Else Fails (SEEDER #1)
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When All Else Fails (SEEDER #1)

4.70  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  15 reviews
“ALWAYS REMEMBER, LIES CAN BE JUST AS POWERFUL AS THE TRUTH.” As the door slid open to the high-security section of the Royal Library, Professor Yor Vanderlord recalled how his great-grandfather Yorlik’s words led him to this moment.

Over a century and a half ago, planetary scientists predicted an environmental crisis threatening to annihilate Koda's humanoid population so
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Howard Libes
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Dan Jones
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is excellent social science fiction describing a world damaged (and precariously maintained) by technology. The story is grounded in issues we face today: climate change, technocracy, and denialism driven by greed. It is also foregrounded in thoughtfully drawn family relationships and friendships, which keeps it human and intimate. I look forward to the second installment after a high octane wind-up and ending that really got the pages turning in the last quarter of the book.
Elnora Roderick
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book and highly recommend it. In this extraordinary first novel, a three generation tale is told with intelligence, rich detail and full-blooded characters. The author is a skilled storyteller who combines the excitement of a compulsively readable novel and some surprising plot twists with a quiet meditation on the roles of government, citizens and how stealthily freedoms and quality of life can be lost. I certainly look forward to the next in series.
Kellie Cantwell
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you appreciate interesting political commentary, fine adventure mixed with a bit of mystery, lovely imagery, credible characters, and a story of family, love, compassion, and the greed and nastiness that can destroy those things....WAEF is the book for you.
This is science fiction that can even be enjoyed by those who don't love science fiction. It is relatable on so many levels.
I had a hard time putting it down.
And once I got blasted into space, all I could think was....hell...when is the ne
William Kennedy
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A meticulously crafted story of a world not so different than our own: the environment has crumbled, government and private industry collude to bilk the general population, science and intellectualism are under fire. Our hero and his family and friends, including a benevolent and eccentric tech guru (sound familiar?) are fighting for the truth against a dystopian government bent on totalitarian control masquerading as a system of domes to protect the population of Koda from the planet's failed e ...more
David Nagle
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a read! Great heroes and villains battle for the future of a planet on the brink of environmental collapse. The book had me deeply absorbed in the extraterrestrial story and reminded me of the escapism & elation I experience with well-imagined science fiction. However, it also regularly brought me back to Earth. It parallels how we treat our own planet and how those with the most control over resources use corruption, disinformation, and subjugation to keep it. “When all else fails” is the ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Howard Libes' sci-fi novel, "When All Else Fails", the first book of The Seeder Series. I found it hard to put it down except for annoying interruptions like sleeping and eating and work. I can't wait to read the second volume which I'm hoping is being written at this very moment. I loved the characters, the story, and it is so visual that I think it would be a great movie. The only bad thing about it is that the planet Koda sounds chillingly like earth and seems to be inhabited ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, When All Else Fails is an enjoyable read with some thought provoking parallels to the environmental problems we currently face in real life.

However, I found the first chapter to be fairly clunky and the use of Yorlick the Great's amazing planning abilities pretty heavy-handed to the point where it got a little tedious.

I was also a little startled by the abrupt ending, but I'm assuming that's being used as an invitation to read the next book.

I am definitely curious to see where the stor
Tina Cole
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t been this into sci-fi since The Lord of the Rings! Howard Libes seamlessly blends time and space in his tale of a nihilistic world, eerily akin to our own. The brave and brilliant Vanderlord family leads the struggle against an increasingly Orwellian system in the first installment of the Seeder series. These pages reveal a bleak outlook on civilization’s “progress”, shot through with characters of such valor and intelligence, you feel better knowing they exist, if only on paper. I onl ...more
Sean Nobel
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Howard Libes spins an electrifying and engrossing tale of a parallel society facing extinction.
Will the proactive and adventurous forces for good find an inhabitable new planet in time, or will the global government, chained to myopic and self-interested mechanisms, be able to suppress their efforts to discover the salvation of the species?
Full of intrigue and suspense, and several explosive reveals, this tale left me wanting more. I can’t wait to find out what happens next for our heroes, and
Jonathan Boldt
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In line with other science fiction classics, this is a tale set in an entirely different world than our own, yet succeeds in rendering an unflinchingly deep perspective on the current human experience. Well-defined characters and an absorbing plot keep this well constructed story building steam at an ideal momentum. If this is a series, I'm ready for the next one! Oh, and I also nominate WAEF a prime candidate for a film adaptation.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read! The journey of the Vanderlord family across three generations is immersive. There are stark lessons here for our own world here in relation to climate, inequality, and authoritarianism. These characters are truth tellers in a society that doesn't want to hear it. Along the way, there are some fun twists and turns that you don't see coming at all. When All Else Fails keeps you guessing and very much looking forward to the continuation of the Seeder Series.
Kim Harper-Kennedy
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reminiscent of classic 1950s SciFi, When All Else Fails tells a story that is both futuristic and surprisingly familiar. Howard Libes' vivid descriptions of a planet in peril and the people trying to save it are engrossing. There is adventure, mystery, and political intrigue that carries the story to a climatic cliff-hanger. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this engrossing dystopian story (close to truth!) and its surprises... I'm looking forward to the next book!
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unique read
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great first novel. Compelling story, characters and an amazing ending! Can’t wait for the next one!!
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Howard Libes is currently tapping into his lifelong obsession with science fiction and writing the SEEDER series. In September 2017, When All Else Fails, volume one in the series, was released. The second volume in the series, Foreseeable Future, is due out July 2020.

He has been a writer for over 30 years and is a graduate of the University of Oregon Creative Writing Program. He edited the 2,300-p

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