Luke Burrage's Reviews > Eifelheim

Eifelheim by Michael F. Flynn
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it was ok
bookshelves: reviewed-on-the-sfbrp, recommended-by-sfbrp-listeners

Full review on my podcast SFBRP #121. Eventually.
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Reading Progress

August 20, 2009 – Shelved
August 20, 2009 –
page 46
9.35%
August 24, 2009 –
page 104
21.14%
September 28, 2009 –
page 151
30.69%
January 5, 2010 –
page 162
32.93% "Trying to get back into this, but I fell asleep almost immediately. This is a good thing though, as I was trying to sort out jetlag."
November 23, 2010 –
page 200
40.65% "After a 10 month break, I'm picking this book up again, in an attempt to finish some of the "started but not finished" pile next to my bed."
December 2, 2010 –
page 250
50.81% "this is a great book to fall asleep at night."
December 7, 2010 –
page 350
71.14% "I'm really getting back into this book again. William of Ockham turned up!"
December 9, 2010 –
page 410
83.33% "Shit! I thought I'd be able to finish this book before I leave on a 6 week trip. But life got in the way! I'll finish the last hundred pages and do the review in January."
February 4, 2011 –
page 411
83.54% "Hey people, I seem to have lost my copy of Eifelheim. I'm going to go on another search tomorrow."
February 9, 2011 –
page 410
83.33% "Found the book! It was in a box in the store room."
Started Reading
February 10, 2011 – Finished Reading
July 7, 2011 – Shelved as: reviewed-on-the-sfbrp
July 7, 2011 – Shelved as: recommended-by-sfbrp-listeners

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome oboy


Luke Burrage I actually enjoyed it more that the two stars implies! But there are some major factors that bring it way down.


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Two? I'm shocked. I really, really liked Eifelheim - it's one of the books I inflict on people whebn I want to demonstrate just how much SF is capable of.


Luke Burrage Just the historic part with the aliens = 4 stars.
Just the "Now" part = 2.5 stars.
Put them together = 1 star.
Me being generous = 2 stars.


message 5: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara Strangely, that is exactly my review of The Doomsday Book.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Luke wrote: "Just the historic part with the aliens = 4 stars.
Just the "Now" part = 2.5 stars.
Put them together = 1 star.
Me being generous = 2 stars."


Granted the historical part is a lot stronger than the now part, but I do think you're being incredibly harsh.


message 7: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome You guys might like Haldeman's Old Twentieth. I'm only 77 pages in, but it has some really heavy scenes in the past without any balancing silliness in the future.


message 8: by Brian (new)

Brian Got mucho enjoyment from your comments about short fiction, Luke. It's one of those things you run into all the time - the overwhelming predilection for the "single concept" tale, usually sprung from one neat idea for a character, situational setting, or (God help us) a cute little turn of phrase. I've never put the right words around what it was that bothered me about short fiction though, so it's good to hear someone fluently voice the same concern. So here's a question or two I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on: with the convention being that a writer earns stripes in short fiction before progressing to longer work, is this training people to write gimmicks and one-offs, a habit they may carry into their 10-part fantasy masterworks? Did you focus on shorter stuff before writing novel length material? If not, would you go back to young Luke of yesteryear and bully him into writing some before tackling a novel?


message 9: by Luke (last edited Feb 22, 2011 06:52AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Luke Burrage Brian wrote: "Got mucho enjoyment from your comments about short fiction, Luke. It's one of those things you run into all the time - the overwhelming predilection for the "single concept" tale, usually sprung f..."

Hi Brian,

Not all short stories are like that, but from my reading, a very large proportion of science fiction short stories are.

Thankfully gimmicks and one-offs aren't so common in novel length fiction. It does happen sometimes, but rarely. That it happened in Eifelheim is unfortunate, because the twee-ness trivialized not just the "now" part but tonally it clashed with what was happening in the historical part of the novel... namely, everyone dying of the Black Death (spoiler! ... or not really).

I have written a few short stories, but not science fiction, that I remember. The form just doesn't interest me. When I come up with a story idea it never seems suitable for short story format. This might be because I'm much more a fan of novels.

So no. I think there are many great novelists out there who have never succeeded in writing good short fiction. And there are probably many short fiction writers who never write a good novel. They have some things in common, but not as much as most writing workshops and tutorials seem to show. Which is a pity, because I'd love to go to a writing workshop, but they all seem to focus almost exclusively on short stories.


message 10: by Eric (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eric Still reading it. Just took a break... twice. Thanks for reviewing Luke. I appreciated your comments. Especialy how much of the story is given away. The modern characters are annoying. But those chapters go quickly. I switched to the audiobook and that is decent. I was hping it would be different from Doomsday BOok as I could no finish it either. DId like an earlier book of his In the Country of the Blind.


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