Customer Reviews


21 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are we human, or are we dancer?, 17 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Kindle Edition)
It's been a long, long time since I read a science fiction novel. Maybe thirty years. The closest I've come to doing so was the futuristic part of My Memories of a Future Life by the same author. I knew from MMOAFL that Roz Morris was a lyrical writer and I trusted her when I requested and received an advance review copy of Lifeform Three. My consternation in realising I had picked up a dystopian novel, and that the MC Paftoo was a synthetic lifeform, only stayed with me until the end of the first page, and then I realised the magic had begun.

Lifeform Three is a totally believable, some might say inevitable, scenario. Global warming, lands lost to rising sea levels, increased urbanisation and total reliance upon interactive technology. Synthetic bods manage theme parks based upon historical artefacts. When the sun goes down, the power goes off. Except something is different about Paftoo. To paraphrase the blonde who asked "Do dogs have brains?" the reader is soon thinking "Do synthetic lifeforms have souls?"

Then things start to get creepy. Paftoo has been here before, we've all been here before. Groundhog Day. But there's learning to be had, precious learning that can be tragically erased by a group "Sharing". After a few chapters you'll be begging the story not to put Paftoo through a Sharing.

Morris does a fantastic job attributing characters to these near identical androids. Although Paftoo is the one who breaks the rules, my favourite character is the enigmatic Tickets. Part ballerina, part nightclub bouncer, he holds the key to the story. He knows where that missing door on the cover of this book is.

Lifeform Three doesn't give us all the answers. It leaves plenty of room for the imagination. I really didn't want this book to end, it's that good. The emotional involvement reminded me of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, but Lifeform Three is much more joyous and less tragic.

It wasn't until the end of the book that I realised there's no sex in it. None at all. If you're looking for rampant robot sex then you've come to the wrong place. If you're looking for a gripping read, at times tender, uplifting and hopeful, then Lifeform Three is the one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May Lightning Strike Us All, 1 Jan. 2014
By 
S. Garriott (Everett, WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Kindle Edition)
For many die-hard science fiction readers like me, the one factor defining the genre is the question of what makes us human. The old masters of the art--Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and Bradbury--regularly answered that question using robots, trans-humans, and even Martians. My favorite novels tend to fall into that category, and I've added new writers to my list, which now includes Gibson and Bacigalupi. This is my first experience with Ms. Morris' fiction (I am well-acquainted with her book and blog on writing). I'm glad to say that she has produced a wonderful, intimate fable using her non-human representatives, the bods, as a mirror to see what we may have sacrificed, what we have become, and to what dreams we still have a chance to attain as human beings. From the first lightning strike (reminiscent of "Johnny Five"), a very special bod, Paftoo, leads us on a journey of discovery as he pursues passions only a select few believe he should have. Along the way, he acquaints us with others who inhabit his world, a world almost entirely devoid of human beings who are little more than minds ushered around in special cars, isolated from the physical world. These are characters--bods and lifeforms--I really cared about. Her writing is lyrical and beautifully visual. It is the hallmark of effective writing. Whenever I read online site content, especially dealing with writing, I always wonder if the content provider really practices what he or she preaches. Can she pull it off? I'm glad to report that Roz Morris definitely knows what she's talking about. I will be recommending this book to others, including those who may not be fans of science fiction. I would be proud to use this novel as an introduction to the genre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging story, 17 Aug. 2014
By 
H D. Steel (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Kindle Edition)
I have to admit, I'm not a science fiction fan but Ros Morris is a local author and I was interested to read one of her books. I found it most enjoyable as its strength lies far more in characterisation than in technical detail and there are no spaceships or aliens in sight.

The story's set in an unspecified future where 'between the roofs and the roads' almost no green spaces remain. An exception is Harkaway Hall, a lost country estate which has been rediscovered and turned into a theme park. Paftoo, the main character, is a bod, a robot created solely to serve, who is part of the army of maintenance bods who keep the place clean and tidy for the visits of the (generally horrible) Intrepid Guests. I soon warmed to Paftoo and sympathised with his dreams of a fuller life and his passion for horses (the Lifeform Threes of the title).

