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Central Station Paperback – 26 May 2016

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (26 May 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616962143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616962142
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

An NPR Best Book of 2016
A Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016 pick
A Kirkus Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Books You'll Want to Read in May
An io9 May Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Book That Will Blow Your Mind
An Amazon Featured Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Book of May
A Tor.com Best Book of 2016
A Guardian Best SF & Fantasy Book of 2016
Featured in the Jewish Telegraph
Featured on the Reading Envy podcast
A Publishers Weekly Staff Pick
A Bookskill Recommended Book
Kirkus 2016 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy pick
An SFBluestocking Best of 2016

BSFA Award for Best Cover - Sarah Anne Langton
Nomination, Chesley Award, Best Cover Illustration - Sarah Anne Langton
2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee
2017 John. W. Campbell Award nominee

[STAR] "World Fantasy Award-winner Tidhar (A Man Lies Dreaming) magnificently blends literary and speculative elements in this streetwise mosaic novel set under the towering titular spaceport. In a future border town formed between Israeli Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa, cyborg ex-soldiers deliver illicit drugs for psychic vampires, and robot priests give sermons and conduct circumcisions. The Chong family struggles to save patriarch Vlad, lost in the inescapable memory stream they all share, thanks to his father's hack of the Conversation, the collective unconscious. New children, born from back-alley genetic engineering, begin to experience actual and virtual reality simultaneously. Family and faith bring them all back and sustain them. Tidhar gleefully mixes classic SF concepts with prose styles and concepts that recall the best of world literature. The byways of Central Station ring with dusty life, like the bruising, bustling Cairo streets depicted by Naguib Mahfouz. Characters wrestle with problems of identity forged under systems of oppression, much as displaced Easterners and Westerners do in the novels of Orhan Pamuk. And yet this is unmistakably SF. Readers of all persuasions will be entranced."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

[STAR] ." . . a fascinating future glimpsed through the lens of a tight-knit community. Verdict: Tidhar (A Man Lies Dreaming; The Violent Century) changes genres with every outing, but his astounding talents guarantee something new and compelling no matter the story he tells."
--Library Journal, starred review

"It is just this side of a masterpiece -- short, restrained, lush -- and the truest joy of it is in the way Tidhar scatters brilliant ideas like pennies on the sidewalk."
--NPR Books

"A marvellous, multi-faceted story that flows gently from one character to another like an intimate private tour of Tel Aviv and the spaceport at its centre."
--SF Crowsnest

"A fantastic mosaic novel."
--New York Review of Science Fiction

"Tidhar, who the Guardian newspaper compared to Philip K. Dick, has given the world a fascinating and imaginative snapshot of a distant future."
--Charlie Shifflett, author of Accomplices

"Breathtakingly heady . . . a wonderfully inventive set of interconnected tales, brimming with sensory detail and paying tribute to a plethora of science-fiction tropes."
--Intergalactic Medicine Show

"Tidhar presents a richly constructed future in this beautifully crafted world."
--David Brin, author of Startide Rising and Existence

"Central Station is in every way a literary masterpiece."
--The Future Fire

"Thought-provoking . . . highly intellectual."
--Booklist

"A sprawling hymn to the glory and mess of cultural diversity."
--Guardian

"Quietly enthralling and subtly ingenious."
--Asimov's Science Fiction

"Beautiful, original, a shimmering tapestry of connections and images - I can't think of another SF novel quite like it. Lavie Tidhar is one of the most distinctive voices to enter the field in many years."
--Alastair Reynolds, author of the Revelation Space series

"If you want to know what SF is going to look like in the next decade, this is it."
--Gardner Dozois, editor of the bestselling Year's Best Science Fiction series

"A dazzling tale of complicated politics and even more complicated souls. Beautiful."
--Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings

"If Nalo Hopkinson and William Gibson held a seance to channel the spirit of Ray Bradbury, they might be inspired to produce a work as grimy, as gorgeous, and as downright sensual as Central Station."
--Peter Watts, author of Blindsight

"Central Station is masterful: simultaneously spare and sweeping--a perfect combination of emotional sophistication and speculative vision. Tidhar always stuns me."
--Kij Johnson, author of At the Mouth of the River of Bees

"Central Station boasts complexity without complication, sharp prose, and a multi-dimensional world."
--Jeffrey Ford, author of The Girl in the Glass

"Lavie Tidhar weaves the threads of classic and modern science fiction tropes with the skills of a gene surgeon and creates a whole new landscape to portray a future both familiar and unsettling. A unique marriage of Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, C. L. Moore, China Mieville, and Larry Niven with 50 degrees of compassion and the bizarre added. An irresistible cocktail."
--Maxim Jakubowski, author of the Sunday Times bestselling Vina Jackson novels

