Solitaire: a novel Paperback – Jan 18 2011
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Ren Segura, Jackal to her friends, is the Hope of Ko Island, the world's only corporate nation state. Born at the right time, she is part of an elite group that will inherit powerful positions representing their nations in EarthGov. She has been groomed for the moment of her ascension her entire life--it is her birthright and her destiny. But a deadly secret makes her an inconvenient liability to her corporate masters and, in Solitaire, destinies are not always in the cards. Caught between corporate loyalty and self-doubt, Jackal finds herself cast away to an experimental, virtual solitary confinement program that will change her forever.
Author Kelley Eskridge's first novel is an intense and powerful tale of self-discovery set in a convincingly articulated future. She skillfully keeps the reader turning pages as Jackal's fate unravels. Meanwhile, Eskridge deals with issues of crime and punishment, corporate power, and even fame with a deft touch that keeps the reader painfully close to the young Jackal's journey into oblivion and back again. --Jeremy Pugh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This near-future debut novel tries hard, but doesn't quite amalgamate its ambitious themes. Twenty-two years earlier, the first Earth Congress declared all children born in the first second of the new year "Hopes," living privileged symbols of the new one-world order. The Hope of Ko, a vast corporate conglomerate, is Ren Segura, who chose the call name "Jackal" for the animal's terrifying wail, a self-pitying cry that sums up this uneven character-driven novel. Though Jackal is promising at project managing and facilitating, Ko maneuvers her into causing the deaths of her "web," her closest friends. Forced by Ko to make a deal to save her parents from disgrace, Jackal accepts virtual confinement, an experimental extension of Garbo, the VR project Jackal had previously been tapped to oversee. Experiencing years of solitary in only a few "real" months, Jackal emerges exiled to a nameless city, beset by flashbacks to her punishment and by interviews with an Orwellian interrogator/parole officer. This novel self-consciously seethes with anger and frustration at society's inability to ensure justice to the accused, rehabilitate the convicted, reassimilate the outcast and heal the hurt. Eskridge's solution to all these eternal social ails is conventional in message, though selective in execution: the redemptive power of individual in this case lesbian love. Overextended in feverish description, overwrought in its self-absorbed tone, this case study of the postadolescent psyche seems most, like its heroine, to really "vant to be alone." (Sept. 18) Forecast: An established writer of short fiction, Eskridge has garnered blurbs from the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin, Tim Powers and Vonda M. McIntyre. Whatever its faults, this first novel is likely to generate plenty of buzz as well as sales, supported by author appearances in the Northwest.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It's not a extreme sci-fi book, and I realized at the end that one of the major currents in the book is the love relationship between two of the characters, and I think that is the real story Eskridge was trying to tell, simply using the sci-fi aspects to support it.
I look forward to seeing what Eskridge produces in the future.
A difficult read, this book is fresh and new and a bit familar at the same time. The use of the VR technology for virtual confinment of long-term prisoners was inventive. The technology described a la Total Recall, is a way to make people experience time in a good or bad environment without going anywhere. It takes three-fourths of the book to get through the crime and punishment experienced by Jackal. The real story is in the aftermath, the coming to terms with life after 6 years being totally alone with absolutely no human contact, no human sounds, no pictures, nothing. I was challenged and haunted by this story. This is not a read for the beach in August. It was intense and absorbing and complete. This one is a keeper to return to again and again.
Solitaire is the first novel written by Kelley Eskridge...and it's a great psychological themed science fiction.
She shows us detailed corporate structure and the two-dimensional world of "Miss World"-like thinking.
The main character is a "Hope", a young woman bred to be the ultimate representative for a corporation named Ko Industries.
She has everything, good looks, a sharp mind a nice group of friends. Anything she needs is catered for by Ko.
She undergoes tough managment, advertising and financial courses and even etiquette classes. If she has the need they provide scheduled relaxation classes for her.
Then one day, the whole world takes a deep plunge around her...everything she had is lost, and soon even her mind is on the verge of total breakdown...
Confined to virtual-solitary imprisonment for years...she soon finds a new focus in life...keeping herself sane.
But will she regain everything she's lost? Read it and enjoy this awesome first novel of a very promising author.
I can only hope she writes lots of books in the future.
Most recent customer reviews
A beautifully written story that explores the deepest and darkest parts of the mind and soul. Captivating and heart wrenching - not your typical science fiction. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2003
It's a wonderful book. Fast-paced, interesting characters, lots to think about. It's great to read a science-fiction novel with strong lesbian characters. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2003 by V. Sutherland
Eskridge makes a solid debut with this dark, intriguing, fast-paced near-future thriller. 'Solitaire' smashes boundairies of SF unlike any novel I've read... Gary S. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2002 by Gary S. Potter
There's a formula for writing thrillers which includes a clearcut baddy and a close to noble hero or heroine. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2002 by Mark W. Tiedemann
I picked this book from an Amazon.com recomenation. It took me a few days to settle down and read the book but once I did I read 95% of the book in one sitting. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2002 by Jim