Ros Morris' writing is clear and vivid with some interesting imagery. There's also a strong element of fantasy and of empathy with horses which I liked very much, as well as glimpses of the park's past history which help to flesh out its enclosed world. I recommend this book as an adult and it might also be a good choice for young adult readers, particularly if they love horses.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written...unique, 27 April 2014
By 
Karen P. Inglis (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Paperback)
Literary science fiction comes into its own in Lifeform Three. Roz Morris's lyrical prose presents us with a futuristic world in which we get inside the minds of a select number of 'bods' that have been programmed to serve and 'niche market' to occasionally glimpsed humans in a theme park designed to showcase the 'old world' of countryside, which has all but disappeared in the real world. Paftoo, the main bod character, is different from the other bods - not only does he dream, but, unlike the others, he fails to 'switch off' at night. This allows him to explore, and as he slowly pieces events and memories together he starts to understand both his past and his and the other bods' doomed future. Wrapped up in this journey of discovery is his relationship with horses. Be prepared to be bowled over by the extraordinary writing that captures the majestic world of these animals - not just how they are and behave, but also the unique relationship between horse and rider as they get to know each other. I don't normally read science fiction but I'd highly recommended this if you like literary fiction and feel like something different.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, haunting, exhilerating, heartbreaking..., 2 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Kindle Edition)
Evocative, haunting, exhilerating, heartbreaking... these are not usually words I expect to write about a sci-fi novel but, oh my goodness, Lifeform 3 is so beautifully written, it's so unexpectedly moving...

Others have summarised the plot, all I can say is that I found it fascinating, insightful, moving and ultimately uplifting, despite the dark picture it paints of mankind's future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A style all her own., 2 Jan. 2014
By 
JAW "JAW" (Surrey, England.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Kindle Edition)
Ms Morris's work has a distinctive style all her own, such that I think I could readily pick it out in any `blind tasting' comparison with other contemporary writers. If pressed to characterise her literary voice I'd say it was redolent of `fable' - though not the Tolkien, round-the-tribal-campfire sort, but of a distinctly modern form. There's also a subtle dream-like quality to this and her first book too, in that the `real world' is plainly still there and going about its business, but the story at hand is the all-consuming thing to the exclusion of matters mundane. So: a hybrid of strong storytelling, fable and dream - a `fabream' perhaps, or a `dreable'...

But all that's mere labelling. The story is the thing and this story engages from the start, never falters and carries the reader to their destination with startling strength and speed. Which (far from coincidentally I suspect) is also a parallel with the powers of the marvellously realised `Lifeform Three' creature described within these pages.

If Ms Morris can continue in such assured and idiosyncratic style with her next book then she'll have firmly established a literary voice all her own. Whatever subject she then chooses (and her two extant books vary greatly in subject) will come with the guarantee of that unique authorial voice. And will therefore merit buying even if she decides to write about accountants - which is high praise indeed.

In short: a wild ride. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful descriptive writing, 18 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Kindle Edition)
This was an unusual book set in the future. The action took place in a country estate, The Lost Lands of Harkaway Hall, a hidden valley of the past which has been preserved as a tourist attraction. Indications are given that the world outside this estate is highly industrialized and nature has been eradicated. This is a world where the sea has encroached and there is no countryside.

The main character, Paftoo, is a bod. And initially I was uncertain whether bods were people, robots or clones, but whatever they were it was obvious they were conditioned, and unable to think for themselves. It was the bods who maintained the Lost Lands, and they performed tasks in accordance with their programming.

Bods do not eat or sleep, they just swich off. Paftoo, however, is becoming more aware and he dreams when he should be switched off. His dreams show him riding a horse and he becomes obsessed with finding it, but the horse of his dreams is gone and he has to find another one to take its place.

I was totally pulled in to Paftoo as a character and he felt completely real to me, even after I realized he was a robot like all the other bods. Paftoo is different though. He has feelings and emotions, and he no longer switches off at night like the other bods. He knows he is different so has to hide the changes he is going through, but he is unsettled and spends his time thinking about the horse, and wandering the estate.

I don't want to tell you any more about the book or I'll be giving away the complete plot. Suffice to say that I found this futuristic novel thought provoking, and interesting. This is a world where there are lifeforms and non-lifeforms. The lifeforms are the animals and the `intrepid guests' who never get out of their cars. And the non-lifeforms are the bods who are park assets, like the tractors and the equipment.

But for me, Paftoo was more real than any of the lifeforms.

This is a book well worth reading, and it will make you think.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morris is a writer in a class of her own., 3 Feb. 2014
By 
Jessica Bell (Greece) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Paperback)
Wow. Eloquently written. Story line engrossing. Those of you who believe literary fiction is boring, read this book. Your mind will be changed forever.

