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2 Burnside Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

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Undertow Cover

ISBN13: 9780553589054
ISBN10: 0553589059
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A frontier world on the back end of nowhere is the sort of place people go to get lost. And some of those people have secrets worth hiding, secrets that can change the future — assuming there is one....

André Deschênes is a hired assassin, but he wants to be so much more. If only he can find a teacher who will forgive his murderous past — and train him to manipulate odds and control probability. It's called the art of conjuring, and it's André's only route to freedom. For the world he lives on is run by the ruthless Charter Trade Company, and his floating city, Novo Haven, is little more than a company town where humans and aliens alike either work for one tyrannical family — or are destroyed by it. But beneath Novo Haven's murky waters, within its tangled bayous, reedy banks, and back alleys, revolution is stirring. And one more death may be all it takes to shift the balance....


"Bears perfectly paced story features fascinating characters, complex plotting, and brilliantly imagined aliens. Thought-provoking as well as entertaining." Booklist

About the Author

Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. This, coupled with her childhood tendency to read the dictionary for fun, has led inevitably to penury, intransigence, and the writing of speculative fiction. Her hobbies include incompetent archery, practicing guitar, and reading biographies of Elizabethan playmenders. She is the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for best New Writer and the author of over a dozen published or forthcoming novels, including the Locus Award-winning Jenny Casey trilogy and the Phillip K. Dick Award-nominated Carnival. A native New Englander, she spent seven years near Las Vegas, but now lives in Connecticut with a presumptuous cat.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

nrlymrtl, May 24, 2013 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
While this book took a little while to get into, I definitely appreciated the build up once the plot began to unfold. Cyberpunk meets alien suppression and exploitation meets assassin meets turning on a chance. Indeed, this tale brought together several tropes and spat out something unique and highly memorable. Told mostly from Andre’s point of view, and an interesting view it is, we see his impersonal approach to his job, assassinating folks. He also has a somewhat impersonal approach to his love life with Cricket. But then things change, and get weird, and very cool. The Charter Trade Company wants folks dead, a valuable mineral mined and off planet before anyone notices, and doesn’t care who gets injured along the way. That includes a good friend of Cricket’s and the Jean’s lover.

The Rannids are introduced bit by bit giving the reader time to get to know them. They think differently, and hence, their actions don’t always make sense to their human overlords. They have no visible sign of advanced civilization, which has left Charter Trade Company legally able to exploit them and remove the planet’s resources. But they are far more complex, able to communicate world wide through vibrations in the water, treasuring stories. Humans have many stories in many forms, and so many Rannids learn to read human lips (lacking the natural auditory equipment to hear human speech) in order to enjoy these stories.

Jean, in introducing Andre to these planet natives, may not only save Andre’s retched existence but also the planet. Jean is a Conjurer, a man who can and does affect chance outcomes. Andre has this latent ability in himself but lacks the training, and the mindset. I found Andre’s storyline the most fascinating because he starts off the least human (psychologically) and grows so much as a character by the end of the book. Listening to the culture of the Rannids unfold bit and bit as Andre would learn of them piece by piece kept me coming back for just one more chapter before bed.
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Product Details

Bear, Elizabeth
Spectra Books
Science Fiction - General
Imaginary places
Science fiction
Fantasy fiction
Science / General
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Bantam Science Fiction
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
6.98x5.78x.99 in. .40 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Undertow Used Mass Market
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$4.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Random House - English 9780553589054 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Bears perfectly paced story features fascinating characters, complex plotting, and brilliantly imagined aliens. Thought-provoking as well as entertaining."
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