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The Eleventh Gate

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  23 reviews


Despite economic and territorial tensions, no one wants the city-states of the Eight Worlds to repeat the Terran Collapse by going to war. But when war accidentally happens, everyone seeks ways to exploit it for gain.  The Landry and Peregoy ruling dynasties s
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 5th 2020 by Baen
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  159 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Manuel Antão
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Breath of Fresh Air: "The Eleventh Gate" by Nancy Kress

Kress’s novels and stories fulfill my criteria for SF Worth Reading - some unique feature in SFnal world construction, decent plotting, and a decent amount of character development. When I’m not looking for Aliens and Human Allies in SF, Kress is almost always a safe bet. And why not show Aliens and Human Allies in World's Worst Traffic Jam? Not every near-future story has to be se
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, women-2020
Maybe 4.5

I’ve read a few books over the last years that play with different government systems: Infomocracy and the Just City come to mind. This is different in that two systems are contrasted: libertarianism and a benign dictatorship in the guise of a corporation. Each are doing well enough the first 100 years but the minuses start outweighing the pluses as the oldest statespeople are aging. This story could strike some people as didactic but I think the characters from both planets make it les
I usually like Krees, but this is a poor example. An awkward start with supposedly smart people doing really dumb things; clumsy info-dumps; a plot that mixes some scifi with some mystic quantum mumbo-jumbo (god is a quantum field); cardboard characters representing cliched political system (a strange libertarian dictatorship vs and even weirder socialist corporate dictatorship.) Unfortunately, the woo-woo gives rise to the deus ex machina resolution that mercifully ends the novel.
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
I usually love Nancy Kress books, but not this one. The premise is that humans live in widely separated Earthlike worlds joined by ten stargates that provide instantaneous travel between the regions. Most worlds are controlled by one of the two main governments/empires, one corporate/totalitarian/welfare-state and one Libertarian. Each is headed by an elderly person who is almost ready to pass it on to their heirs, all of whom are granddaughters. But some of the granddaughters are looking unstab ...more
Mal Warwick
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Violations of the laws of physics notwithstanding, there is a truly excellent reason to read this intriguing new exercise in space opera. It’s one of the best explorations I’ve ever come across in the genre about politics and political philosophy. (Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars trilogy offers much the same.) Oh, the book is about biowarfare, too, and some new-agey philosophy about how consciousness underpins all reality. But it’s the politics that shine. And in The Eleventh Gate award-winning ...more
Samuel Lubell
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
This is really good space opera with a mix of politics and action. It also features older characters (old enough to have grandchildren) in the leading roles. My review is at ...more
Joe Karpierz
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Kress has been busy, with two books out in 2020, starting with novella "Sea Change" from Tachyon Publications and then "THE ELEVENTH GATE" from Baen Books and Blackstone Publishing. "THE ELEVENTH GATE" is a different book from "Sea Change", being a space opera full of all the things one expects from a space opera, while "Sea Change" was grounded on Earth. Still, both books bear the unmistakable mark of being books by Nancy Kress, as we'll see shortly.

Humanity has spread to the stars via te
Frank Hofer
Workable Societies?

It’s an entertaining space opera and I don’t regret reading it. I found the 2 main government systems not especially believable. A corporation as a government that didn’t destroy the planet through greed and didn’t treat employees as chattel because there was no one to stop them? Not buying it. A stable libertarian government that hasn’t made the planet unlivable through selfish exploitation within a generation and pours money into research for tech that doesn’t have an immedi
Susan Welch
Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't love this one. The two warring factions were both so short sighted and foolish they were basically caricatures of their respective political positions, and war started and continued in a very sitcom version of politics. Probably this is a critique of the foolishness of war and of certain extreme positions, but it felt clunky and frustrating. There was a lot of talking and political maneuvering and not so much with the action or examination of the interesting metaphysical themes that cou ...more
Dan Trefethen
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This space opera pits a Libertarian world against a corporatist one, with interesting results to both. There's also a plotline that involves the interaction of physics and human consciousness, with universe-shaking results.