I am tempted to compare Roz Morris's style to Margaret Atwood's. But I'm not sure that will do it justice. Though this book has a similar "feel" to Atwood's science fiction novels, because of its literary nature, the comparison is still weak, because Morris is a writer in a class of her own.

This is a remarkable novel. And Paftoo, the main character, really stole my heart. I will remember him always. As if he was a very close friend. I am so sad this book is over. And I CANNOT WAIT, until Morris writes another.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! A wonderful tale., 9 May 2014
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Paperback)
I loved this book. I have to confess i do not usually go for books with a sci fi or futuristic theme, but this book was recommended to me and I'm delighted it was. For me it's appeal is that it really is a beautifully written, sensitive, witty, intelligent, thought-provoking read, and the bods are as real as any protagonists in human form.

The style of writing put me in mind a little of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, but this has a more contemporary feel and is very relevant to our modern world. Not only an author, but maybe Roz Morris is a soothsayer too!

A compulsive read. Order it, download it, get hold of it now!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Only one of those bods …, 8 Nov. 2014
By 
Ashen Venema (Farnham, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lifeform Three (Kindle Edition)
A surreal, humorous and entrancing Sci-fi fable about memory and what it means to be human. The story is set in a theme park, Harkaway Hall, run by the Lost Lands management as a preserved enclave of old countryside in a world that has shrunk though rising sea levels. Enter the world of bods, robots designed to love serving. For efficiency, a ritual sharing has been devised during which the bod’s memories are regularly erased … a trouble shared is a trouble deleted.

The numerous P letters on the page (each bod’s name starts with Paf, followed by a number,) puts the reader into a stimulating trance that helps to access the confused mind-set of the protagonist, a bod whose name falls out of line as Paf-too rather than Paf-two. Aware he is unlike other bods – has dreams that stir memories, deviates from pointless instructions, has creative thoughts and acts out of turn upsetting the bod-order – he muses about his existence. The minimal present-tense writing style serves to keep the reader enthralled.

Human Intrepid Guests, the visitors of the theme park, are no less mindless than the average bod, only slightly different kinds of servants – consumers, goaded through electronic gadgets tied to games and a network anticipating their every need. They despoil this precious plot of green knowing that bods will clean up after them – re-do the grass, remove droppings from life forms, good old cows, sheep and horses (life form 3s,) or undo real rainbows that disturb the aesthetics of planned artificial ones. Each bod has a visible cloud above their heads, showing texts that boast of their achievements, and record their interests.

Paftoo is damaged, due to a kiss of lightning. His energy does not switch off after sunset, so he can move about at night, and also dreams, haunted by the passion of his past relationship with a horse. He makes connections. He sees the possible predicament of bods welded to machines, and is not keen on ever being used for operating the Rubbish Digester. In a scene highlighting the tragic comedy of events throughout, Paftoo records a disfigured bod’s flat acceptance while being dragged away by the dreaded black-clad Disposal bods.

An old part of Paftoo’s mind slowly recovers memories from five years back, before he was struck by lightning. A smooth operator, he hides his otherness, filling his visible mind-cloud with interests expected from bods. To have his memories erased becomes occasionally tempting. No troubling conflicts, no need to evaluate, no need to make decisions … freedom has its price.

Paftoo’s fellow bods go about their mechanical choreography, contained by simple instructions and dawn chorused promoting treats for Intrepid Guests. There is enthusiastic Pafnine, whose ardent interest is a strong team, Pafseven, a bit of a spoilsport, Paffoursix, who after a glimpse of memory panics and can’t get into the sharing suite quickly enough to erase his mind to blank. He could represent anyone afraid of the unknown.

There is a twist regarding the sharing ritual, which I’m not giving away, like the moon, which at some point in the story has a sideways smile.

I enjoyed the mystery character called Tickets, half gate, half girl, designed to resemble the elegant former daughter of the Harkaway estate, and employed to guard the entrance booth of the theme park. Strapped to the booth, she is a mess to look at, but has memories, and encourages Paftoo to regain his.

Paftoo’s sensitive and intimate negotiations with a horse (life form 3,) which he tames, are touching and delightful. Any horse lover will appreciate these scenes to the full. The relationship stands out as the very heart of the story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Lifeform Three
Lifeform Three by Roz Morris
£5.40
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews