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The Noise Within: 1 [Paperback]

Ian Whates
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

13 May 2010
On the brink of perfecting the long sought-after human/ AI interface, Philip Kaufman finds his world thrown into turmoil as a scandal from the past returns to haunt him and dangerous information falls into his hands. Pursued by assassins and attacked in his own home, he flees. Leyton, a government black-ops specialist, is diverted from his usual duties to hunt down the elusive pirate vessel The Noise Within, wondering all the while why this particular freebooter is considered so important. Two lives collide in this stunning and innovative space-opera!

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The Noise Within: 1 + The Noise Revealed (Noise 2)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (13 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906735646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906735647
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home down a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets. Ian's love of science fiction began while still at school, manifesting when he produced an SF murder mystery as homework after being set the essay title "The Language of Shakespeare", much to the bemusement of his English teacher. Ian also represented his school at various sports, including football, squash, and table tennis, whilst swimming saw him perform for both school and the county of Hertfordshire! Such athletic feats are now ancient history. These days he exercises only his mind and his imagination (and, occasionally, a cocker spaniel called Honey).

In 2006 Ian launched independent publisher NewCon Press, quite by accident (buy him a pint sometime and he'll tell you about it). That same year he also resumed submitting short stories, and has now seen some 40 appear in different venues. He is currently the chairman of the British Science Fiction Association and co-organiser of the Newcon conventions in Northampton.

Ian also likes to write books, and has two novel sequences ongoing, the 'Noise' books (space opera) via Solaris, and the 'City of 100 Rows' series (urban fantasy with steampunk and SF overtones) through Angry Robot. Anxious not to have too much spare time on his hands, Ian started writing a new series of books, provisionally titled 'Drake's Dark Destiny', towards the end of 2010... So watch this space!

Product Description


There's a lot to enjoy here: the characters, the action, a rogue AI starship, and spooky alien technology... I read it straight through... --Neal Asher

Unreasonably enjoyable. 24 meets Starship Troopers. If you read Reynolds, Hamilton, Banks - read this... --Stephen Baxter

Unreasonably enjoyable. 24 meets Starship Troopers. If you read Reynolds, Hamilton, Banks - read this... --Stephen Baxter

About the Author

Ian Whates is a sci-fi author who lives in Cambridgeshire. He is currently writing the sequel to 'The Noise Within'. He has also edited 'The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories' with Ian Watson.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced space opera 7 July 2010
By Lucifal
I happened to pick this book up from a table at a convention, with not the least intention of buying it, but the first few pages had me hooked, so I did, and didn't regret it at all. It's certainly fast paced and I couldn't help warming to the main characters, flaws'n'all. It's not a deep and meaningful read but very enjoyable and I was disappointed to learn that, while there is to be a sequel (and that's obvious from the ending, so don't expect everything to be wrapped up) this isn't going to be the first book of a trilogy. I haven't read a decent space opera in years, and while this isn't Asimov, it did create a believable, though not necessarily ground-breaking, future society. I'd certainly recommend it to science fiction fans who are looking for an easy read, a break from the challenging end of the market.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 15 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Noise Within has some promising elements, but ultimately proves to lack any real imagination. Combined with pedestrian writing this produces a disappointing and tedious book.

It presents a future of space travel, colonised planets, and a human society recovering from some sort of traumatic civil war. The setting put me in mind of The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F Hamilton, but without the advanced bio-science. Whates throws a pair of main characters into the story: Philip Kaufman is a rich scientist, whose father invented a particularly good star drive, but also dabbled with an AI/Human interface for piloting ships, with disasterous results. Leyton is a black-ops commando with an intelligent gun, who spends much of the book being sent on various missions. Further characters get brought in for short periods, and one, Kethi, seems to be intended as a future main character.

