- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Norilana Books (Oct. 31 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1934648140
- ISBN-13: 978-1934648148
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,037,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
J. Paperback – Sep 28 2007
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Sanders knows how to plot, how to put believable, sympathetic characters on the page, and how to laugh. -- Tom Easton in ANALOG Magazine, January, 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
This book represents a whole new direction for me. Not just for the obvious reason - I've never before done a novel entirely from female viewpoints - but also I believe this one is goes a bit deeper; there's more to it than sex and violence and craziness.
(That TOO, of course...what can I say, these are a few of my favorite things....) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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What an amazing book, and an amazing premise! Not only does William Sanders show a deep understanding of humanity and of femaleness, but he shows that one person holds the complexity of a whole universe, and we all can be fragmented into familiar yet oh-so-alien aspects of our own selves. We all have dark sides, clear sides, innocent and bitter sides, fathomless and murk-filled aspects.
The three "J" are all yearning for the other aspect of themselves, and when they do meet, the world can never again be the same. Or should I say, the three alternate aspects of the world are all suddenly changed; the range of experience is preternaturally widened.
This is a book that makes you think, and think again. And for that alone, I'd give it 6 stars, if I could. And I'd give it a seventh star because William Sanders is a master of subtle precision and biting wit.
Now, go get your own copy and see what it's like to meet yourself in three different ways all at the same time. It'll blow your mind.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
J. is the work of a master storyteller at the top of his form; just like life it's serious in some places and funny in others, but there's never a dull moment. What more can you ask for?
That's the setup for William Sanders' new novel, J. Sanders has published a number of first rate novels in several genres: SF, fantasy, mystery, men's adventure. He's never less than a wicked good adventure writer, and at his best he combines whipcrack action writing with a deadpan ironic sense of humour, fully rounded, "lived-in" characters, and real passion. J. is Sanders at close to the top of his form -- it's fast moving, intense, and fun to read. It's also as close to pure SF as he's ever come at novel length.
The story follows the three women who share the same name in different forms (Jay, Mad Jack, and Ann, all short for Jacqueline Ann Younger) as they cope with the realization that in some strange way they are the same woman, in three divergent timelines. Mad Jack's is the most distant from ours, and Sanders portrays the post-Apocalyptic anarchic New Mexico with brutal realism. We see only a little bit of Ann's world -- similar to ours with slight divergences that have led, for example, to a more advanced space program. And Jay's world, as far as we can tell, is our world. The main action opens with Ann threatened (...) by a brutal worker at the mental institution she's committed herself to -- but suddenly she is rescued by the strange appearance of the heavily armed Mad Jack, who takes the rapid action which is second nature to her harsh way of life. But of course in Ann's world that's murder -- and while Ann and Jack clumsily try to escape, there really isn't any hope for them -- until somehow they find themselves again in Mad Jack's version of Santa Fe. That provides only the briefest respite, however, especially when the mysterious grey clad men show up, apparently ready to kill the women out of hand. But soon they find their way, how they don't know, in yet another world, with Jay -- but by now they know that that won't represent a long term solution, to say nothing of their short term problems dealing with Jay's drinking, and with the unavoidable problem of explaining their sudden appearance in a world with no place for them.
J. careens back and forth, the action never stopping, as the three women struggle to escape their grey pursuers. Fortunately, they find a man who mysteriously has some idea of what might be happening -- and eventually they learn, to some extent, what's been going on -- and they even have a chance at finding a place where all three women can stay together. This novel features three involving and believable main characters, some fine SFnal speculation that is reminiscent of some of Poul Anderson's work, and some of H. Beam Piper's, and an always compelling plot.
This is a seemingly simple story: girl meets girl meets girl, and she is them. There's action and adventure, violence, nudity,... experimentation, chase scenes, post-nuclear dystopia, and quantum mechanics, not to mention a woman so butch she defines her type -- the boots, the eyepatch, the heavy artillery . . . is it just me, or is it getting warm in here? But nothing is as simple as it looks, and the structural and psychological resonances of this book only start with Sanders' provocative choice of a title that invokes some of the most famous linear narrative issues of our time.
Will Sanders' ferocious technical discipline is all but invisible beneath the ease and mastery of his story-telling. This novel moves like a late model German import luxury car on a freeway in Montana -- smooth, persuasive, and when it pulls up in front of your doorstep to let you back out into your life again you'll be surprised that you're there already . . . sorry that the ride's over . . . and ready to do it all over again.
I know you'll enjoy the ride. I did!
Well, that, and it's a handsome looking book that will fit nicely with the other Sanders titles on my shelf.
That being said for the physical book, I will hasten to add that _J_ is a terrific story of alternate realities and the meeting of an Unholy Three: Dr. Ann Lucas, Mad Jack, and Jay Younger, three of the most interesting characters in Sanders' works, three utterly different people. And they're all the same woman. It's well-constructed, well-written, and is an excellent example of the kind of intricate characterization that Sanders is best at.