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5.0 out of 5 stars Point of order
Responding to Claire's review above: She 'couldn't get into' the story from the alien's viewpoint set in Antarctica. Maybe it would have helped her enjoyment to realise that this was a rewrite of John Carpenter's movie "The Thing" told from the viewpoint of the (multiply subdivided) crashed alien. The turn-around rather brilliantly show's us our own alieness, and...
Published 9 days ago by Hivemind Alpha

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3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the rift
This collection of SF shorts can read as very difficult to get into. In particular the first story is about a space travelling being from a distant world which crashes in Antarctica and consumes any life forms it finds, making use of people as hosts to get it to safety until it can leave. As the story is told from this organism's viewpoint it is an unappealing start so...
Published 7 months ago by Clare O'Beara


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5.0 out of 5 stars Point of order, 14 July 2014
This review is from: Beyond the Rift (Paperback)
Responding to Claire's review above: She 'couldn't get into' the story from the alien's viewpoint set in Antarctica. Maybe it would have helped her enjoyment to realise that this was a rewrite of John Carpenter's movie "The Thing" told from the viewpoint of the (multiply subdivided) crashed alien. The turn-around rather brilliantly show's us our own alieness, and gives some depth to the star of the show. Many of these shorts (including the one in question) are available for free from the author under creative commons license.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Watts, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Beyond the Rift (Kindle Edition)
Excellent, thought provoking short stories that showcase Peter Watts unique world view. The reimagining of The Thing is worth it on its own but the others provide an excellent intro to many of the themes around otherness and broken personalities that run through Watts' work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars nourishment, 15 Mar 2014
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R. Halton "RPastry" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond the Rift (Kindle Edition)
I really like Peter Watts style, unflinching from exploring the darker aspects of humanity.

He avoids cliche and reinterprets popular myths and idea, giving them a spin that really gets you thinking about our preconceptions of existence.

His first three novels are available for free form his website. I highly recommend htem too if youre not too afraid of the dark
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the rift, 23 Dec 2013
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Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beyond the Rift (Paperback)
This collection of SF shorts can read as very difficult to get into. In particular the first story is about a space travelling being from a distant world which crashes in Antarctica and consumes any life forms it finds, making use of people as hosts to get it to safety until it can leave. As the story is told from this organism's viewpoint it is an unappealing start so maybe this should have been later in the collection.
The second story is not much more friendly as two deep space explorers come across a Dyson sphere (though that term is not used) made of a thin flesh membrane surrounding a red dwarf star to suck up all the energy output. They conjecture that this is aware and intelligent but as they have so little regard for other forms of intellect sharing their spaceship, is this a good thing?

Bio mechanics and advances are to the fore in all stories from neuro adaptors for gamers to giant hungry fishes at the bottom of the ocean rift, where divers spend a year at a time in a habitat studying the bizarre lifeforms.

At the end is a lengthy comment from the Canadian author, in which he says that critics call his work dark, depressing and dystopian. He argues that it cannot be otherwise as environmental despoliation leaves him a bleak future to write about; and eighty-five percent of Americans believe in a sky fairy who will take them to space Disneyland after they die, so they are not concerned about extinctions, whereas a tiny minority of people control and profit from the world's resources without thought for anyone else. Having read this, we can understand his concerns better and realise that the first two stories may be seen as allegories of Earth's past projected outward and into the future.

As I say this is not an easy read in terms of language, characters or situations and if the stories read as a little more accessible the author might find a wider audience for his concerns. This is why I am not giving it more stars, while another reader might like the book better.
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Beyond the Rift
Beyond the Rift by P Watts (Paperback - 15 Nov 2013)
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