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The Boat of A Million Years Mass Market Paperback – Jun 15 1993

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; First Edition edition (June 15 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812531353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812531350
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,180,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Less a novel than a series of short stories and novelettes tied together by their subjects, this volume tells of 11 "immortals": individuals who will not die of old age but who can, however, be killed. Anderson ( The Avatar ) brings proven storytelling abilities and research skills to chronicles that range from 310 B.C. to a centuries-distant future. Many of the stories describe an immortal's first awareness of his or her difference, and flight from accusations of witchcraft; other tales relate chance encounters between immortals; a few simply tell a good yarn. The penultimate chapter tells of the eight survivors coming together in present times; the last portrays a future where science has extended everyone's life, creating a world vastly different from what the immortals had expected. BOMC and QPB selection.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hanno the navigator, Tu Shan the mystic, and Aliyat the courtesan share a common bond--immortality. Their search for others like themselves covers thousands of years of human history, from the earliest explorations of the world to the ultimate journey into the stars. Against an everchanging backdrop that includes medieval Japan, the court of Richelieu, and 19th-century America, Anderson draws together a group of very special heroes. Ambitious in scope, meticulous in detail, polished in style, the author's first novel in ten years is highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/89.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a tale of immortals. The direct ancestor of this book is Robert A. Heinlein's "Methuselah's Children." This is hardly surprising, given the libertarian affinity of Anderson and Heinlein. However, Anderson's work is much more detailed and ambitious. He starts in the Bronze Age and ancient Tyre and travels through our own age into the distant future. As usual, Anderson laces his writing with older words and descriptions not found anywhere except ancient epics. (It just wouldn't be Anderson without a "yonder" in there!) In his treatment of the immortals, Anderson describes the practical problems of memory, learning new languages, avoiding "witch burning," and finally, even our own scientific acquisitiveness. Unlike Heinlein's immortals (like the loquacious Lazarus Long), Anderson's people remain people; a bit wiser than the average, but not immune from their own prejudices, pasts, and proclivities. Indeed, by the end of the book, the immortals become the only "real" people left.
I love this book, and highly recommend it to lovers of science fiction and history.
I found it interesting that Anderson made all of his protagonists into libertarians. He gives a lot of examples of how governments turn against their citizenry as they acquire more power. Anderson describes how immortals would chafe at erosions of personal freedom. He also shows how America's civilization, too, can fall. He particularly takes shots at the IRS.
Much of the book consists of the immortals searching for others like themselves. Our immortals come from all over the world: Phoenician, Syrian, Russian, Gaul, Native American, Chinese, Japanese, and African-American slave.
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Format: Hardcover
Poul Anderson's book follows a handful of characters through millennia of their unnaturally long lives. We first encounter them in ancient times and hide with them in the dark corners of history from the jealousy and superstitious fear of others. The author's braided story structure resembles a Tom Clancy novel as the characters paths first twist near each other and finally come together. Once united in the "present," this small band of immortals shapes the future by helping medical researchers share their immortality with humankind. The original immortals then crew a spaceship in search of nonhuman civilizations.

The first half of this book, from the past through present time, is excellent. Readers feel the special concerns of long-lived individuals among normal humans. We feel the pain of losing loved ones to death, and the different pain of love grown cold. The lessons we learn ring true--lessons about keeping secrets, hiding up treasure, and always preparing to run from that heavy knock on the door. The suspicion and distrust of others makes the few good relationships precious, and is believable motivation for our heroes to find and join with other immortals.

I wish the book had ended shortly after the immortals found each other. The transition to the "normal" science fiction of space exploration is jarring. In my opinion, it was not particularly interesting space exploration, either. I continued on out of loyalty to the characters, having spent so many centuries with them. Perhaps it was part of the author's strategy to make readers feel trapped with the characters the same way some of them did with each other. I think a good editor should have removed the future scenes, leaving us with excellent historical fiction.
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By A Customer on Dec 20 2003
Format: Hardcover
I actually wanted to rename this book the "Goat of a Million Years" because this is a goat of a book. I agree with the other reviewers that have taken this book to task for its boredom. Its not as boring as say the Foundation trilogy or such deadly dull books as Downbelow station or Glory Season, because it does have some interesting parts. And once you start you want to stick with it. But for me I just didn't reap any rewards and must confess to skimming through huge chunks of it. The posthuman section sounded more like an academic lecture than a story. Finally this is no more a novel than the Foundation trilogy was. It is a collection of short stories some written and published previously I believe with I think some new material. Therefore it lacks the narrative flow a novel should have. I would pass and read Dune instead if you're new to sci-fi or such books as the Forever War or Gateway. To me those are real good science fiction adventures. The popularity of some books that are really rather dull and mediocre books is baffling and the lack of taste may explain the decline of sci-fi literature.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you look at the cover of the book, you would presume that this is a classic science fiction book. There is a futuristic spacecraft gliding amoung the stars.
The book is quite different. I thought of the classic movie "Intolerence" when I read this. It is a lot of disjointed stories that progress through time (the last 2400 years and slightly into the future) about Immortals.
This book is like Anderson's very great (5 + stars) book:
Hrofl Kraki's Saga which he translated and adapted from Scandivian lore. A lot of the characters are Norweigen. Also, a lot takes place in the Holy Land as some characters have to convert religions with the rise of Christianity and of Islam.
I liked the book - it was a good read and one can learn a lot of history in the process. I do not give it 5 stars as it is a little to disjointed and is never quite pooled together. It is
not really science fiction and it is really not fantasy; it is more like a James Mitcher epic (but far shorter). I would recomend Anderson's "Hrolf Kraki's Saga" over this one, if you like Anderson's great writing and want a historical book (not sci fi).
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