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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just good, satisfying, sci-fi fun.
This book was clearly meant to be exactly what it is and appears to be. Unlike the author of the first user review of this book I am very much interested in science fiction and I feel it deserves a little more credit.

This is a solid and entertaining sci-fi. It's like a good episode of a decent show or a film of the same genre. Aside from one or two inexcusably...
Published on 12 Mar 2008 by M. Wilkins

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good at times, but not fantastic
Imre Bergamasc has been brought back to life from a storage drum containing his DNA and memories, and he has been remade as a women. That is just the beginning of his problems as as people start to see that he is alive again they want to kill him, properly. He is trying to remember what happened before he was almost killed last time.

This story is set on huge...
Published 12 months ago by Half Man, Half Book


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just good, satisfying, sci-fi fun., 12 Mar 2008
By 
M. Wilkins (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saturn Returns (Astropolis) (Paperback)
This book was clearly meant to be exactly what it is and appears to be. Unlike the author of the first user review of this book I am very much interested in science fiction and I feel it deserves a little more credit.

This is a solid and entertaining sci-fi. It's like a good episode of a decent show or a film of the same genre. Aside from one or two inexcusably cheesy lines in the first couple of chapters I was thoroughly entertained throughout.

The light speed barrier hasn't been broken, so everything is on a huge time scale, there are different versions of the same people, there are hive minds, super human abilities, a vast decaying communications ring, fights, chases, interstellar journeys, a little sex, a lot of anger, big ships, little ships, dusty planets and even some gender re-assignment. We even get treated to a little realism in terms of the physics of space flight and orbital mechanics, to keep the uber geeks happy. What more do you need in a sci-fi?

If you're into this kind of thing, it's a good read. I'll be buying the next books in the series ("Cenotaxis" is on order).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good at times, but not fantastic, 29 Jun 2013
Imre Bergamasc has been brought back to life from a storage drum containing his DNA and memories, and he has been remade as a women. That is just the beginning of his problems as as people start to see that he is alive again they want to kill him, properly. He is trying to remember what happened before he was almost killed last time.

This story is set on huge time scales, and across a vast galaxy. He seems to spend a lot of time just evading being killed again, and meets up with some characters from his past life. Whilst this is herd SF, and has all the appropriate factors for that, ships, derelict habitats, super advanced humans, and so on, the story line is not that strong, and i was not always sure quite what was going on and how he had got to that point. The other main characters in the book came across as complicated people with differing loyalties to Imre and other members of the story. I felt the ending was a little weak, as i was not sure how that guy fitted into the story.

Overall, I liked the writing, and the universe that he has created, but felt that plot let it down.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great sci-fi ideas; a little less so with the story line though, 21 Mar 2012
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This is my first read of a Sean Williams novel. It was recommended to me, way back in 2008, having been nominated for a Philip K Dick award in 2007. I've enjoyed reading it. Its what I would classify as hard science fiction, with little compromise for the casual reader: I certainly wouldn't be recommending it as a place to start for anyone beginning to take an interest in the genre. The ideas covered in the book are not particularly new but the expert writing takes those ideas to a level that other writers have often failed to achieve.

The book is let down a little by the storyline running through it. It just wasn't that interesting a tale. It was a bit slow in pace, in contrast to the vast timeline that is covered in the novel; in fact, the story almost seems at odds with the extraordinary universe that Sean Williams has created. Overall, this is a worthy nominee for the prestigious sci-fi Award. This is the first in a trilogy, and I will be reading the next in the series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great space opera on a huge canvas, 3 Nov 2008
By 
Mark Chitty (North Wales) - See all my reviews
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The Slow Wave has hit the galaxy and has wrecked the Continuum in its wake. The Forts are no more and the line is in chaos as information travelling along it is trawled to find information on this disaster. What was once a united galaxy is now in turmoil as individual systems take control for themselves, resulting in more fighting for power.

When the Jinc find pieces of debris from a large artefact on the edge of the galaxy they painstakingly gather all of them together to reveal a drum, one with a back-up of Imre Bergamasc contained inside as data. After they re-create his body and mind using all this data, Imre awakens 150,000 years after his last memories, in a brand new body, unfortunately the wrong sex, and a patchy memory. Although the Jinc try and reassure him it could be due to the recreation of the drum, he has other thoughts and wants answers.

A former mercenary for the corps, Imre remembers his team and plans on finding them. After escaping the Jinc with the help of a mysterious object and the key phrase `luminous', he heads for the familiar: the Mandala Supersystem. On entering this system he sees first hand how the Slow Wave has affected the galaxy, no united front and a nagging feeling that he shouldn't just go straight to the first planet he comes across.

We follow Imre on a journey to reclaim his past life, to uncover the memories he is convinced are buried and to find out what exactly the Slow Wave is and who is behind it.

Firstly, I enjoyed Saturn Returns quite a lot. It's a widescreen space opera with elements of military sci-fi thrown in, which is almost always a good combination. As the first part of projected trilogy (plus one short story) it does everything that it needs to do: the story, universe and characters are set up nicely and good descriptions are used to portray the technology in use. Also, plenty of questions are raised (and some answered) that make Saturn Returns a novel that is difficult to put down.

