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Beyond the Rift

Beyond the Rift [Kindle Edition]

Peter Watts
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.50
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Product Description


"[T]here can be no denying Watts's skills as a writer." -- Publishers Weekly "A wonderful collection of unique stories, Beyond the Rift had all the cogs in my brain whirring at full power." -- My Shelf Confessions "A new book from crazy genius Watts is always cause for celebration -- and this collection of short stories brings together some of his greatest work." -- Analee Newitz, io9 "Excellent stories that highlight the author's versatility and strengths in writing science fiction." -- Paul Weimer, SF Signal "...deep, daring, and deliberately thoughtful." -- Bob Milne, Beauty in Ruins "From the award-winning author of the Rifters trilogy ( Starfish; Maelstrom; Behemoth ) comes a collection that demonstrates Watts's skill with short fiction." -- Library Journal "... a sharp and incisive stylist with a rather tragic, if clear-eyed, view of human nature, and the capacity for some remarkable hard-SF inventions." --Gary K. Wolfe, Locus "Peter Watts is a biologist by training and a visionary by inclination... His killer opening sentences ('First Contact was supposed to solve everything'; 'Wescott was glad when it finally stopped breathing') are rabbit holes to strange futures." --Paul Di Filippo, Barnes & Noble Review

Product Description

Skillfully combining complex science with finely executed prose, these edgy, award-winning tales explore the always-shifting border between the known and the alien.

The beauty and peril of technology and the passion and penalties of conviction merge in stories that are by turns dark, satiric, bold, and introspective. A seemingly humanized monster from John Carpenter’s The Thing reveals the true villains in an Antarctic showdown. An artificial intelligence shields a biologically-enhanced prodigy from her overwhelmed parents. A deep-sea diver discovers that her true nature lies not within the confines of her mission but in the depths of her psyche. A court psychologist analyzes a psychotic graduate student who has learned to reprogram reality itself. A father tries to hold his broken family together in the wake of an ongoing assault by sentient rainstorms.

Gorgeously saturnine and exceptionally powerful, these collected fictions are both intensely thought-provoking and impossible to forget.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 420 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (12 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,809 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark st of stories 26 July 2014
The Things
As the title promises, this is a replay of the standard "The Thing" scenario - a group of scientists working at a Polar base, find something long buried, which then awakens and goes on the rampage and must be stopped to save the world. The twist here is the nature of the "thing", hinted at in the title. A brilliantly inventive re-imagining of a tired cliche.

The Island
The dysfunctional crew in charge of a generation spaceship extending a star-gate network come across a lifeform so unusual that it must be unique...but there is a problem. Another characteristically dark, edgy and imaginative story from this author.

The second coming of Jasmine Fitzgerald
A man has been brutally murdered by his partner. The councillor assigned the case begins to believe otherwise...

A word for heathens
A devout warrior is tested...

A long lost drone returns, but is it home? Bleak.

The eyes of God
Evil has gone but so has freedom....

Flesh made word
A researcher tries to recreate a lost child via a simulation...

The Earth finally turns on humanity...

Mayfly (with Derryl Murphy)
Parents and their child live in different time streams...

A lone drone runs from an unknown race hunting it... but the roles can be reversed...

Hillcrest versus Velikovsky
A sceptic is on trial for breaking the faith of a believer...

Repeating the past
Very grim tale about learning from history....

A niche
Rifters settng, one of the shift members seems to 'go' native in the deep sea

Outrro: En route to dystopia with the angry optimist
The author
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5.0 out of 5 stars Point of order 14 July 2014
Responding to Claire's review above: She 'couldn't get into' the story from the alien's viewpoint set in Antarctica. Maybe it would have helped her enjoyment to realise that this was a rewrite of John Carpenter's movie "The Thing" told from the viewpoint of the (multiply subdivided) crashed alien. The turn-around rather brilliantly show's us our own alieness, and gives some depth to the star of the show. Many of these shorts (including the one in question) are available for free from the author under creative commons license.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Watts 28 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent, thought provoking short stories that showcase Peter Watts unique world view. The reimagining of The Thing is worth it on its own but the others provide an excellent intro to many of the themes around otherness and broken personalities that run through Watts' work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars nourishment 15 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really like Peter Watts style, unflinching from exploring the darker aspects of humanity.

He avoids cliche and reinterprets popular myths and idea, giving them a spin that really gets you thinking about our preconceptions of existence.

His first three novels are available for free form his website. I highly recommend htem too if youre not too afraid of the dark
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the rift 23 Dec 2013
By Clare O'Beara TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This collection of SF shorts can read as very difficult to get into. In particular the first story is about a space travelling being from a distant world which crashes in Antarctica and consumes any life forms it finds, making use of people as hosts to get it to safety until it can leave. As the story is told from this organism's viewpoint it is an unappealing start so maybe this should have been later in the collection.
The second story is not much more friendly as two deep space explorers come across a Dyson sphere (though that term is not used) made of a thin flesh membrane surrounding a red dwarf star to suck up all the energy output. They conjecture that this is aware and intelligent but as they have so little regard for other forms of intellect sharing their spaceship, is this a good thing?

Bio mechanics and advances are to the fore in all stories from neuro adaptors for gamers to giant hungry fishes at the bottom of the ocean rift, where divers spend a year at a time in a habitat studying the bizarre lifeforms.

At the end is a lengthy comment from the Canadian author, in which he says that critics call his work dark, depressing and dystopian. He argues that it cannot be otherwise as environmental despoliation leaves him a bleak future to write about; and eighty-five percent of Americans believe in a sky fairy who will take them to space Disneyland after they die, so they are not concerned about extinctions, whereas a tiny minority of people control and profit from the world's resources without thought for anyone else. Having read this, we can understand his concerns better and realise that the first two stories may be seen as allegories of Earth's past projected outward and into the future.
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