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alt.human (aka Harmony) [Kindle Edition]

Keith Brooke
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The aliens are here, all around us. They always have been. And now, one by one, they’re destroying our cities.

Dodge Mercer deals in identities, which is fine until the day he deals the wrong identity and clan war breaks out. Hope Burren has no identity, and no past, struggling with a relentless choir of voices filling her head.

In a world where nothing is as it seems, where humans are segregated and aliens can sing realities and tear worlds apart, Dodge and Hope lead a ragged band of survivors in a search for the rumoured sanctuary of Harmony, and what may be the only hope for humankind.

Product Description


'Alt.Human is a startlingly new take on the theme of an Earth under alien occupation. The far-future Earth revealed to us is both familiar and weird, and Keith Brooke's vivid, high-definition prose makes us see it all with magnificent clarity, as if we were there, sharing the ruins and rubble with his strange but all too human characters.' --Alastair Reynolds

About the Author

Keith Brooke is a British novelist with a string of highly acclaimed books and short fictions, and one previous novel from Solaris, The Accord. He lives in the English county of Essex, near to the sea. He is described by Locus as 'belonging in the recognized front ranks of SF writers'.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 595 KB
  • Print Length: 412 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Solaris (27 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0086W4UQ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #288,432 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Keith Brooke's first novel, Keepers of the Peace, appeared in 1990, since when he has published six more adult novels, six collections, and over 60 short stories. For ten years from 1997 he ran the web-based SF, fantasy and horror showcase infinity plus, featuring the work of around 100 top genre authors, including Michael Moorcock, Stephen Baxter, Connie Willis, Gene Wolfe, Vonda McIntyre and Jack Vance. His novel Genetopia was published by Pyr in February 2006 and was their first title to receive a starred review in Publishers Weekly; The Accord, published by Solaris in 2009, received another starred PW review and was optioned for film. His quirky fantasy, The Unlikely World of Faraway Frankie, described by Adam Roberts as "A masterclass in how to transcend labels...everybody, of whatever age, should read it" came out in April 2010.

His latest novel is alt.human (UK title), also known as Harmony (North American title), published by Solaris in 2012 and shortlisted for the Philip K Dick Award. Writing as Nick Gifford, his teen fiction is published by Puffin, with one novel also optioned for the movies by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish's Caveman Films.

He writes reviews for The Guardian, teaches creative writing at the University of Essex, and lives with his partner Debbie in Wivenhoe, Essex.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this World..! 26 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not the biggest Sci-fi fan in the world but a huge fan of good writing and Alt.Human is an exceptional book. From page one the author drops you into a future that is all too real and at once invigorating. The protagonist is believable and well-realised - unlike some other forays into the genre I've noticed - but the five-star decider for me was the story. Keith Brooke is a fine storyteller, he knows when to hold back and when to reveal something to his reader. This novel will grip you tight from start to finish. Just outstanding.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars !¡admiring / satisfied¡! Highly original sci fi 10 Aug. 2012
By grahamw
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book after reading a review in the Guardian, and I have to agree with the big G that this is a very fine book indeed. To my shame I hadn't heard of Keith Brooke, but frankly I think he's up there with the best and most original sci fi writers around.

alt.human is set in a future dystopia where alien species have effectively subjugated humans. Confined to ghetto-like 'indigenous peoples preserves', the human population becomes steadily more terrorised, until a group escapes from the city and begins a journey to save humanity.

The protagonists (alien and human) are compelling and well thought through, but the real joy for me was the imagination that Brooke shows in his description and handling of the cityscape. halfway through the book, I started dreaming that I was there... that hasn't happened for a while.

Anyway, great book - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it!
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Alt.Human starts out very well, a world is described quite well to the reader. The main character lives in a ghetto with other humans in the midst of an alien controlled city. It's made clear that this wasn't always the case, at some point years before the novel humans lived unfettered on the planet, but then the aliens came and took over and have been controlling the world for so long that no one really questions it anymore. The aliens themselves are interestingly diverse and not initially portrayed as evil overlords, although they are all fiercely logical for some reason. The main character, Dodge, is part of a tribe in his ghetto who take part in many shady black market dealings, including smuggling goods and forging identities. Life is hard for them, but they get by, until they come across Hope, a mysterious girl who harbours a big secret. This sets a chain of events in motion that ends up with Dodge, Hope and most of the humans in the city having to find a way out of the only place they've ever called home or face extermination at the hands of a suddenly brutal regime.