"Like all good science fiction, the linked stories of Central Station are really about the here and now we live in. Most urgently, they are about just who 'we' might be, here on this overcrowded, contested, Anthropocene world that we all must share. Lavie Tidhar writes in generous detail and expansive vision of a New, and old Jerusalem, and of the many possible 'we's who live there."
--Carter Scholz, author of Radiance

"Tidhar weaves strands of faith and science fiction into a breathtaking and lush family history of the far future."
--Max Gladstone, author of Three Parts Dead

"Disturbingly strange, yet bizarrely familiar, like implanted memories from a future you have not yet lived. I loved it."
--Eileen Gunn, author of Stable Strategies and Others

"A mosaic of mind-blowing ideas and a dazzling look at a richly-imagined, textured future."
--Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings

"I recommend it highly. It'll stay with you for days, because every idea in it has more ideas under it. It's all of science fiction distilled into a single book."
--Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan and Gun Machine

"It's an amazing book!"
--Jewelle Gomez author of The Gilda Stories

"Central Station is brilliant."
--Barnes and Noble

"[Tidhar] has created a textured and original future that echoes real historical and economic tensions while satisfying veteran readers with deliberate echoes of classic science fiction...Deeply humane."
--Chicago Tribune

"[A] standout, absorbing, well realised sci-fi world, with characters who feel like they're about to stroll off the page and take you for a cup of arak."
--Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

"[T]he escape from more traditional (and commercial) story structure allows the Central Station to be a place where the extraordinary and alien are commonplace, its world imbued with life beyond the service of a single narrative arc."
--Ars Technica

"It's a compelling collection that mixes the epic and the intimate, one that succeeds at being profound, incredibly moving and, quite simply, stunning."
--Starburst Magazine, 10 out of 10 stars

"Some of Tidhar's finest writing. Verdict: Come to Central Station and allow yourself to be enveloped in its embrace.
--Sci-Fi Bulletin

"Central Station combines a cultural sensibility too long invisible in SF with a sensibility which is nothing but classic SF, and the result is a rather elegant suite of tales."
--Locus

"Central Station is without question the best assemblage of short stories I've read in recent memory.... Sublimely sensual, emotionally moreish, and composed with crystalline clarity irrespective of its incredible complexity."
--Tor.com

"I smelled the smells of Tel Aviv in the first paragraph of the introduction, meat cooking and sweat and sand and Mediterranean air. I saw the city squares, flowing with life and laughter and languages. I felt like I had come home."
--The Warbler

"Intricate and otherworldly, emotional and thought provoking,"
--Books, Bones & Buffy

"It's unlike any Science Fiction I've ever read, equally parts poetic, abstract, and authentic in its ability to show us a strange future we can believe that, yes, is certainly possible."
--Elitist Book Reviews

"The breadth of Tidhar's imagination in this book just left me gasping...if you love worldbuilding, good characterisation and a world of possibilities, this is definitely for you."
--Blue Book Balloon

"This is a novel that captures the heart of human experience (in all it's odd ways) whilst simultaneously building a world full of wonderful and far-reaching ideas. It's beautiful, considered and complex in equal measure."
--The Bookbeard's Blog

"I love Lavie Tidhar's writing and, as always, here it is beautiful."
--For Winter Nights

"Tidhar's imagination is not only seen in the newly-minted terms or the quirky languages the novel has, but in the ideas it contains. Central Station is full of fresh and well-thought concepts."
--Sense of Wonder

"Great...it has a very Blade Runner feel to it."
--The Writerly Reader

"If SF is about expanding boundaries and making us think in new ways, then this is absolutely at the core of the genre. I can't recommend it highly enough."
--Fed on Peaches

"Central Station is one of the most breathtakingly, bewilderingly, mindbendingly imaginative stories I've read in some time."
--Bookaneer

"If you're looking for something a little more philosophical and thoughtful than the usual fare in the genre, look no further than this book . . . a fantastic read."
--Strange Currencies

"Lavie Tidhar gives enormous depth to the world he creates. . . . Central Station is a fascinating glimpse into a very possible future."
--Metapunk

"Central Station is a gorgeous book"
--Booklikes

"I think I've just read one of the books of the year, although we are only in April."
--Dreams of Elvex

"I wouldn't be surprised to see this one on the Nebula shortlist next year."
--Rob Weber, Val's Random Comments

