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A Short Sharp Shock [Kindle Edition]

Kim Stanley Robinson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £2.48 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

A man tumbles through wild surf, half drowned, to collapse on a moonlit beach. When he regains consciousness, he has no memory of who he is or where he came from. He knows only that the woman who washed ashore with him has disappeared sometime in the night and that he has awakened in a surreal landscape of savage beauty–a mysterious watery world encircled by a thin spine of land. Aided by strange tribesmen, he journeys to the cove of the spine kings, a brutal race that has enslaved the woman and several of the tribesmen. That is only the beginning of his quest, as he struggles to find her identity in this wondrous and cruel land–and seeks out the woman whose hold on his imagination is both unfathomable and unshakable.

Haunting and lyrical, filled with uncommon beauty and terrible peril, A Short, Sharp Shock is an ambitious and enthralling story by one of science fiction's most respected talents.

"A fabulation of life, love and beauty transplanted into the alien; a dreamy picaresque…A strange and hallucinatory short fantasy with occasional sharp insights into human natures and loves… A story that will haunt you, long after you finish reading." - Infinity Plus

"Mysterious and poetic, with vivid descriptions of the lands through which they walk...compelling." - SFF Chronicle

"Robinson shows off his vivid imagination and descriptive skills." - Science Fiction Times

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Amazon Review

Kim Stanley Robinson, justly famous for his science fiction, has created a mesmerizing fantasy work in A Short, Sharp Shock. Each brief chapter (with evocative titles such as "Beauty Is the Promise of Happiness") explores a little further along the path of the amnesiac protagonist, Thel. Thel finds himself on an amazing world, which has just one narrow ridge of land encircling the globe, with endless ocean on either side. And Thel is on a quest, searching for the woman who was with him when he first awakened, but who was taken by the murderous spine kings. In his travels along the ribbon of land, Thel encounters exotic local peoples and their legends of the origin of the world, and learns more about his companions and himself. Robinson's imagination is far-ranging and he has a pointed way with words: in a scene where Thel is slowly pushed through a magical mirror, Robinson's evocation of pain is unforgettable. A Short, Sharp Shock is guaranteed to haunt the reader for a long time. --Blaise Selby



Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 886 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Roadswell Editions (25 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E5QU8HA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #338,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson has won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. He is the author of over twenty previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the highly acclaimed FORTY SIGNS OF RAIN. He lives in Davis, California.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure poetry! 27 April 2003
By A Customer
While what the other reviewer posted might technically be true, I think that they have missed the point a bit. It's not meant to be read as a straight novel; it's an experiment, a reverie about the nature of humanity and memory. As such, it succeeds very well - the prose shimmers with beauty and bizarre images. The main character is also very well drawn, although the others are perhaps slightly nebulous.
In short, if you're expecting a nice neat plot with no room for imagination or poetry, you might be better off elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream 20 Jan. 2010
By Bookish
I'm a big fan of Kim Stanley Robinson, so it's odd that this is my favourite of all his books, because it's the least representative. I can understand why people are baffled and say it sucks. But there are elements of Robinson's mystical leanings in most of his works. Even the hard science ones like the Mars trilogy - there he suddenly went off on a tangent about the Dalai Lama's soul wandering the bardo looking for a rebirth opportunity. At first my mind was busy trying to make a plot of this book but in the end I relaxed and just went with the flow. It's a beautiful little tale, strange and stranger.
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3.0 out of 5 stars If it was part 1 of 3, brilliant. But it isn't. 28 May 2009
This is an intriguing, beautifully written and imaginative tale that has you turning the pages to find out what, ultimately, it all means.

That's the good. Now the bad. I would have sworn blind this novel must be book one of a trilogy or something and we get some wonderful explanation at the end of the third book...if it was this would be a definite 5 star review. Instead you're left with an inconclusive ending that doesn't explain anything. All you're left with is, "oh, so the author didn't know how to end it really, how very lame."

Kim, if you ever write some follow up novels to this that come up with some decent answers I'll be happy to withdraw this review :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, inspiring and unique... 8 Nov. 2010
This is the best book K.S.Robinson has ever written (good though Red Mars and Antarctica were). It is also one of the best books I have ever read. It is also unlike any other book I've read (and I've read it four times).

It is pointless trying to explain or summarise the story, except that for me, from the first page to the last, it is essentially a metaphor on life. I only came to this conclusion after reading it twice, but since then this book has fascinated me.

This is a short book that leaves as many questions unanswered as it provokes. Keep an open mind and don't be afraid to read it more than once. It is wonderful and brilliant!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars this book sucks 16 July 2002
OK, a slightly more grown up review -
The plot is completely linear. 2 people on a circular landmass, neither of whom have a lot of character, encounter the odd primitive tribe who don't do very much.
It's like all the tedious bits of the latter ringworld books, only worse.
The book is only 170 pages long, and has 25 chapters or thereabouts. there is a 2-3 page break in between chapters. So you basically have a 100 page book full of 3-4 page chapters.
It is that bad.
I honestly don't know why I finished it, except that it was so short.
I have read Red Mars and found that a decent read, so I don't think it is that I don't like the author. I just really think this is a bad story. Sorry.
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