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Michael P. Kube-McDowell

Teoksen Before the Storm tekijä

25+ teosta 6,712 jäsentä 52 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä


Tekijän teokset

Before the Storm (1996) 1,450 kappaletta
Shield of Lies (1996) 1,389 kappaletta
Tyrant's Test (1996) 1,350 kappaletta
The Trigger (1999) 502 kappaletta
Isaac Asimov's Robot City: Odyssey (1987) — Tekijä — 440 kappaletta
Alternities (1988) 272 kappaletta
Emprise (1985) 258 kappaletta
Enigma (1986) 217 kappaletta
Empery (1987) 215 kappaletta
The Quiet Pools (1990) 201 kappaletta
Exile (1992) 136 kappaletta
Isaac Asimov's Robot City 1 (1996) 98 kappaletta
Vectors (2002) 88 kappaletta
Star Wars: The Black Fleet Crisis (1990) 83 kappaletta
Slippage 2 kappaletta

Associated Works

Alternate Presidents (1992) — Avustaja — 241 kappaletta
The 1982 Annual World's Best SF (1982) — Avustaja — 212 kappaletta
Alternate Kennedys (1992) — Avustaja — 140 kappaletta
Alternate Warriors (1993) — Avustaja — 129 kappaletta
Perpetual Light (1982) — Avustaja — 99 kappaletta
The Year's Best Horror Stories: Series XI (1983) — Avustaja — 46 kappaletta
After the Flames (1985) — Avustaja — 40 kappaletta
Isaac Asimov's Aliens & Outworlders (1983) — Avustaja — 19 kappaletta
Analog 5 (1982) — Avustaja, eräät painokset5 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




I read the three books of The Trigon Disunity back in the 1980s, when they were first published. I enjoyed them immensely. This, I thought at the time, does what science fiction does best: tells an exciting story that resets our vision of both past and future.

Now, nearly four decades later, I am rereading the books. On page 126 I was thinking: this is indeed great fun. I’m not talking Book of the New Sun brilliance, here, but surely as good as anything in Heinlein or Asimov.

As far as I can tell, these books have fallen off the radar of today’s sf readers and mavens. And I am more than aware of many negative reviews. My positive appraisal is a minority position, so caution. Despite bucking the trends, I insist that this is a neatly constructed tale, this Emprise, and is on the whole perfectly satisfying.

If one is looking for comparisons, I suggest the Niven/Pournelle team and the work of Jack McDevitt. This is not Literature, nor any attempt at it, but popular thriller novelizing. This is essentially a political drama. It has nothing to do with my politics, by the way. It is about government action. I do not believe the author mentions taxation once. His interests lie in space travel. And he (rightly) sees politics as the only way to achieve such a thing quickly.

1. Premise: we are introduced to a post-Apocalyptic world. Civilization has fallen (in the 1980s) sans war or plague — indeed, peace was the problem (it is a clever collapse, but I will not spoil it). America has gone back to virtually 19th century economic conditions, but without fossil fuels. Anti-science furor dominates culture. And in a backwater area of Idaho, a man secretly scours the heavens with his makeshift radio telescope. And he encounters a message. An obviously artificial message. It comes from Mu Cassiopeia, and the scientist decides he must inform a colleague. Some colleague; some scientist somewhere. But he cannot raise any of his friends from before the collapse. He succeeds only in informing one man in England, a former member of the House of Lords, an astronomer. And then he is captured, tried and executed for the treason that is science. So much for America.
2. The main story: the confirmation of the discovery, the subsequent deciphering of the message, and then the political response by King William: revive civilization in time to send a spacecraft as emissaries to greet the aliens midway.
3. This is an extremely satisfying First Contact story. Note that the very premise is “post-apocalyptic,” and the Message is a First Contact as bland as we could hope. It remains until the very end of the book to discover what is actually going on, when the First Contact is as close an encounter as Hynek could hope for.

And the reader is in for a big surprise.

Thus Emprise offers us a novum and a concluding paradigm shift. Everything gains new meaning at the end. It satisfies critic Stephen E. Andrews’s demands for good science fiction.

Yet the book is not anything like high literature. The descriptions are cut down to the bare minimum, as is characterization. It is all about the premise, the nova and the plot.

Just like much Golden Age science fiction. I think it works on this level, and that this is enough.

In the past I have not recommended the book as often as I might because elements of the premise are eyerollworthy. For example, the author believes in Peak Oil Theory, which is unscientific and makes no sense, especially now that we know (well, this is controversial) that “fossil fuels” are not the crushed remains past life: petroleum is made in the mantle and gushes up naturally to the surface. And much of the environmentalist assumptions are on this order; the ecology is the least sound science here. One could pick at such nits endlessly. But one could also find small pro-science gems all over the place, such as his brief description of the FTL drive developed in the course of the story.

It is a lot of fun. Sure, it would have been better a hundred pages longer, with more description and a tad more character development, and bit better description of the technical action at the encounter outside the solar system, but hey: the definition of a novel has always been a long work of fiction with a flaw in it.

There are flaws, but also gems, within. Many. One of those gems is the discovery of a dark [‘Jupiter’] star, a twin for our Sol. It does not feature as key to the plot.

Also, I really enjoyed many, many other touches. The term for the aliens, used in the novel, is “MuMan,” for being from Mu Cassiopeia. Nifty.

Next up: Enigma.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
wirkman | Feb 8, 2024 |
Another great series in the offing for Doug Dandridge.

Having just finished re-reading one of his other series: Exodus Empires at War, my expectations for Contact were very high indeed.

Dandridge delivered. Period. He is a superlative world-builder, with the kind of in-depth milleu building that wouldn't be out of place in any well-known fantasy novel. The story shows a fresh take on the basic technologies along with some really creative ideas about limited strategic resources.
On top of that, the story showcases that fact that the guy can tell a damn good story at the end of the day. He does a good job of fleshing out the characters and the backstory to give it that pull to drag the reader into the story. Foregoing any spoilery-type information, this is a great first contact scenario in a completely different setting than his other big series: fans of that will not be disappointed, and fans in general of mil sci-fi and space opera with character will not regret time spent in this book.
Looking forward to the next installment.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Slagenthor | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 10, 2024 |
The idea is grand: a huge generational starship is prepared to leave Earth orbit carrying thousands of human volunteers to a potential new home circling the star Tau Ceti. But the focus is entirely earthbound as the ship's imminent departure causes political, psychological, and ideological fractures on a homeworld already teeming with billions of unhappy people. The technology is merely brushed upon so it's not standard science fiction. There are luddite terrorists at work yet it is not exactly a thriller. The leader of the anti-starship (anti-progress?) mob is an enigma yet it's not a mystery. There is sex and relationship issues yet it is not a romance. Even the characters, as meticulously drawn as they are, eventually emerge as so many archetypes: the dreamer, the angry young man, the dutiful cop, the charismatic prophet... So why did I find it so engrossing? Kube-McDowell has written something of a multi-player epic which sweeps you along with a narrative that always engages and rarely lags...even the protagonist's incessant whining (of the "my father never loved me, waaah!" variety) ends up being the springboard for some valuable insights. And for that final piece of the puzzle the author uses a bit of genetic sleight-of-hand which suddenly gives the entire story a very different perspective. Reads like a TV mini-series and I mean that as a compliment.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
NurseBob | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 3, 2024 |
I can see why this trilogy doesn't have the same love as others. The characters are pale shades of those we've come to know.

The wrap-up was super heavy on the Dues Ex to the point I was like, "What? That could have happened at any point, why drag this story out three books?"

Definitely a one and done read for me.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
jwilker | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 6, 2023 |



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