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Queen of Angels Hardcover – Jan 1 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Time Warner Publishing (Hc) (Jan. 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446514004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446514002
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.8 x 4.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 798 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,935,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
I stopped reading it after a hundred pages or so. The story wasn't going anywhere and I felt Bear was trying too hard. The stylistic changes between each characters made the text heavy and contrived. He has done much better than this.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book some years ago, and I have come to the conclusion that it is the best book I have ever read. Other reviewers have already explained, and sweetly reminded me, of just what makes this book special. The parallel realisation of a soulless Goldsmith and a soul "ful" AXIS is a central theme to this book I feel. Having said that, I noticed a few bad reviews. I am sure if I had given up after a hundred pages, I might have given it one or two stars out of desparation, but its just the kind of book you have to read to the end, and only then does the true value of this work become clear.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The reader who is about to pick up "Queen of Angels" should understand one thing about Greg Bear: he writes hard sci-fi (sci-fi which is typically laden with "tech talk"), and he writes the hardest sci-fi probably in existence today. The effect of this can be bewildering to the neophyte, especially considering the variety of his narrators. One of them, while close, is not even human, and that can easily drive away the most committed of readers.
However, dear reader, may I suggest that you persist to the end? Bear writes the most satisfying conclusions in sc-fi today, and the ending of "Queen" is among these. The ending, though, is not the best part. Neither is Bear's vision of mid-21st Century Southern California, which can be vexing. What is most fascinating about this novel is the evolution of its characters, and the effects of their modern world upon them. Not even the advanced therapy taken on by Mary Choy, Bear's wunderkind gumshoe, can protect her from the slings and arrows embedded in the human psyche. In fact, the most human character in the novel is Richard Fettle, the vaguely Luddite disciple of Emmanuel Goldsmith, the one whose life is only indirectly touched by technology, and who consequently seems to be able to access his primal self best of all, and who therefore can best understand Goldsmith's motivations most readily.
What may intrigue the reader of this novel the most is the "character" AXIS, an artifical intelligence which directs a craft in the exploration of an Earth-like planet around Alpha Centauri, and which may have been constructed too well for its own good. One imagines while reading this what may become of a child who is sent on a similar mission, and the conclusion of insanity makes perfect sense.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the best SF books that I have read in a very long time. Bear deals with issues of race, sexuality, gender, body image, justice, and human self awareness in some very complex ways. The historical allusion in the text definitely adds much to the understanding of the characters and the novel as a whole (he references Margaret Sanger, Greek mythology, W.E.B. DuBois, and many others). This is a read not to be missed! I loved this one so much that it has to become a part of my permanent collection.
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By A Customer on May 16 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Since many of the reviews are well written, I thought I'd just add a few more thoughts. Bear's novel is, as the back cover brags, incredibly ambitious. The different plot lines are brimming with fascinating ideas that make you reflect deeply on the process of writing, the human condition, our own society, and where it's headed. This is perhaps the best that can be said of any science fiction work.
I found Bear's division of the future world seductive. We do indeed seem to place overreliance upon therapy in today's culture, and our justice system, with it's property based-punishment, may one day meet out purely psychological torture. (Some might say it does already.)
Bear's is a grim dystopian vision, and I must say that I appreciate the innovation but that I think it is all too easy to say that "thing's are getting worse." The only reason why I didn't find Bear's rehashing of this theme boring is that his vision contains intricacy.
As a black reader, I found the character of Emmanuel Goldsmith (the murderer) to be somewhat convincing and effectively able to portray the themes confronting black society today: the nasty process of assimilation with its accompanying globalized atomization. (No one admits that when you learn to speak and act like the majority you'll also want to wear headphones on the subway.) The journey into Emmanuel's Country of the Mind was one of the most fascinating stories I've ever read.
That said, Bear made the post-modernist mistake of referring to the process of writing while doing a hackneyed job of it himself. The characters of Richard Fettle and Nadine don't really seem to take off, and it is only Martin Burke that comes across as believable.
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By William Black on April 2 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I could not get into this book. The characters did not draw me in and hold me. The language was sometimes confusing and you get these + signs that I never quite got. I read about 100 pages of this and put it down. It may finish stronger but to me it was not worth the time to get there.
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