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Floating Worlds (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Cecelia Holland
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Dec 2011 S.F. MASTERWORKS

The Styths, a powerful and aggressive mutant race from the Gas Planets, Uranus and Saturn, have been launching pirate raids on ships from Mars. Earth's Committee for the Revolution has been asked to mediate, to negotiate a truce between the Middle Planets and the Styth Empire. The task of conducting the talks falls to an intelligent, resourceful and unpredictable young woman, Paula Mendoza. Her initial meetings with the Styth warlord and his unruly band of bodyguards and advisers are not promising.

But then Paula adopts a less conventional approach. The consequences for her are considerable and she finds herself on the Gas Planets, the only tenuous link between Earth and the Styth Empire . . .


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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (8 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575108231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575108233
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A seminal feminist SF novel of the highest literary quality, comparable to the works of Joanna Russ and Ursula K. LeGuin.

About the Author

Cecelia Holland was born in 1943 and is a well-known and acclaimed writer of historical fiction. FLOATING WORLDS is her only SF novel.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really very poor 26 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really wish this book was half the length as it might make it twice as interesting, although I have my doubts. And simply because this book was written by a woman in the 1970's it will be described as "Feminist" or about Feminism or something else with the word 'Feminis' in it. But it's not. The book attempts to use shock value and your own moral outrage to engage you but instead you are worn down with over 640 page, many of which detail where people are in relation to each other in a room and how they walk down a particular corridor. There are a few moments where it becomes interesting but the vast majority of it is not. Please don't be fooled by the MasterWorks title, it's a smokescreen as this book is not masterful or in any way deserving of this moniker. I'm not keeping my copy and have put it up for sale. My book club read it and only 3 out of almost 40 people said they actually enjoyed it. The best I heard anyone say was "It's not so bad" AVOID!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The art of the horrible 26 May 2013
Format:Paperback
This book disturbed me. I can see why reviews are either 5 stars (I wish I could see what these readers saw) or 1 star. I gave it 1 star because it made me feel so miserable that (having read only 400 pages) I had to throw it in the bin, rather than pass on the misery by donating it to a second hand bookshop. Holland would get 5 stars if I were to rate it on her ability to describe callous, brutal, sexist, violent, offensive behaviour, all that we most hate at the bottom of the barrel of human nature and which causes most pain to others. Even the brief interludes of affection, humour and love could not redeem this horrific reading experience. I am going back to Arthur C Clarke and Ursula Le Guin.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dated and dull 18 April 2012
By DiveDoc
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was so hopeful when I read Floating Worlds, having seen it compared to the work of Ursula LeGuin, amongst others. I was deeply disappointed. It is one of the very few books that I have started and then thrown away. The characters are one-dimensional and there is, perhaps deliberately, no sense of personality, environment or introspection to explain their actions. Anyone familiar with speculative fiction will know that different philosophies, societies and technologies are represented with greater panache, verve, enthusiasm and insight elsewhere. There is none of that impression of internal consistency, of the author's creation being a real world, that is evoked by other celebrated authors of both SF and fantasy. Floating Worlds is a polemic, inspired, I think, by the disillusion of the 1970s and stuck in its time in ways that stories by Jules Verne, HP Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Ursula LeGuin, Larry Niven and, perhaps, even Iain M Banks are not. It's certainly not the future, but it doesn't really seem to be the Twentieth Century either. The anarchist Earth, totalitarian moon, synthetic and technological Mars and the barbarian Styth are all unconvincing, their inhabitants ciphers rather than characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars floating worlds 5 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
just wish there was a sequel to find out what happened next to the characters in this book and where the universe expanded to next
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual storyline 10 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought this started off with a fairly unlikely premise but it develops well. The story is slightly dated in places but still works.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read "Rakossy" 15 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Floating Worlds has some brilliant concepts. It is wide in its ideas of evolution of the solar system. I enjoyed the sparse style which conveyed so much.

I felt that the ending left so many unanswered questions, and wondered if there was an intended sequel.

I selected this book to read on my Kindle for two reasons. Many years ago I read "Rakossy" by Cecelia Holland and thought it was an excellent book. I also enjoy reading science fiction, so this seemed a good choice.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unpleasant 19 Aug 2011
By Jason
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm astounded at the high marks this book has been given. It is one of the few books I found actively unpleasant to read, and in fact it took me 2 attempts to finish it.

The reader is asked to sympathise with a woman who collaborates with a group of racist, violent slavers who inhabit the moons in the Outer Planets of the solar system. Written in the 70s, it wants us to excuse them as they are somehow 'sticking it to the Man', but what this actually means in the book is that anyone who vaguely went against the main protagonist ends up being murdered, enslaved or brainwashed.

If it was some kind of study on the effects of slavery, both for the slaves and the masters, I could see a point to this book. It isn't.

Definitely a book of its time, but not one I could recommend
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