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Rogue Moon (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Algis Budrys
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

12 Jan 2012 S.F. MASTERWORKS
Shortlisted for the 1961 Hugo Award, Rogue Moon is the disquieting and story of what happens when monstrous scientific ambition is matched by human obsession. The moon had finally been reached, and on it was found the most terrifying structure, that killed men over and over again, in torturous, unfathomable ways. Clearly, only a mad man or a suicidal maniac could explore its horrible secrets. All his life, Al Barker has toyed with death. So when the US lunar programme needs a volunteer to penetrate a murderous labyrinth, alien to all human comprehension, Barker's the man to do it. But what is required of Barker is that he withstand the trauma of dying, not just once, but time and time and time again . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (12 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575108002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575108004
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

This study of the human psyche has an incredible amount of power which when combined with the study of relationships and exploration of that final frontier - the inevitable truth that is death - creates a unique and breathtaking novel that simply has no equal, a true classic in every sense. (Antony Jones SFBOOKREVIEWS blog 2012-01-30)

Book Description

Described by Robert Silverberg as containing 'The most terrifying pages in any SF novel I have ever read', ROGUE MOON is the disquieting story of what happens when monstrous scientific ambition is matched by human obsession.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SF at the height of its ambition 24 May 2012
By Runmentionable TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I liked this a lot, for pretty much all the reasons the previous reviewer disliked it, so your response to it will probably depend on how you peg your own tastes between the two perspectives.

It's anything but a slam-bang action story. It is, in every sense, an existential novel, about how to live in good faith in an utterly indifferent universe. If you're already recoiling, this is not the book for you. If you're intrigued, it's strongly recommended as a book which uses what's still an original SF idea to make an important point - and make it more effectively than mainstream novels could ever do. The plot isn't full of incident, but that's because the narrative is used to reflect and develop the ideas and characters in an unified manner. The characterisation is vivid and well-drawn, particularly in the context of SF of this vintage. On which point, the previous reviewer found this book dated. I felt the decision to set it in the year of publication (1959) was an effective way to prevent it from dating; the characters and technological speculation are of their time, so anachronisms don't get in the way of the themes, which are as relevant now as they were then. And the last chapter isn't a bit of tagged-on pulp action, but a sting in the tail which sharpens and clarifies everything that's come before.

It's not perfect: it does drag in places, and bits of the dialogue are overly theatrical. But for the most part it's a novel of great ambition which is largely realised, and, in its deep and unflinching look at human nature, a remarkable achievement from an author who was still in his late twenties when he wrote it. It sees SF as a genre capable of more than providing entertaining diversions (not that there's anything wrong with that) and is a highly honourable precursor of much of the good stuff to emerge from and follow the "New Wave" SF of the sixties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas but doesnt really deliver 29 Dec 2012
By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting novel which proved to be a bit of a page turner but I dont believe has much rereading value.

The overall story arc or plot is great, mysterious alien artifact on the moon which is killing all who investigate it and an equally intriguing device on earth for copying and transfering human beings. Not exactly clones or teleportations but shades of each idea associated with some vague but strange tape recording idea. These are the things which it is truly worth reading this novel for to be honest and the literary/plot devices which motivated me to read on.

There is a cast of characters who interact and whose interaction is meant to be pivotal to the whole progression of the narrative, I was able to tell that the author really did want to convey how group politics motivated the behaviour of the antagonists and protagonists. That said the dialogue is awful for the most part, not gripping at all and sometimes really dated, perhaps the characters seemed less one dimensional at the time of the original publication.

I bought this book for the idea that it would deal with the topic of death, death wishes, that sort of thing, while a lot of time is spent dealing with this idea because previous candidates for the transfer and exploration role have gone insane because of a kind of existential horror at experiencing their own deaths I was disappointed really. I didnt think much time was spent considering that the process of copying and transfering persons to the moon involved the creation and "death" already, although the telepathic, remote viewing/control idea is maybe not meant to involve that I couldnt see exactly how it would not.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great retro sci-fi 23 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rogue Moon is a short science fiction novel, one of only a few novels written by Budrys. I haven't read any of his other material, so I came to this fresh.

Rogue Moon has a nice premise, and a good sci-fi hook, but it is really far more about characterisation than sic-fi. Don't expect explosions, laser guns and invading aliens: the sci-fi in this book lingers in the background, enough to hint at a darker universal force (who placed the maze? Why did they do so? etc) without being explicit. The main characters are beautifully realised, but it is not until the last few pages that the real sci-fi elements really come to the fore. This, at least for me, created an issue: being that the hook is such an interesting one, I wanted this to be explored in more detail. This is my biggest criticism of the book - with such interesting and explored characters, the final third of the book could've been expanded so that we get some answers to the questions posed in the earlier portions.
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