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Far-Seer (Quintaglio Ascension) Paperback – Apr 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765309742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765309747
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,254,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer has been described as Canada's answer to Michael Crichton. Critically acclaimed in the US he is regarded as one of SF's most significant writers and his novels are regularly voted as fan's favourites. He lives in Canada.

Product Description

About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer has been selling science fiction stories since 1979 but took a long detour into the world of magazine and corporate writing before starting to write SF novels. His original ambition was to be a palaeontologist so its not surprising that dinosaurs feature so prominently in his work. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lone Wolf on 30 April 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is remarkable in that, in a genre in which almost everything has been done before, it is truly original. It tells the story of a race of dinosaurian creatures called Quintaglios, who have, in their recent history, formed a primitive civilization whose rules and regulations are sometimes at odds with the wild instincts they still retain.

The plot follows the fortunes of Afsan, a young astrologer who, through the use of a newly-developed instrument called the 'far-seer' (basically a telescope), comes to believe that what he has been told all his life regarding his world is untrue. The Quintaglios believe that the world is flat, and that the land floats down a never-ending river, watched over by 'the Face of God'. Afsan's research proves that the Face of God is actually a planet, and that their own world is one of its moons. What's more, their world orbits the Face of God so closely that there are tremendous pressures upon it - pressures which will one day tear it apart.

Afsan faces much resistance as he tries to convince his people of his theories and persuade them that they must find a way to escape their world before it's too late - their society is dominated by a religion which refuses to tolerate anything that undermines their beliefs (there are obvious parallels with our own society's history here). But Afsan also has his allies ...

I found this book so intriguing I was unable to put it down. The characters are well-drawn and, despite being members of a fictional species, completely believable. At times you can almost think of them as human, before something like an instinctive snarl at the invasion of one's territory reminds you that they are a primitive race still at war with their own natures as they struggle to be 'civilized'.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 25 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
So long as priests are granted the monopoly of declaring what is moral and what is not, the war of science and religion will never cease. Robert Sawyer here shows how that conflict not only crosses cultural lines, but species ones, as well. Merging the lives of Earth's Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton into one dinosauroid individual, he recapitulates three centuries of striving to understand Nature's secrets. Each worked in fear of the church's displeasure, addressing the absolute monopoly with various levels of success. Sawyer presents Afsan as one determined to reveal truth at whatever cost. Afsan uses the first telescope to examine the heavens, challenging the established tradition of the role of priests and their dogmas. The discoveries are too important to allow the priests to quell them. Afsan knows the future of his race is at stake.
Although Sawyer must compress many people and events into one modestly heroic character, it doesn't detract from the quality of this book. Making dinosaurs into near humans takes a special skill, but Sawyer manages it with little falsity. He exhibits a vivid imagination, but doesn't let it run away with his presentation. While the portrait of a race still using claws for emotional expression and hunting while building a civilization of stone, metal and ships may give the purist pause, Sawyer's story-telling abilities overcomes these doubts. The book remains an entertaining and clever interpretation. For the fullest enjoyment, of course, the next two volumes become mandatory reading. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. P. J. Jansen on 20 May 2010
Format: Paperback
The Quintaglio series consists of a number of books that take place in a society of dinosaurian creatures. Far-Seer tells the story of Afsan, an astronomer, who discovers that his world is round and a moon circling a planet that is called the Face of God. As the name indicates the planet plays an important role in the religion of Afsan's society, and his discovery causes a lot of tension. The story mirrors the Copernican revolution, except that Afsan is Copernicus, Bruno, and Gallilei rolled into one. There are of course also clear differences; the main one being Afsan's society. The Quintaglios are carnivorous and highly territorial. This has a number of consequences for the characters of the Quintaglios, which are not only worked out very well, and also very intriguing. For example, much of the etiquette of the Quintaglios is there to avoid fights breaking out when they get too close together and their instinct tells them that their territory is being invaded. The books of Quintaglio series are not so well known as some of the other of Sawyer's book. I don't know if that is as it should be. Far-Seer is excellent.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zsuzsanna on 21 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a bit suspicious about another dino adventure, but the book became quite an obsession, by the end I could hardly put it down. Nice idea well written and has a certain childlike simplicity in it. The main point here again is not that it is dinos or people the point is the plot and the meaning which is well expressed. If you can take a few pages slow motion then it is worth while reading.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
A fairly good account of how the instincts and ferociousness of dinosaurs might battle with the species' desire to become civilised.
I was not convinced by the amount of ceremony and etiquette that the author ascribes to the creatures.
Pete Cook
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