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Compass Reach Paperback – Dec 7 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. (Dec 7 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892065398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892065391
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 15.3 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,056,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Compass Reach is a rousing, inventive, far-future adventure by one of the most distinctive new voices in the field." -- Jack McDevitt

"Mark Tiedemann is a fine writer; this novel proves that he's of the best new SF authors on the scene." -- Allan Steele

"Mark Tiedemann writes with an engaging energy, gritty realism, and a genuine concern for his characters. -- Jeffrey Carver

About the Author

The year Mark Tiedemann was born, the Dow Jones finally broke its previous high from 1929 by closing at 404, "The Day The Earth Stood Still" premiered, and Isaac Asimov published his "Caves of Steel", all of which bode weird for a strange life. After that, events took several turns for the unexpected.

Mark has been publishing science fiction and fantasy stories since 1990, a couple of years after attending Clarion with instructors like Tim Powers and Samuel R. Delany. His short story "Psych," was included in the 12th Annual "Year's Best Fantasy & Horror", and in the last couple of years his has published a few novels--Mirage and Chimera in the Asimov's Robot Mystery series, Compass Reach, volume one of the Secantis Sequence, and stand-alone Realtime. He has several more novels coming out, especially Metal of Night, volume two of the Secantis Sequence, from Meisha Merlin.

All these novels have made him a happy writer, which is a Very Good Thing.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"I picked up COMPASS REACH last year after seeing it on the short-list for the Philip K. Dick Award, and discovered a sophisticated novel about interstellar civilization, aliens, and the humans who are trying to come to terms with a universe they know little about. At face value, that description may sound like standard fare, but this book isn't. And that's because of the characters and the way Tiedemann reveals them. I've always been drawn to the strange, imaginative worlds of possibility that comprise the science fiction genre, but what makes me a fan of Tiedemann's universe, in particular, is the beings who inhabit them. He writes about the human condition with an immediacy that makes you feel the world he's depicting is real. Instead of the neat political and ethical boxes that usually comprise 'space opera', he embraces ambiguity and talks about life as it is and how it might be under fully-realized future conditions.

"He's very visual, too. From the tortured landscape of the opening chapter to the startling evocation of Earth at the end, the world of COMPASS REACH is vivid and rich, equal to the intellectual and emotional explorations of the book--which are all multifaceted and fascinating. He addresses questions I've always wondered about when reading or watching traditional science fiction. Questions like, What would life be like for the people on the bottom of the economic pyramid in an interstellar culture? How would "wealth" be determined in such a system? How would interactions with alien civilizations change the way we see ourselves? What are the ramifications of--?

"Well, you get the idea. This novel is a sleeper. I hear it is on the preliminary ballot for the Nebula Award. I hope it wins!
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Format: Paperback
As a long time reader of science fiction, it's always a pleasure to discover a new author with genuine talent. Mark Tiedemann is such an author, and Compass Reach is a genuinely good book. As hard as it is to imagine, he has created a believable space opera. There are no stereotypical heroes or villains here, no mock heroics, no paint-by-the-numbers galactic empires. Instead, there are heroes who have doubts, make mistakes, get confronted with sitations they can't deal with...and yet, somehow they manage to survive and overcome. There are villains who are villains for believable reasons...Mr. Tiedemann makes you understand why they behave the way they do, and even empathize with them (not an easy trick!) And those inscrutable aliens...just what are they up to? It's all set against the background of a very well-realized galactic civilization, with supporting details that bring it to life in a most convincing fashion. After finishing this book, you have the feeling you have been somewhere and done something. Kudos to Mr. Tiedemann for creating such a memorable novel. I recommend it most highly.
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Format: Paperback
Tiedemann's writing is familiar to readers of science fiction magazines and anthologies, as well as fans of Asimov's Robot Series books (check out Mirage and Chimera), and fans know to expect big ideas, thoughtful science, sympathetic characters, and a few surprises along the way. Compass Reach is no exception, and it's great to see Tiedemann in a world of his own invention, free of the constrictions of the Asimov's Robot world. Fargo is a Freerider, a kind of interstellar drifter who is outside of the administrative and social system of the Pan Humana. Fargo likes it that way--owing nothing to anyone, disinterested, unconnected. Then he meets Lis, a fellow Freerider, and they become drawn increasingly into the politics and culture of the world that they've avoided for so long. The world itself is convincing, and the human and alien characters are well-drawn: particularly Fargo, who grows and changes as he finds himself becoming more connected with those around him. His personal struggles with identity and interdependence are set against the larger story of what happens when humans, aliens, and artificial intelligences must negotiate how they will share the universe. The book moves from big ideas to the examination of what it means to be human, and blends these quintessential science fiction elements with a large helping of exciting story. It's a good read and I look forward to more stories from Tiedemann's Pan Humana.
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Format: Paperback
In Mirage and Chimera, Mark Tiedemann showed that he could tell a gripping story at novel length, and wasn't just a talented short fiction writer. In Compass Reach, set in the mid-23rd century in an FTL universe, he avoids two of the major traps of modern space opera. To wit: this book faces the possibility of powerful AIs that may become sentient, and it has aliens in it that aren't just humans in rubber suits. Besides that, it tries to come to grips with some of the inherent fallacies of our economic systems. There is good storytelling here, and a wide-ranging adventure experienced by a character who is neither a super-hero nor an out-of-work ninja...which is a refreshing change from much of what passes for science fiction these days. My only real complaint about the book is that the copy-editor (one Teddi Stransky, according to the copyright page) needs to learn that "for awhile" is neither grammatical nor defensible. Four stars.
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