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Child Garden Hb [Hardcover]

Geoff Ryman


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Book Description

Oct. 26 1989
In a semi-tropical London, surrounded by paddy-fields, the people feed off the sun, like plants, the young are raised in Child Gardens and educated by viruses, And the Consensus oversees the country, 'treating' non-conformism. Information, culture, law and politics are biological functions. But Milena is different: she is resistant to viruses and an incredible musician, one of the most extraordinary women of her age. This is her story and that of her friends, like Lucy the immortal tumour and Joseph the Postman whose mind is an information storehouse for others, and Rolfa, genetically engineered as a Polar Bear, whose beautiful singing voice first awakens Milena to the power of music.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Trade (Oct. 26 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0044403933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0044403937
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,852,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Geoff Ryman was born in Canada in 1952 but moved to America when he was eleven. He moved to London in 1973. He began writing science fiction in 1976. His other novels include Was and 253. He currently lives and works in London and Oxfordshire. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Jan. 31 2013
By Matt B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Not sure why this book is only averaging 3 stars right now, so I thought I'd give my input. This book is part of the SciFi Masterworks series for good reason. I loved this book. I think you will too. Powerful ending. The characters themselves changed so much as a result of their experiences and it was all told so well. First class characterizations, interesting futuristic world, and some brilliant concepts put forth rarely in such a convincing manner. Buy it and enjoy!
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd and Beautiful Aug. 31 2011
By RPM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a strange and, at times, difficult book. I found the character of Milena gripping. The structure of the book worried me, but at the end I was satisfied, if heartbroken. It's true, if you're looking for a plot driven sf novel, look elsewhere, this is a character driven novel that follows an emotional plot. If you want a beautifully told meditation on love, childhood, art, and death, as well as a fascinating and original fantasy, then please try this book. You'll, at the very least, be astounded by Ryman's imagination.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Frustrating in equal measure Feb. 2 2011
By Steven W. Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Lots of interesting ideas and references with good pedigree, but there's lots of tedium in this book as well. Love the GEs, but couldn't quite square all the behaviours attributed to them. The idea of Milena's relationship with Thrawn was much more promising than the execution of it ended up being - The attempt to have Milena feel guilt about Thrawn's ultimate demise felt half-hearted and contrived to me. I lost patience with the fractured chronology and focus on detail that almost seemed like a tactic at times. By the end I regretted suspending disbelief for 388 pages. The fascinating stream-of-consciousness string of ideas keeps you hooked, but the clever details end up seeming like slapped-on accessories instead of integrated elements of the organic whole of a story.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well-Written but Virtually Plotless May 5 2011
By Paul Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ryman has written some of the best short fiction of the last decade or so and I've read just about everything he's published (or at least everything I can get my hands on). This book is part of a wonderful SF series of reprints, and I'd say really does belong on your bookshelf if your a serious SF reader. That said, this book is about 200 pages too long. It has virtually no plot and I could only finish it because of the polish of Mr. Ryman's prose. Like a lot of British writers, his stories are filled with characters who take little action to resolve whatever conflict might be falling upon them. Here is a story about a young woman in a culture that's dying in a lush, green future with a subplot involving theatrical productions of one kind or another. It begins well then simply slows down and crawls to the end where we've either lost interest in what's happening or have forgotten why we're reading the book in the first place. When Ryman is limited to the short form, he sizzles (this is Gene Wolfe's gift as well). When he tackles novels, he tends to get flabby. Read this book because it is by Geoff Ryman and because it is part of the S.F. Masterworks series, but know that it's a slow ride to the end. Whether it's worth it or not has to do with why you read. I feel I have to read the important writers writing today (and I want to be a better writer myself from learning what they do well and what they don't do as well). But the average reader, in for a good time on a summer's day, might want something a bit more concise and energized that The Child Garden.

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