The characters we meet are all unique and each have their own motivations within the main narrative. Although this may sound like it can get messy, it doesn't. All of the former corps members are given enough depth and personality to bring them to life and behave in a way that is both believable and interesting. Constant questions are raised about alliances and the history between them, but it just fits together nicely. As the story revolves around Imre and his journey we spend a lot of time seeing things from his perspective, flashbacks that reveal a little at a time and events that make the pages just turn quicker. We also know only what he does, so there is always the questioning and guessing, trying to put the puzzle together.

One of the better aspects of the novel was the time span involved in the galactic history. With the technology to make time pass quicker or slower than Absolute (normal time), hundreds of years can pass in mere days, or days can last hundreds of years. This brings up interesting questions about how this time difference affects the population, but is dealt with convincingly and effectively. There is also the fact that many characters have clones of themselves that run around the galaxy and occasionally the memories are combined when this happens. This is looked upon as an extension of that person, not a separate entity, which is a strange view to understand. Although it's justified in the story, it's a subject that I wasn't entirely convinced about.

All in all, Saturn Returns is a great Space Opera novel that has set up the sequel very effectively. With characters and a universe that I look forward to revisiting, Saturn Returns has set the bar high for the sequel - I'm just hoping it the story will continue in such a great way. Highly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wave of destruction, 13 Oct 2009
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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First in a new series of science fiction novels set in the far future sometime after something called the slow wave has caused the collapse of human civilisation across the galaxy.

Our main character Imre is awakened by an alien race who have found his consciousness drifting in the middle of nowhere. consciousness only because they've grown him a new body. Which happens to be female. Imre has very few memories of life before and has to slowly piece them back together.

After a few pages of getting used to being alive again, trying to remember things, and getting used to the aliens, he gets away from them and sets out to do just that. Reunited with former comrades he then sets out looking for answers as to what happened to humanity and why.

But he may not like what he finds...

Far future fiction presents a world unlike anything we know. Where people will talk and think differently. And technologies that we would find beyond our comprehension are commonplace to them. That's certainly the case of the world we see here. Yet it also manages to be pretty readable with it. None of the characters are desperately deep but they all have their moments. And there's no faster than light travel so the prospects of how many years a journey will take are never forgotten.

The loss of Imre's memories does mean the plot can unfold at a decent pace and spring surprises on the reader. And there are a few towards the end that really may make you gasp.

The book runs for 356 pages and is divided into six long chapters. There's a glossary and a timeline at the end to back it all up. The story is largely complete in itself although it does end with imre and a few other people heading off to do new things, a story told inEarth Ascendant (Astropolis).

There's a bit of strong language and some adults situations so this may not appeal to everyone. But it's a decent start to a decent bit of space opera
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so start to new series, 7 July 2008
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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Sean's futuristic tale that really did leave me wondering exactly what it was intended to do throughout each chapter and whilst this may seem a bit of an odd way to start off a review I can only say this because of the way the book seemed to spin in constant circles only to present something a little different further on to return to a familiar point later. As a reader who is not generally a fan of the Sci-Fi side of things, I was very impressed with certain novel idea's and concepts that the author presented to make this tale engrossing to a certain degree such as the way information was stored. Yet other parts of this novel did to hint that it was but the first part of a jigsaw puzzle that we have to wait to see the bigger pricture for. For that reason alone I will at least read the next novel in the series but I really do hope that it goes further than this tale did.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What the...?, 19 Dec 2009
By 
Shivari (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saturn Returns (Astropolis) (Paperback)
The book has a great concept: a man wakes up to discover that he has just been restored to life by a strange hive mentality who reassembled him from the component atoms of a destroyed recording of his personality. He doesn't know how long he has been dead or why he died (the restoration left huge gaps in his memory) and finds it totally bizarre that he is now female...

He reads a book, talks to people, has a few flashbacks. Goes somewhere else. He reads a book, talks to people, has a few flashbacks. Goes yet somewhere else. He reads a book, talks to people, has a few flashbacks. Again goes somewhere else. He reads a book, talks to people, has a few flashbacks.

Catch the drift?

The way Wiliams fills in the pieces of the man's past is dull dull dull. By midway through the book I was bored to tears and screaming at yet another this-is-what-you-did monologue.

Then suddenly in the last couple of chapters the book explodes into crazy action involving multiple personalities before not so much fizzling out as, well, just stopping.

This is the first volume in a series, so there has to be some scene-setting. But the way Williams does this is tedious beyond belief. Next volume? Sheesh - I'd get more entertainment reading the back of a cereal packet.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Sci-Fi fare, 18 Sep 2007
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Saturn Returns (Astropolis) (Paperback)
Sean's futuristic tale that really did leave me wondering exactly what it was intended to do throughout each chapter and whilst this may seem a bit of an odd way to start off a review I can only say this because of the way the book seemed to spin in constant circles only to present something a little different further on to return to a familiar point later. As a reader who is not generally a fan of the Sci-Fi side of things, I was very impressed with certain novel idea's and concepts that the author presented to make this tale engrossing to a certain degree such as the way information was stored. Yet other parts of this novel did to hint that it was but the first part of a jigsaw puzzle that we have to wait to see the bigger pricture for. For that reason alone I will at least read the next novel in the series but I really do hope that it goes further than this tale did.
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Saturn Returns (Astropolis)
Saturn Returns (Astropolis) by Sean Williams (Paperback - 5 July 2007)
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