As with all Nancy Kress books, the science seems very plausible (if unlikely in the case of the physics/consciousness element), and the interpersonal dilemmas feel realistic, especially the family disputes. The consciousness theme reminded me of one of her earlier books, 'Ste
Henry Lazarus
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Nancy Kress’s future settled eight worlds are linked by ten naturally occurring gates. Three of the eight worlds are controlled by the autocratic Peregoy family; three by the libertarian Landry family. The discovery of The Eleventh Gate (Hard from Baen) sets up a war in which one family is willing to use biologic weapons. Phillip Anderson has been on a quest, and even undergoes surgery, to deepen his meditation, not realizing that his really deep meditations shut down the gates. There’s too many ...more
Kay Prell
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Even though I never actually connected with any of the characters, I did complete the book, and am interested enough that I'll probably read the sequels. Is this part of just expecting a Nancy Kress novel to be absorbing and thought provoking?

I did find the previous gate novels somewhat more engaging and would recommend reading them before trying this one.

I just keep hoping Kress will come up with another Beggars in Spain quality novel or series (even though the second and third books there went
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nancy Kress is a new author to me however I shall be keeping an eye out for other books by her. Good story, well worth reading. Actually, given some of the recent books I have read, this has been a pleasure to read - a decent story, good writing, character development, mix of politics and conflict. The politics is fairly black and white, with some treachery thrown in; basically nothing near as delightful as politics by Jerry Pournelle, but good enough to suit the story.
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The set up seemed too long to me, the choreography of the space battles ignores rules of physics, and like other reviewers I thought the literal deus ex machina solution at the climax was lazy. Still, once things got going, an OK space opera, decently paced, not entirely cast with cardboard characters, suspenseful, and best of all, a standalone.
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Solid world-building and extrapolation, as usual, from Kress. My issue here is tissue-thin characters and motivations. This saga of world-shakers, social injustice, and political intrigue delivers a tense, plot-driven story that feels like the start of a solid adventure series.
Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting story although some of the main characters are a bit strange and manipulative. The plot itself is good but the tone is a bit flat which weakens the uniqueness of the story line. And Phillip is just beyond understanding.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-f-spec
Classic traditional space opera, plot-driven with a few interesting twists. World-building done well enough despite some implausible plot devices, but the characters were hard to like. Too many mentally ill ones for a start. Overall, an enjoyable light-weight summer read.
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is typical Nancy Kress as in nothing in the plot is typical. What starts as an accident war moves on to follow different characters as some try to win and some try to stop the coming action Interesting concepts, a different conclusion and a hard to put down story.
M.E. Garber
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
More wonderful Kress mingling of worlds-altering events with personal ethics and interpersonal relations. The Black-and-White of world-spanning politics shown to be shades of gray all along, something Kress does masterfully and with great drama and storytelling flair.
Lee Schlesinger
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
A rare poor outing by Nancy Kress, with cultures that are just caricatures and cardboard characters that move around just to suit the plot.
Osman Welela
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it
The writing style is hard to get into. But managed to like the story in the end.
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This engrossing first-contact novel features world building, hard science and intriguing characters.
Rich Van Ollefen
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it
the author sets up a story of two completely opposite political systems running different groups of planets, and never really bothers to explore the results. The story is readable, but quickly devolves into two families at war, both with their own psychopathic members, and apparently the main conclusion is that extremism and crazy are both bad. I think the author missed an opportunity here.
Jason McKee
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2020
rated it it was ok
May 12, 2020
Virginia M Kalt
rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2020
Suzanne Benner
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2021
Tom Cook
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Aug 28, 2020
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Sep 14, 2020
C.V. Vick
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May 31, 2020
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Nancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spain which was later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest. She is a regular at Clar ...more

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