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The Last Legends of Earth [Paperback]

A.A. Attanasio
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 37.00
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Book Description

Aug. 18 1989
"A grand and glorious visionary epic."-Robert Silverberg *** Set in the artificial planetary system of Chalco-Doror, which is no more and no less than a vast cosmic machine, The Last Legends of Earth is a love story, a gripping saga of struggle against alien control, and an examination of the machinery of creation and destruction. Above all, it is world-building of the highest and grandest order, on a scale rarely seen in science fiction since the great works of Olaf Stapledon.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The latest novel by Attanasio ( Radix ) partakes of elements of both fairy tale and high-tech science fiction. Billions of years in the future, long after the extinction of humankind and of the planet Earth, humans have been resurrected as pawns in a cosmic power struggle waged in a distant world. Tall and ungainly Chan-ti Beppu, who can expect only a spinster's life in her native land, travels by lynk (a portal joining even remote regions) to the beautiful city of N'ym, where she woos and wins Ned O'Tennis. A fighter pilot, he is one of the Aesirai, a human strain crafted from the genetic code of Earth's Vikings and unmolested by the lethal, spiderlike zotl who prey on all other humans. But when war heats up Ned is called away, and Chan-ti finally must seek her lover in the treacherous Overworld, where no humans are safe. Theirs is an epic love story, intricate, wildly imaginative and touching.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An epic battle between two alien races spans thousands of years during which a re-constituted human race serves as bait and trap in a war they cannot hope to win. This conclusion to the Radix Tetrad ( Radix Morrow, 1981 ; In Other Worlds LJ 10/15/84 ; Arc of the Dream Bantam, 1986) explores the vast reaches of time from human and inhuman perspectives, and provides a perfect vehicle for the author's boundless imagination. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-blowing Prose April 14 2004
As a rule I will not touch Fantasy and this one had several elements of fantasy - the ridiculous, unpronouncable names, the wild beasts, castles, etc But it was packed with science fiction ideas - indeed, it was a mesmerizing, visionary work that seemed written in an exalted, transcendent state.
First of all, the premise was startling. To reassemble living creatures that had been dead for 2 billion years from traces of burned DNA was just so...original. And what made such an impact was how "human" our makers turned out to be and what literal devils the spider foes were. There has never been a more sinister enemy, none more horrifying (the slasher monsters look tame in comparison). For once, the author does not attempt to show understanding or concern or empathy for such evil creatures but treats them like the unimaginable horror they are.
The love affair was wonderful as was the story of the female explorer (the alien) who came to not only understand but empathize and finally side with humanity. The understated character of the story was the captured school teacher who alternated between moments of temporary memory and sorrow and excruciating torture. The novel was a grand experiment that succeeded mightily.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading this is like mainlining endorphines March 4 2003
I've just finished this book, and fireworks are still going off in my head. I've never been more swept up by a work of literature as I was by this. The author delivers a book that covers 7,000 years of history, billions of years after Earth's sun goes nova. This is the story of humanity's second chance, under the most unlikely and mind-blowing cause. It won't let you go, from beginning to end. Totally original and mind-blowing. Filled with philosphy about life, death, and time, this is one of the most uplifting sci-fi action adventures ever written.