It's necessary for a book of this type to grab your attention with at least one interesting character, and this is where it falls down. Leyton has potential, and his action sequences are competent, but he never really develops. Kaufman is downright tedious, a spoilt brat grown up with a chip on his shoulder about his father's old AI ship. Whates shows attempts to develop his characters, but seems only able to produce the odd synopsis of their lives rather than writing it into their narratives. The worst example of this is when Kethi encounters someone, and Whates tells us, in one pithy paragraph, that they're good friends, he is madly in love with her, and she will never reciprocate. It's just a cliche chucked on the page with no thought or craft, and never referred to again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read... 26 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The cover of the book says "If you like Hamilton, Reynolds...". This isn't really a fair comparison. There is nowhere near the depth nor standard of writing that Hamilton shows - but all in all, it is well worth a read.
Didn't stop me buying the second in the series. A good plot and some great ideas - I guess I am just used to the likes of Hamilton & Gary Gibson spending 100 pages on a character's background that I find the half a page background a bit short...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Enjoyable Read 15 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I did not know what I was going to think of this SF novel by Ian Whates but from the moment I started it just clicked. There was something about the style that just appealed to me and that was something that started winning me over before the story really kicked in.

In some ways it reminded me of Peter F Hamilton, although not as big, which may well be considered a good thing. A futuristic universe where the technology in play is big, and fun, the kind of thing the inner child in you feels is just ‘cool.’ And to be honest, if I were ever going to try and write SF like this it is the kind of things I would love to play around with (in a totally different way).

It is a tale of a humanity straining to make progress, of talking guns, integrated AI and humans, of big ideas that work well, and at the core of the story that slowly draws everyone together is a mysterious ship, The Noise Within appearing out of nowhere and conducting acts of piracy while trying to recruit crew.

It is a great read, fast paced, while not overdoing the detail, giving the reader just enough to maintain interest, tell them what they need to know and moving the story on to a gripping conclusion while hitting hard with enough threads remaining to be picked up in the sequel, without hitting the reader over the head, demanding they return for the follow up.

Well written, well thought out, at some point I will be picking up that sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Old-Fashioned Space Opera 22 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
If you like old-fashioned space opera in the style of Peter F. Hamilton but are looking for something a little less overstuffed, all-action The Noise Within will be exactly what the doctor ordered. Less cynical than Iain M. Banks, less prone to technological asides than Alastair Reynolds, The Noise Within gives you everything you want from a shoot-'em-up space adventure with none of the extra padding. It dives straight into the action. Mercs are musclebound, femmes are fatale, technology is awesome, and eponymous rogue AI-controlled starship The Noise Within suitably creepy. But just when you think it's all over ... sequel The Noise Revealed materialises on your bookshelf. That's where I'll be going next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Clearly an early novel for Whates. Lots of potential.
I really liked this book. It's quite short at only 336 pages, which meant it was a fast read and I could get into quickly. Of course it's not Alastair Reynolds. Read more
Published on 23 May 2012 by Mr. Paul J. Grenyer
2.0 out of 5 stars Mills & Boon SF?
This novel was fast-paced enough, and had some good ideas. But I'm afraid the style of writing eventually made the book tedious. Read more
Published on 13 July 2011 by Pickwick
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Pulp Sci-Fi
I actually liked this book. I don't think it made me a better person and it was a bit 'pulpy', if you know what I mean, but as a light read it was ideal. Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2011 by D Moore
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor
Cartoon like plot and character development. The worst kind of sub EE Doc Smith (without the 1930s gee whizz) story telling. Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2011 by Neuromancer
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to see how this sneaked past the publisher
The plot? is bitty and disjointed and the pathetic finale is a straight sell for the sequel. Characters are poorly drawn but do occasionally seem to briefly slip into focus before... Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2011 by Mr. Peter Callaghan
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good
I'd have enjoyed this book more if I'd eaten it rather than read it.

The characters all speak and think in the same 'voice', details about their lives, motivations and... Read more
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by C. R. White
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
The story was ok but the sci-fi background detail was very weak and unconvincing - the author just threw in stuff as it was needed with no regard to how such technical miracles... Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Read
One of the Best Sci Fi books I have read in the last year. Very easy to read, great characters. good story, good ending.
I have just pre-ordered the sequel.
Published on 28 Dec 2010 by Mr. A. Hirons
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but be aware this is book one in a series.
The good thing about Peter F Hamilton space operas is that if they are part of a series then it says so right there on the cover. Read more
Published on 3 Dec 2010 by Mr. R. D. Turner
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I bought this after reading reviews comparing The Noise Within to "Reynolds, Hamilton, Banks". Don't be fooled. This is not a patch on their works; it lacks character and depth. Read more
Published on 27 Nov 2010 by J. Warwick
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