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Further: Beyond the Threshold Paperback – 22 May 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (22 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612182437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612182438
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 606,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"I've been reading Chris Roberson for years. But I won't hold it against you if Further: Beyond the Threshold is your first time. Quite the opposite, in fact. Welcome. Enjoy." –New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi

About the Author

New York Times bestselling writer Chris Roberson is best known for his Eisner-nominated ongoing comic book series iZombie, co-created with artist Mike Allred, and for multiple Cinderella mini-series set in the world of Bill Willingham’s Fables. He has written more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories, as well as numerous comic projects including Superman, Elric: The Balance Lost, Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, and Memorial. Roberson lives with his wife and daughter in Austin, Texas.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Whitehatter VINE VOICE on 27 May 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
That's more or less my opinion of this book.

The story is otherwise sound if a bit Buck Rogers or Arthur C Clarke's 3000. Astronaut is deep frozen and thawed out in the far future, where humanity moves about the galaxy via wormhole gates and has 'uplifted' other species to full sentience. add in a deep-space mission to hunt for signs of non-human life and you have a fairly decent potboiler SciFi novel.

However it hits the buffers by being as dull as September in Norway. Why hasn't the author spent time setting the scene? For instance the travel gates. Neal Asher, in his novels, has built up a picture of the Runcible network with a whole mythology of their own whereas in Further they may as well have been a display of doorframes in B&Q. Description of just about everything is either extremely poor or non-existent and that leaves too many gaps to fill in the imagination of the reader.

To tell a story like this, twelve thousand years in the future, you have to dress the stage. Performing it, with its strangeness and man-out-of-time centrepiece, just cannot be done on a bare minimum of description. Economy of words is very fine in some literature but in this piece of SciFi it isn't so much an economy as a famine.

It really needs to be padded out with a little literary colour, otherwise it is a fairly bland and unenjoyable slab of soggy science fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bruce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Jun 2012
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This pays homage to previous generations of writers, like Heinlein and the kind of "Gung Ho" Science Fiction era of Flash Gordon. Our hero - RJ Stone - is brought up on this kind of story and is one of those mythical explorers who just want to see what's "out there".

This book is given extra colour, by that fact of placing Stone many thousands of years into his future and a technology beyond his or our, wildest dreams. The cast of characters involves every type of being you could imagine - although all are evolved from the basic forms of life we know today.

What still drives the future society and the plot of this book, is the search for anything extra-terrestrial in origin. As, despite the vast resources available and time allowed, nothing has been discovered that didn't originate on our own Earth. Maybe the author is describing the actual effort required, given the infinite size of the Universe or maybe he is leaving this avenue open for future books?

Apart from the references to previous Sci Fi authors and the "in-jokes", we do get a fair amount of discussion of the "big ideas" that obsess mankind - such as the nature of existence. If our consciousness is uploaded, do we actually die - are we the same person?

There are many possibilities for cheating death in the future described here - but Roberson explores how they may all be seen as false hopes. Even an artficial intelligence like Xerxes, clings to this existence as the only certainty - despite knowing that his experiences will continue after he updates his progenitors. Similarly, no matter how many duplicates Jida makes - the loss of an individual is no less keenly felt.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Ian Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 May 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
That's 12,000 years plus in the future without any back to the stone age disasters in between. This is immediately sets up the argument (which I've seen argued elsewhere) that such a period of development would create a society incomprehensible to modern man. I disagree for a couple of reasons. The first is that we are already technologically advanced and just because we can't understand how something futuristic works doesn't mean we don't recognise it for what it is i.e. the product of science. Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, or in words to this effect, that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. This sounds a clever thing to say when he said it decades ago but looking at it now it just sounds glib. It doesn't look like magic to our eyes, it just looks like technology. The second reason is that, while it goes without saying that society will be vastly different in the future, it's unlikely that our basic intelligence will have changed much.

What Roberson does is to create and deftly portray to the reader just such an advanced society as seen through the eyes of an astronaut born a couple of centuries hence. The first half is concerned with our hero RJ finding his way in the new world and the second with his command of the first ever FTL spaceship. I should note that thousands of worlds have been populated by means of gates and get there is as easy as walking through a door. There's a varied collection of supporting characters, some human, some A1, some enhanced animals (including cats, dogs, chimpanzees and killer whales), but all intelligences are considered by society to be human. Except for...

Which is where the conflict comes in and the novel climaxes with an encounter with the 'except for'. It's all very readable and a promising start to this new trilogy. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the next one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shaun Horrigan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 May 2012
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Captain RJ Stone, commander of the first human ship to attempt to reach another star system. With the journey expecting to take 40 years, he enters cryogenic suspension and wakes up 12,000 years later.

Finding himself totally out of his time in an age where animals including chimpanzees, whales, cats, dogs and many others have been elevated to human levels of intelligence, where Artificial Intelligences are as common as biological ones and where space travel is as easy as walking through a door to another planet.

There is though a lack of energy and will to explore further and a project to build a faster than light star ship has been languishing for decades lacking the final support it needs to finish construction. Captain Stone finds himself being used as the figurehead for the project and subsequently finds himself appointed as the captain of the first Faster than Light ship humankind has constructed.

This story is mainly plot driven with quite limited characterisation and it actually has the feel of a pulp novel - The pace starts off quite slowly, but gradually steps up in the action department as the book progresses and becomes a rather enjoyable read during the second half of the book. The story is broken down into numerous very short chapters, each being between two and five pages long.

I did think though that there was still the feeling that in places it was somewhat predictable - much in the same way that Captain Kirk was always accompanied by a couple of expendable red shirted security crewmen and you always knew who wasn't going to make it back to the ship.
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