It's all cliched stuff and certainly won't blow you away, but it's competently written for the most part and has some interesting mysteries peppered throughout. The problems with the story are many and varied though, Dodge is likeable enough but not terribly interesting, while Hope feels more like a walking plot device than an actual character, being pretty much devoid of emotion. The mysteries I mentioned earlier are basically never explained and the motivations for the aliens actions later in the novel are similarly opaque (at one point Dodge witnesses humans being rounded up for execution, but gets released when he is spotted for seemingly no reason other than the fact he is the main character.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Alt.human 6 July 2013
By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is a whirlwind of a ride disguised as a book. Fantastic end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stuff. Dodge, a young man, lives with his clan in a designed Ipp (Indigenous Peoples' Preserve), where movement between Ipps or into the larger city areas is controlled by implants, and monitored by aliens. All kinds of aliens live in this world that seems to have come of our future, and the humans live in small enclaves, subsisting or cooperating with aliens to make as much of their lives as they can hope for. But when we join the story, something is changing. The aliens, or some of them, seem to be targetting humans or human enclaves. Why? And who or what is Hope? And Harmony? In this great story, we follow some of the humans as they seek to survive, but in a way they have never considered before.

The imagery used in the book is fantastic - the images of the aliens, and the world they have constructed, the imagery of the watchers, the troopships, the grunts, the starship and the transportation methods they use from Earth. It's all very imaginatively done, yet never to the point of parody - everything has a `substance' about it that is easy to imagine in this nightmarish future world.

I did find the last third or so of the book seemed to lose its way a bit; I would have liked to see more made of the `alien' aspect of the story, and what was going on in the world around the small human group that we had access to in the book. There is clearly much more going on in this world, and universe, than these people understand or can comprehend, so it would be good to think there was perhaps a sequal which would explore more of these themes.

A great sci-fi read; and totally recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unconventional, but solid 20 Jun. 2013
By Billy
With this book, writer Keith Brooke breaks two golden rules (for what little they're worth these days): One, he has far more than the recommended number of characters - at least nine or ten, with four or five of them playing fairly big roles. And two, he flits not only between characters, but perspectives too. He writes his main character in the first-person, but then - sometimes in the same chapter or even page - will follow a secondary character (in the third-person, of course) telling their background separate to his main character. This seems odd at first, as usually with first-person narratives, we (the reader) are only ever privy to what the main character does and sees. We can't know anything the protagonist doesn't.

But, and this is the key, he does it well, somehow maintaining the flow and avoiding any confusion. It's a solid story, told well, and my interest waned only occasionally, mainly through some of the more 'meandering' chapters.

The science is there to an extent, but never really explained, and while some hardcore sci-fi nuts might consider this a cop-out, it didn't bother me personally. It was enough to have these elements described to me and I never felt like I needed an explanation. They just were, and that was enough for me. In fact, it gave me great hope and encouragement, as someone who likes to write sci-fi, but knows next to nothing about science.

If I have one criticism, it is with the characterisation. They're not exactly flat, as one reviewer says, but nor are they full-bodied, either. My main problem in this area was with Dodge, the main character. Even by the end of the book I'm just not sure I liked him very much. I certainly didn't feel as though I'd ever got to know him fully.

Everything considered I'd not hesitate recommending alt.human to a friend, although I would feel obliged to warn them that the science is a little thin on the ground.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Best book I have read for a long time. Can't put it down.
Published 1 month ago by Gary Long
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-realised alternative world
Good writing, with a well-realised alternative world where Earth is colonised and dominated by aliens, with humans relegated to reservations. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John W
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent journey, destination not so great.
Fantastic view of humanity's place in a society of aliens. Excellent inventiveness but I found the ending a little bit anti-climactic and it felt premature, there seemed to be more... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars alt human
its an okay read, depends on what you expect from sci-fi. its not what i expected. but it was ok
Published 17 months ago by Don Jeebles
2.0 out of 5 stars ¡!Disappointment | Bewilderment ¡!
The problem with this novel is not the setting or the beginning: it's a sci-fi distopia, with an alien-occupied world where aliens are vastly superior to humans, and these eke out... Read more
Published 18 months ago by JJ Merelo
5.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable
i really enjoyed reading this novel. a very pleasant change from all the mediocre modern space opera which seems so abundant nowadays. Read more
Published 20 months ago by neil farrell
4.0 out of 5 stars Harmony
This is a whirlwind of a ride disguised as a book. Fantastic end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stuff. Dodge, a young man, lives with his clan in a designed Ipp (Indigenous Peoples'... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Keen Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good story couldn't stop reading
Brilliant sci-fi book, some good ideas, a thriller, horror, love story, action, fighting, and moralistic! Read more
Published 22 months ago by Chortle67
5.0 out of 5 stars Familiar themes but feels new
This has familiar themes of aliens and dystopia but it feels new. I quickly became engrossed. My only quibble is that it could have been longer with perhaps a fuller ending
Published on 4 May 2013 by Mr. David Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars A Significant and Noteworthy Science Fiction Novel
The English language is a remarkable thing, and Keith Brooke is a remarkable writer who can make it do his bidding with the best of them. In alt.human (US title: alt. Read more
Published on 3 April 2013 by Bridget McKenna
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