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Frontera [Paperback]

Lewis Shiner

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Book Description

Sept. 5 1985
Ten years ago the world's governments collapsed, and now the corporations are in control. Houston's Pulsystems has sent an expedition to the lost Martian colony of Frontera to search for survivors. Reese, aging hero of the US space program, knows better. The colonists are not only alive, they have discovered a secret so devastating that the new rulers of Earth will stop at nothing to own it. Reese is equally desperate to use it for his own very personal agenda. But none of them have reckoned with Kane, tortured veteran of the corporate wars, whose hallucinatory voices are urging him to complete an ancient cycle of heroism and alter the destiny of the human race.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (Sept. 5 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722177909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722177907
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,401,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A First Step Into... Sept. 7 2010
By Jym Cherry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's hard to know how to review Frontera, as a debut novel? It is Lewis Shiner's debut novel it was originally published in 1984, but is part of the definitive editions Subterranean Press is publishing of Shiner's work. So, do I take into account Shiner's later work to give the novel context? Or should I review it as any literary debut?

Lewis Shiner is categorized with cyberpunk writers like William Gibson. I really don't see it, Frontera and the other science fiction that Shiner has written seems like hard sci-fi more in the mold of Heinlein. Shiner is of the generation of writers that came to the forefront in the early 80's, that may account for the categorization. Whatever label you want to slap on Shiner's work what you're getting is good solid writing.

The world of Frontera could be tomorrow. All the world's governments have collapsed leaving the corporations to take over. Frontera is a colony on Mars that is assumed lost by those on Earth until Pulsystems, which is the corporation that has taken over the U.S., starts receiving mysterious messages from Mars about a machine with quantum possibilities. A slap-dash reconnaissance mission is thrown together to see if the colony has somehow managed to survive. The mission is led by Reese, an aging astronaut who was the first person on Mars and his only other option in life is drinking himself to death. Kane is a Pulsystems VP and former soldier sent with a mission that is obscure even to himself and pushes him to the edge of insanity. When the mission discovers the Frontera colony alive, if not totally well, they discover there is a secret on Mars that the colonists aren't willing to share.

If you've already read Shiner's later more mature writing you'll see Frontera as a starting point. You can see some of the theme's Shiner will later adopt and adapt more fully in later works, such as contentious relationships between fathers and sons. In Frontera's case, between surrogate father figure and son relationships. Older readers of Shiner's will be able to create the context it belongs in and the evolution of Shiner as a writer. If you're new to Shiner's work, it's the natural starting point and a literary debut that will lead you to the next book and the next.

Another of Shiner's novels Glimpses is also available in a definitive edition. Collected Stories is a good overview of Shiner's work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, well paced and cohesive Feb. 18 2013
By Tyler Roy-Hart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If this book had been written a decade or more later, it'd be considered derivative, but at the time the themes of corporate post-collapse dominance (and their heartless manipulation of individuals) & a gritty, grim, realist approach to extraplanetary settlement were fresh. The plotting, prose and characterization are all solid or better.

I enjoyed it while I was reading it, and am still thinking about parts of it a couple weeks later - perhaps the ultimate compliment. I bought it mostly because it was cheap, but it made me want to read more of this author's work, so if the price was intended as a loss leader it was certainly effective.

Recommended to pretty much all SF fans.
4.0 out of 5 stars Early cyberpunk novel June 14 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The bigger luminaries of the cyberpunk world are quick to include Shiner as one of their own, and this is the book which makes the cut. An entertaining novel in and of itself, it obviously has a lot of cyberpunk staples which have gotten pretty trite. One of the most interesting themes of the book parallels one of the character's journey through a Jungian archetypical legend that hearkens back to high school English class.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Sept. 21 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fine book by Lewis Shiner, who is always compelling. The characters are rich and believable, with a complex but worthwhile backstory. You owe it to yourself to read Shiner if you have not yet done so!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Shiner's Literary Debut Nov. 6 2001
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
This exceptional early cyberpunk novel should be in print. Shiner offers a spellbinding look at the early human exploration of Mars that is replete with dense, lyrical prose. Stylistically, Shiner draws more from Sterling's than Gibson's work in his realistic depiction of space travel. Anyone interested in cyberpunk fiction should regard "Frontera" as part of their essential reading.

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