-- JJ Timmins
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best sci-fi book of the last decade Jan. 22 1999
It is difficult to describe how good this book is. The concept is mind-blowing, drawn from the fuzzy edges of quantum physics, yet the human characters are real and ordinary, trying to live their lives out caught up in a beautiful but unfair and cruel world in which they were never meant to live. As far as world creation goes, there is nothing like Chalco-Doror, not even in Attanasio's other works, but it is not the invention and the imaginative flair that is the best part of Last Legends, it is the quality of the writing. No-one in sci-fi (or beyond) writes like him. His style is brilliant and baroque, defined by a pure artistic force that overwhelms the reader, and forces you to be inside the book. Reading this book WILL make your life better! It should have won awards by the bucket-load- how this can be ignored while the likes of Orson Scott Card get recognised is beyond me...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Only the best. A genre all its own! Aug. 19 2001
This book is simply one of the best. Nothing I have ever read in all of the 500+ books I have consumed (at least half being sci-fi) has come close to the depth and entertainment of this book. Not only does it entertain, but this is one of those few books that truelly makes you think. The sheer scope of the epic is unbeleiveable. It goes through 2 very different primary species on Earth, a group of beings that literaly eat the pain of lower races, an aloof group of beings from another reality out for revenge, it goes on and on. Throughout it all, the central thread is humanity itself.
When you finish reading this book, you won't put it down and pick up another. For days at least, you will just sit back thinking about the book saying "wow that has heavy, but SO great". It is unparalleled at what it is, one of those small genre of Sci-fi books all by its self. The end of time/universe/etc book. Besides the central plot of the book, and all the many subplots, the story actually strives to tell something in its completness and complexity. The book shows the unstoppable power of the human spirit, and humanity as a race's unwillingness to give up or surrender. Infact, at several points thoughout the book, the Rimstalker actually handycaps humanity against the high tech Zolt, fearing that humans would prove too difficult of prey. That would cause the solarsystem sized trap to be unsucsessful.
In summary, simply a beatiful master peice, long neglected. Honestly, I have no idea why this book is not considered one of the great "must reads" of the science fiction world. If you ever see a copy, BUY IT because this great (and unfortunately rare) book is out of print. Enjoy it while you can. One for the ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply One of the Best June 14 1997
By A Customer
Winout mincing words, this is simply one of the best SF novels I have read (this covers a period of 35 years). The initial premise, the "universe" within which the story takes place, consistently beautiful and alien imagery, and the simple love story that winds throughout make this a great read. You really should make an effort to find and read this book.

To whet your apetite, this is an excerpt from the intro (an "Instruction Manual" for humans who find themselves in the planetary system of Chalco-Doror): "Two billion years ago, it [the Sun] blew up, and the Earth was blown apart with it...The exploding Sun shattered the Earth and cast the hot debris into the cold darkness of the void...A few thousand years ago, an intelligent being from a reality we had never suspected found our dust. For its own alien purposes and by its own strange science, that intelligent being read in our dust the cryptarch of our lives...From our cryptarch, the alien created us again. And not just our bodies. You remember Earth because your consciousness, which is in fact a wavepattern of light emitted by your brain, was retrieved from the vacuum, where it had been expanding at the speed of light since you died...The alien is not a spiritual being...The truth is, this being regenerated you to serve as bait for yet another alien intelligence, its enemy, a species of sapient, winged spiders called zotl. Zotl eat people."
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but...
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a bit of Lord of Light but with believable science. This was, I believe, the fourth book of the Radix tetrad. Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2003 by C.W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the greatest work of epic science fiction ever made..
Tolkien for the sci-fi genre; that about sums this one up. Perfect perfect book that must be read!
Published on Sept. 6 2002 by Chad and Kristen
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
This book is amazing. If you liked Radix, you will love this book. If only Attanasio would write more like these.
Published on Aug. 7 2001 by LilyLOL
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely astonishing!!
A.A.Attanasio is my favourite author, and this is my favourite of his novels. After 3 reads, I am still amazed at the breadth of imagination needed to create it. Read more
Published on July 19 2001 by
5.0 out of 5 stars It sticks with you
I read this about 8 years ago, but this is the kind of novel that makes you think for years. It is a long read, but you still wonder how he covers so much. Read more
Published on May 22 2000 by Alan Pennington
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Attanasio has spoiled me. Even since reading Radix in 1984, I've been hooked. No other author comes close to conjuring the images that Attanasio creates in his work. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!
For sheer imagination, this book is without peer. The story is vast and compelling, spanning centuries and a myriad of ideas. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the Greatest Reads of All Time!
I can take it from the book cover "as complex and spellbinding a bit of science-fiction storytelling as I've ever come across"!..SO TRUE.. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My God, It's Full Of Stars...
What can I say about this book that someone else hasn't already? It's changed and enriched my philosophy of life. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 1999 by Mr. P. A. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the outer boundries of imagination!
Every time I see this book on it's shelf, I am drawn to it. Nowhere have I seen, or heard of, a more fantastic literary work. Read more
Published on July 17 1999 by
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