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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting twist on "Aliens meet Humans" theme, very good.
This book starts slowly, however, the pace soon picks up as the plot unfolds and the aliens' attitude is revealed. This book is more than just about technological insights into fictional alien technology and examines the human condition and how it sits with these all-powerful and uncaring visitors. The bulk of the book revolves around a family living north of LA in...
Published on 15 Nov 1998

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silverberg can do better
This is a somewhat disappointing novel from one of the Grandmasters of science fiction. It gets off to a reasonable start, with some interesting aliens, and keeps going with some reasonable character development. The plot has its moments, but is a bit on the slow side for the most part, although I loved the bits about hacking into the alien computer.
I guess the...
Published on 1 Jun 2001


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silverberg can do better, 1 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alien Years (Paperback)
This is a somewhat disappointing novel from one of the Grandmasters of science fiction. It gets off to a reasonable start, with some interesting aliens, and keeps going with some reasonable character development. The plot has its moments, but is a bit on the slow side for the most part, although I loved the bits about hacking into the alien computer.
I guess the ending makes a change from movies like Independence Day where humans win hands-down. All in all, two and a half stars from me, rounded-up as Silverberg has written some classic SF in his time. Too bad it's not in this particular volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected., 27 Jan 2003
This review is from: The Alien Years (Paperback)
I never read Silverberg before this. I dont know if I will again. It was an intreguing story and what I really liked was the great sense of powerlessness against the aliens; he really put across a good feeling of how dominant the aliens were, and how mysterious and silent they are in their ways. The first alien strike - dubbed "The Great Silence" - was truly frightening and thought provoking. The rest of the story builds up the mystery and dominance of the aliens, and as generations of characters come and go, you get a strong sense of the passage of time, and the desparation of the human struggle becomes almost unbearable. Which is good. What is not good, however, is the fact that much of the alien's motives, origins, plans, and purpose, is never properly revealed. The ending left me feeling somewhat let down. I wanted answers, and I wanted some kind of heroic victory. I think this story says a lot about Human Beings and gives us a strong reminder of something that we've all pretty much forgotten: We are NOT all-powerful. And there are many things we simply cannot hope to make sense of. And when those things happen, we humans dont cope with it too well. Not too well at all.
I'd have given 5 stars if only Silverberg had revealed a little more about the aliens motives and given a more satysfying pay-off at the end.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I.D.4 MEETS FARGO VIA NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, 29 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Alien Years (Hardcover)
I finished reading this highly unusual scifi novel just a few minutes ago. This bleak, minimalist and sometimes rambling scifi novel is a very strange take on the traditional alien invasion story and won't please everyone. Sixty pages into it and I knew for sure how it was going to end and was eventually proven right. I found those first sixty odd pages a chore as Silverberg seemed to try too hard to flesh out the characters in the Carmichael family; the steely eyed W.A.S.Ps at the core of the story who over fifty five years lead a largely impotent "resistance movement" against the aliens. However, I stuck with it and by the novel's end I had to admit that I had been well entertained by a very different kind of alien invasion story. Despite the rather predictable, to me anyway, end. It's well worth a read but if you're hoping for INDEPENDENCE DAY, forget about it!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Silverberg's usual standard, 7 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alien Years (Paperback)
B-movie aliens invade the earth. Started off promising enough with good human characters but the aliens were never fully revealed and the throw away ending left me feeling rather dissapointed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the end?, 11 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alien Years (Paperback)
I read every page of this effort before realising-the publishers had played a cruel joke on me- they forgot to include the last chapter! The minxes!
Seriously though, a nice try, but this is bound to turn off any would-be converts to the cause.
Only buy if you want the whole collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting twist on "Aliens meet Humans" theme, very good., 15 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alien Years (Paperback)
This book starts slowly, however, the pace soon picks up as the plot unfolds and the aliens' attitude is revealed. This book is more than just about technological insights into fictional alien technology and examines the human condition and how it sits with these all-powerful and uncaring visitors. The bulk of the book revolves around a family living north of LA in California and how they are affected by the conquering of our planet. Look out for the ultimate in weapons in the aliens' armoury against us.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely NOT his best, 24 Aug 2004
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Richard Kelly (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Ribert Silverberg writes science fiction fantastically, but not in this book. Now I do have to admit that this book is actually well written, it's just such a let down. Here is the story.
Aliens arrive and take over the world, they don't explain why or communicate with anyone. They arrive, take over everything and some people collaborate with them - although as they are never really communicated with I found that bit hard to understand. People resist, but the aliens can sense this and blast then out of existence.
Eventually one of the aliens is killed and they all go balistic ad slaughter loads of humans. The humans plan a massive attack - but before they can carry it out the aliens simply leave.
No explanation, no reasons, loads of unanswered questions. It was sort of ok and then they just leave. WHY????
Maybe it's just me, but I found the ending just killed it for me. I did reread a few years after I'd first read it to see if I'd missed something but no THEY JUST LEAVE!!!! 3/10
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War Of The Worlds part II, 18 Jan 2002
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This review is from: The Alien Years (Paperback)
The author makes an early reference to War Of The Worlds - a protagonist doesn't like the ending because the humans won by pure luck.
Consider this a deliberate warning.
This book says more about what people *should* do when faced with seemingly impossible odds, not what they *could* do.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eventually the aliens just go away . . I nearly did too., 11 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alien Years (Paperback)
This never really exerts much hold over the reader. The aliens are so inscrutable as to be deeply dull. Perhaps thats the point. If the people were interesting it would help, but they're pretty dull too. The author seems to have forgotten that the reader of an adventure novel (this is nothing deeper) needs a bit of a pay-off, something to cheer about, as a reward for slogging through to the end. Quite a lot of plot but not much story.
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The Alien Years
The Alien Years by Robert Silverberg (Hardcover - 16 Feb 1998)
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