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Beyond Heaven's River Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1987


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Mass Market Paperback, Jan 1987
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Assoc Llc; Reprint edition (Jan. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812531728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812531725
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,636,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Bear works best on a large canvas, and the short story is not his ideal medium--he can carve monumental figures out of mountainsides but is less skilful whittling cherrystones. Nonetheless, there's much here that is interesting to the fan and non-fan alike. For example, this volume includes the original short story out of which Bear's classic, imaginative and deeply spooky novel Blood Music was developed; if the story isn't as powerful as the novel that's only what we'd expect. Certainly as a story it works well, and won both Hugo and Nebula awards. The title story of the collection is another double-winner, and is hauntingly suggestive: it combines a version of Alan Turing with a neat little story about extra-dimensional physics that works efficiently as a tutor in topographical mathematics. Other stories manage varying degrees of control; Sleepside Story, a kind of urban fairy tale, leaves the reader thinking that Bear is better suited to Hard SF after all. Similarly The Dead Run--which was turned into a Twilight Zone episode--is fair enough in a sub-Stephen King sort of way, with its premise of blacklisted truckers driving condemned souls down to Hell in their rigs (and its arresting first sentence: "There aren't many hitchhikers on the road to Hell"). But too few of the stories here trade in the grandeur and wonder of Bear's best, big-scale work. --Adam Roberts --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A classic alternate history SF adventure --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
The premise/promise of this story is typical of Bear in that you get completely wrapped up in this new universe across which the human race roams. The two key characters are real enough and both face serious challenges on a personal basis, and along the way you see a future with nicely painted in technologies and alien artifacts (in fact two of the characters live in a giant alien spaceship picked up at an apparent bargain). The story line passes from WWII to well into the 26th century while remaining true to the reader.
I picked up this book after enjoying Darwin's Radio which is a great read - that novel is complete in that it allows Greg Bear to really complete his story. Unfortunately Beyond Heaven's River is a much shorter story and leaves me with the feeling that "it had to be wound up" for want of a solid ending.

After all that I should say that it is still a good read, just not Bear's best.
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By Halo Reader on 2 May 2012
Format: Paperback
This is not his best work by a long way. It starts slowly, fizzles out in the middle and the end is more or less non-existent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sublime and Inventive to boot. 12 Jan. 2000
By Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Beyond Heaven's River" is a well-plotted novel, something that seems to be increasingly rare in the world of Science Fiction. Maybe it is because it is a sparsely printed, 250 page novel, instead of some 600 page, mini-script, sloppy "epic". For that reason alone it is weel worth reading; there can be good, short SF novels. Beyond that, Bear has constructed a wonderfully sublime, if a bit overly vague, universe, inhabited by unseen aliens and filled with motivated, imperial human beings. Within this context, a Japanese soldier, from the early 20th Century is an interesting point of view to follow through the bizarre, soul-searching, (dare I say?) epic.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
annoying production issues 2 Nov. 2003
By David desJardins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There's something wrong with the text of this edition of the book. I think they dropped some lines in the production process. There are many places where one character speaks twice in a row, and the second is a response to some question or statement by another character, which was dropped. I also found a couple of sentences that just end in mid-sentence. It doesn't make the story too hard to follow, but it's definitely annoying. Not recommended (and I'm going to be very hesitant about buying other books published by "ibooks").
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Beyond Heaven's River not quite... 18 Oct. 2000
By cppl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Firstly this book is not out of print - my edition is a 2000 edition by Millenium (a Gollancz brand) and is available on amazon.co.uk.
The premise/promise of this story is typical of Bear in that you get completely wrapped up in this new universe across which the human race roams. The two key characters are real enough and both face serious challenges on a personal basis, and along the way you see a future with nicely painted in technologies and alien artifacts (in fact two of the characters live in a giant alien spaceship picked up at an apparent bargain). The story line passes from WWII to well into the 26th century while remaining true to the reader.
I picked up this book after enjoying Darwin's Radio which is a great read - that novel is complete in that it allows Greg Bear to really complete his story. Unfortunately Beyond Heaven's River is a much shorter story and leaves me with the feeling that "it had to be wound up" for want of a solid ending.

After all that I should say that it is still a good read, just not Bear's best.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not bad for an early book 20 Jan. 2004
By papaphilly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is one of Greg Bear's early work. The reader can already see that Bear is great at developing both an intriguing story and well defined characters. The problem with this book is that it leaves the reader feeling unfinished. Compared to his later works "Darwins Radio" and "Queen of Angels", this is unfinished work. It is not bad, just not finished. Much of the underlying society study that he has become so familiar for developing is missing, although there are hints of it in this book. This is both enjoyable and an easy read. It is also a great book to start with for Bear. It is certainly not one of his best, but it does show his early start and that is not bad.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Skips huge sections of plot indiscriminately 16 Jan. 2007
By jsharbour - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a good story but it was not fully developed. There are many plots in this story that were just abandoned and that left me with a strange feeling of dissatisfaction with the novel overall. (Example, when the main characters explore a new region of space, and they find nothing but a piece of a toilet...and then nothing else happens in that entire multi-page part of the novel). The ending was ridiculous and similarly cut short. Perhaps this book suffers from terrible editing, or perhaps the paperback was just badly typeset which damaged the story, but there were many grammatical errors and whole missing paragraphs. I liked the premise of the story, but it was not developed and left me extremely dissatisfied, as if the climax has been edited out.

[Edit] I might give the Kindle edition a try since it's been a few years. I still think the paperback was missing content. There were no obviously damaged or torn pages, but the story was so mangled that I suspect it was a faulty printing.
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