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The Chaos and Order: The Gap into Madness [Hardcover]

Stephen R Donaldson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 1994
As the planetoid Thanatos Minor explodes into atoms, a specially-fitted cruiser escapes the mass destruction and hurtles into space only a step ahead of hostile pursuit. On board Trumpet are a handful of bedraggled fugitives from an outlaw world - old enemies suddenly and violently thrown together in a desperate bid for survival. Among this unlikely crew of allies are Morn Hyland, once a UMC cop, now a prisoner to the electrodes implanted in her brain; her son, Davies, "force-grown" to adulthood by the alien Amnion and struggling to understand his true identity; the amoral space buccaneer Nick Succorso, whose most daring act of piracy could be his last; and Angus Thermopyle, unstoppable cyborg struggling to wrest control of his own mind from his UMC programmers.


From the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 617 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA (31 Dec 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553071793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553071795
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,276,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Donaldson lived in India for 13 years with his father, a medical missionary, who worked extensively with lepers; it was here that he conceived the character of Thomas Covenant.
He was awarded the John W. Campbell Award as Best Writer of the Year for The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever, which, with the sequel trilogy, became instant bestsellers.
He is also the author of the fantasy duology 'Mordant's Need', the SF epic quintet 'The Gap', and a number of mysteries written under the pseudonym Reed Stephens. He won the World Fantasy Award in 2000.

Product Description

Book Description

A powerful and intense sf tale from a master storyteller --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Stephen Donaldson lived in India for 13 years with his father, a medical missionary, who worked extensively with lepers; it was here that he conceived the character of Thomas Covenant. He was awarded the John W. Campbell Award as Best Writer of the Year for The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever, which, with the sequel trilogy, became instant bestsellers. He is also the author of the fantasy duology 'Mordant's Need', the SF epic quintet 'The Gap', and a number of mysteries written under the pseudonym Reed Stephens. He won the World Fantasy Award in 2000. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the series? 8 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The third and fifth books of this series are the ones everyone remembers, but I greatly preferred this to 'A Dark and Hungry God Arises' (partly because I could never figure out what the title referred to, unless it's a reference to 'the Dragon'). More character development and a better chance to look around the universe that Donaldson has created. I also liked the introduction to 'Punisher' and her crew, who are possibly the only straightfoward human beings in the book- like all cops everywhere, just trying to do an impossible job in the face of chaos, manipulation and incomprehensible orders from Higher Up. Donaldson gives his struggle more of a human face in this book, shifting his focus from Morn, Angus and Nick towards the ordinary human beings stuck in the middle. Vector Shaheed is a really interesting character in this respect, since he actually volunteers of his own free will to do the right thing, unlike most of the other characters (although I think it was just a wee too bit too handy that he turned out to be the only person who could crack the magic drug's formula- what are the chances of that?). This book is really a bit of a 'calm before the storm' installment in the series, but I think it's a great read, especially since there's less violence in it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Smart Science-Fiction 21 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is seldom that one sees Sci-Fi with as much attention to detail as the Gap cycle. More to the point, it is not often that one sees Sci-Fi, with the possible exception of writers like Larry Niven or Arthur C. Clarke, which so seamlessly integrates hard science and psychology with real people in real situations. By real, I mean that the characters are driven to, and beyond, the limits of their ability to cope, and not only do they come out shining, but they come out reacting exactly like their background and upbringing would have them react. Donaldson's grasp of the human psyche and his ability to cut away the technology and 'Civilization' we so commonly talk up to reveal the underlying nature of humanity is colossal. He paints us, and realistically, as a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog species in a person to person struggle for survival. Which, in my experience, is exactly what we are.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best science fiction you'll read 19 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
Donaldson takes the training wheels off the series with this book and all hell is unleashed. And if you're confused by Amazon's title, yes this is the third book in a series of five.

The series as a whole is very dark and if you like your science fiction fun and airy then this is not the place to look. The other reviews highlight the complexities of the book and in many ways it leaves more questions than answers. But it is beautifully written and sets up the next two books perfectly.

And I'd agree about the level of science content - having excerpts about things like the discovery of the GAP drive really add to the series and show just how well thought out the whole thing is.

I think that these books are the best thing that Donaldson has written (this from a Thomas Covenant fan). Do yourself a favour and immerse yourself in them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Donaldson has returned to the splendid level of maturity and complexity he established as his own in the first Thomas Covenant series. In fact he exceeded all of my expectations. (I had doubts after his "looking glass" stuff and was skeptical of his ability to handle "hard science" science fiction.) But Donaldson pulls it all off with a deftness and sensitivity that only our best writers can achieve. His plotlines are intiricately weaved in this tale and (as I state in my teaser above) just when you think things couldn't get any worse for the human race in general and these characters in particular, Donaldson gives the screw another twist.
His characters aren't just flawed. They are real. Good people do evil, evil people do good; for good and bad reasons alike.
This story still sticks with me (I finished reading it when it was first released), and I consider it his some of his finest (and perhaps *greatest*) work.
His fearless use of mature and complex themes and language distinguish this series from the thousands of !hacks! currently working in this field.
Thank you Mr. Donaldson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why are The Gap novels not widely known 29 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These are challenging and mesmerising. Every time I bought a new one I thought I wouldn't be able to cope with the complex and intricate plot and characters. The storyline proceeds through all the books so it is essential to read them all, in sequence if you value your sanity! Try The Gap and you will never go for a vanilla SF again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars space opera at it's very best. 14 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read. Non-stop action and hard to put down. 5 stars.
Can't wait to start the next and final book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars as before 12 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
stephen Donaldson gets it right again.
great story.
well told
do buy these books. you can read them again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the class 6 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of Donaldson's books over the years, 'Chaos and Order : The Gap into Madness' is by far the most compelling of reads from his vast, gargantuan of tales. His attention to detail and drawing the reader in to the main characters world is of a scale that few can and have mastered.
Those people that are looking to get their teeth into an in-depth story line should certainly consider this series as well as the 'Thomas Covenant, White Gold Wielder' books.
If you are wanting to escape for a while, then these are the titles for you!
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