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Light Mass Market Paperback – 2007

3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Spectra (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553587331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553587333
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #878,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It seems like every location 2/3 of the protagonists went SOMEBODY had a cheap holo of the Kefahuchi Tract on the wall, so why not?
The serial killer plot was a little redundant and unnecessary, though did present one of the few sympathetic characters in the book (the ex-wife), but as for the other two their amorality wasn't a big problem for me - antiheroes are usually much more interesting characters than heroes. The story itself wasn't all that compelling, though it did wrap up reasonably well if a little too sappy considering the nihilistic tone of the rest of the book.
Harrison is a good visual writer, and some parts of the book were quite funny (I especially liked the idea of the New Men who worshipped 20th century junk culture), but one flaw of the book was a feeling of being too rooted in the present, i.e. throwing a lot of quirkiness window-dressing that just felt a little contrived, such as a roving gang dressed as Japanese high school girls, hardly the kind of thing to be expected on a world centuries in the future and thousands of light-years away.
Now, if this book was intended as a kind of darker version of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, it'd be a more enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of M. John Harrison, from the Centauri Device through to the Viriconium books which I think are some of the finest fantasy works ever written. I really wanted to like this book and the reviews of other authors I also admire led me to expect great things. What Harrison does best is to write clever, inventive prose with a poetic edge to it and this book is no exception. In returning to science fiction Harrison has a field day with all the latest tropes of 11 dimensional super string theory, disposable clones and the fashionable side of chaos theory. I detected influences of Philip K. Dick, Delany and Brin (Kil'n People) but artfully mixed and written with a deft touch that is Harrison's own. This is all to the good, but somehow the novel as a whole left me disappointed. The main characters were deeply unsympathetic and below the surface of the style I just didn't care what happened to them. The resolution was vague and unsatisfying and in the end I felt that the whole was less than the sum of the parts. Harrison is always worth reading but he's done much better than this...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Harrison is a brilliant, whimsical and wholly original writer. Three parallel plot lines frame the storyline here. The first is set in the present and features an alarmingly schitzoid & deeply disturbed scientist on verge of discovering a tangible way to connect with the quantum field - and as he does the lab work, he is haunted by energetic presences and the sight of people & objects dissolving into patterns of light & sparkle ... matter revealing its essential emptiness behind veil of appearances; he is directly witnessing mutability of all things as he begins to transcend 3-D reality and enter (in the book's telling) the 14-dimensional time-space continuum - four dimensions of time, ten of space.

Every second chapter is set in the future, where this scientist is revered as an Einsteinian genius who made quantum travel possible, i.e. space ships zipping at many times warp speed to distant galactic regions, in particular a cluster of gas clouds, stars and black holes known as the Kefahuchi Tract (akin to the Milky Way's galactic centre). There, humans and miscellaneous alien races repeatedly send suicide missions into the wormholes of the tract ... through which may be answers to new sets of riddles about the universe and its creators. And every third chapter focuses on a pilot, Chinese Ed, who has the skill to work the 14 dimensions and perhaps break on through to the other side.

Similiar big-picture themes to Contact in many ways, only written with cyberpunk attitude and bone-dry black humour. I subsequently tried Harrison's companion novel, Nova Swing, but found its film-noir style & single-pointed focus disappointing.
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By A Customer on Jan. 14 2004
Format: Hardcover
I bought Light on the strength of reviews and quotes, which I later discover to have been written largely by the author's mates - an apparently prevalent and ethically questionable practice in modern sci-fi/horror circles - and feel deeply disappointed and cheated.
Light suffers from problems typical of recent sci-fi: a reliance on cod science, with masses of simplistic jargon apparently designed to baffle us into thinking it's intelligent; airy plotlines that fall apart upon analysis; emotionally crippled, unconvincing, two-dimensional characters largely indistinguishable from one another, and really dreadful names. Try these for size: Tig Vesicle (!) and (oh, double moan!) Billy Anker. Billy Anker??!! I guess Mr harrison thinks that's a very clever joke. It isn't. It's infantile and simply highlights harrison's lack of self-belief. (A bit of a Billy himself, one has to assume).
This is the first book I've read of his.It will definitely be the last. Mr Harrison is a very small writer who's work would never see the light of day outside of sci-fi. He should go back to doing what he does best - whatever that may be. Something in common with Billy Anker, I would guess.
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