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Space War Blues [Paperback]

Richard A. Lupoff
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; Reprint edition (Aug 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722156715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722156711
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,354,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

1st Sphere edition 1st printing paperback, vg+ In stock shipped from our UK warehouse

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback
In the far future Mankind has learned nothing. No advancement in behaviour has accompanied the technological advancements. Planets are colonised by old earth countries such as New France, New England and all the same old prejudices are perpetuated.

So it comes to pass that the inhabitants of New Alabama declare war on their most hated of old earthers, the New Haitians. A battle commences between the sophisticated and peaceful Haitians and the brainless and racist Alabamians. The New Haitians seem doomed, but then they hatch a cunning plan. If the Alabamians have returned to the old ways, so can they. So they explore the old religion called voodoo...

If you want a thoughtful consideration of the future of Mankind, this isn't it. If you want an analysis of the stupidity of racism, this isn't it. If you want a space romp full of action and wild plot developments, then this is it. This book is in the rare class of novels that have huge chunks written in a phonetic stream of consciousness style that actually work.

Often this style of writing fails because the author puts a lot of effort into the style but little thought into the story. Here though the story is worth deciphering. Originally most of this novel was published as several inter-related short stories and to some extent the shorter works were more successful, but this is still a fun novel by an author with the ability and vision to make the bizarre entertaining.
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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A "fixup" from Again, Dangerous Visions 2 Nov 2000
By Steve Wainstead - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This novel is a combination of several previously published pieces, the main one being "With The Bentfin Boomer Boys On Little Old New Alabama," which originally appeared in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions."

In the introduction to that novella, Ellison wrote: "This story will enflame and infuriate the traditionalists; it will amaze and intimidate older, longer-established writers; it will confound and awe the critics; it will become the subject of fanzine articles and bull sessions and convention panels; it will cause voices to rise, adrenaline to pump, editors to howl, imitators to scramble for their copy-riters [sic]. It will raise one hell of a noise... It is so audacious and extravagant a story that it becomes one of the three or four really indispensable reasons for doing ["Again, Dangerous Visions"]."

"With The Bentfin Boomer Boys On Little Old New Alabama" went on to become a Nebula finalist, though not landing that award as Harlan Ellison predicted.

The writing in different sections of the book follow different forms of grammar and punctuation, making it a challenging read. (See the Wikipedia entry of this book for an example).

That said, this book is not for everyone. The passages telling the story of Gordon Lester Wallace III and Freddie are the hardest, told in a pseudo-Southern drawl that will bring your pace to a crawl, dontchaknow.

Rather than read this novel you're probably better off with a copy of "Again, Dangerous Visions," sticking with the original 36,000 word novella. Less is more.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Even hillbillies don't talk like this 15 Sep 2013
By Duke 1968 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alternate history with Confederates in space. The author's idea of made up, futuristic Southern slang is unreadable. I couldn't get very far.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely unreadable + unreasonable & racist premise 15 Mar 2012
By Harold M. Curtis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first 26 pages of this book consists of a long self-serving tale of woe by Harlan Ellison and the author about how much trouble they had getting this book published. Everyone they sent it to said that it was completely unreadable nonsense. They were right! The only interesting and readable part of the book was this introduction.

It is NOT experimental "avant garde writing", unless, of course, one defines "experimental" in the sense of hoping your room full of monkeys with typewriters finishes your manuscript for you.

As far as writing in different styles and voices in the vein of Mark Twain's ability to capture dialects is concerned: I have read all of Mark Twain's books. Huckleberry Finn alone has at least 6 clearly indentifiable dialects correctly depicted. I am from the south, and understand dialects ranging from mountain to plantation to urban ebonics. Ninety percent of this book was unintelligible -- I couldn't even GUESS what word or phrase was intended and sometimes couldn't figure it out from the context!

If you want to see dialect and humor handled well, read Mark Twain to see how it is done. Also, less well executed and less readable: O'Henry, James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville.The Complete Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer

If you want to see SF dialect and humor handled well, read any of Keith Laumer's Retief stories. He tended to create a separate dialect for each alien species. Even my 11th grade english teacher (in 1968) agreed that it was an excellent example of dialect. I am not sure which book it was, but I loved all of them.Retief! (A Collection of Stories)

The only thing "avant grade" about this book was the attempt to shock with the blatent racism. The concept of each planet or federation in space consisting entirely of one unmixed race originating from one unmixed country or state was not even a believable premise back in the sixties.

I forced myself to skim to the end, just so I could write this review. You definitely will not find any other book like this one. (One can hope.)
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