"The lushness, the alien-ness, but organic feel of the setting of Tel Aviv, with the gamespace and the Conversation flickering in and around, reminded me of Hyperion by Dan Simmons."
--Koenix

"Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys literary science fiction, especially authors like Hannu Rajaniemi"
--Agreybox

"This is science fiction told on an intimate scale."
--Strange Alliances

"What makes this book special is the strong literary quality to the writing.... Central Station is not like anything else you've read. This book shows clearly that Lavie Tidhar is an author to watch."
--SF Revu

"Central Station is a wondrous thought-provoking book, as you would expect from someone as highly credentialed as Lavie Tidhar."
--Fantasy Book Review

"Powerfully imagined and beautifully rendered... capture[s] profound emotional truths"
--Interzone

"Central Station is a thoughtful, poignant, human take on a possible future."
--Fantasy Literature

"I loved the array of characters, cultures, real and imagined from the robotniks with their robotic religion, to the description of a futuristic Tel Aviv that was so vivid, I could almost see it."
--The Conversationalist

"Full of sublime ideas and beautiful, evocative prose...It is a novel to fall in love with."
--Dancing on Glass

"Every page was a delight."
--Astounding Yarns

"It's a really great piece of fiction, and one of the most interesting science-fiction novels of recent years."
--Bookmunch

"The further I got into this novel, the more I enjoyed myself."
--The Little Red Reviewer

"Tidhar is one of the few authors who can take these big, uncomfortable ideas and story tropes and pull something brilliant and beautiful and fresh out of them."
--Kalireads

"[A] short, wonderful novel that I loved from beginning to end and thoroughly recommend."
--Sense of Wonder

"Tidhar does a marvelous job of depicting his vision of Earth's future, and after a few pages, you're completely immersed in his semi-dystopian, realistic version of Tel Aviv."
--Girl Who Reads

"A gorgeous vision of what more likely than not will be the world to come and beautifully written to boot."
--Shelf Inflicted

..".a wonderful tribute to classic SF..."
--Locus, Year in Review

"This is the future we were promised. . . . In Central Station the future is all around, all those glittering, exciting, shimmering things that we learned to recognise from science fiction."
--Paul Kincaid, the Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy

"A tapestry of individual characters, every one artfully and lovingly drawn down to the very least, whose lives touch and interact with each other, but who exist in their own right."
--Adrian Tchaikovsky, Shadows of the Apt

"Amidst the loves and the fears, Tidhar reminds us of the intoxicating and invigorating power of longing and nostalgia."
--The Jewish Standard

About the Author

British Science Fiction and World Fantasy Awardwinning author Lavie Tidhar was born in Israel. He has lived all over the world, including in Vanuatu, Laos, and South Africa, and is currently making his home in London. Tidhar has been compared to Philip K. Dick by the "Guardian" and to Kurt Vonnegut by "Locus." His most recent novels, "The Violent Century" and "A Man Lies Dreaming," were published to rapturous reviews in the UK, with the "Independent "both referring to them as masterpieces. "


Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quite well written, with fair characterisation. But seriously derivative and unimaginative. Lots of references to Cordwainer Smith (if you're going to have influences, it's good to have the best) but you'd get a lot more out of reading the real thing. Worse yet, the plot just peters out without resolving anything. Tidhar is maybe setting up for a sequel, but if so, this just wasn't interesting enough for me to stick around waiting for more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent, a fabulous story, full of believable characters and plot, I lost myself in this book. I do hope it's the first of many.
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By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2016
Format: Paperback
I have read two other books by Lavie Tidhar (The Violent Century, and A Man Lies Dreaming), both of which were stunning, so I was more than happy to read this book, although it promised a very different story.

In this book, Tidhar effortlessly transports us into a future world, yet one that feels totally familiar to us now; a world that we could very readily imagine being the future of humanity. In Tel Aviv the Central Station space station is not only the place where people embark on and disembark from their travels, it’s also where a lot of people make their lives. A microcosm of humanity and those who are not so human; the products of genetic engineering, wars and a world that’s become what it is through both intention and accident. Here, at Central Station, Boris Chong returns from Mars, and it’s here that we join him, as he discovers and rediscovers his friends and family.

I absolutely loved this book; the author has the total knack of writing in a way that, even if you didn’t know what the book was going to be about, you would find yourself drawn into the narrative in no time, thoroughly absorbed in the perfectly built world and the complete characters. Not one word is wasted, yet you know exactly what is happening, and how it comes about. We see the tale unfold from the perspective of very disparate characters, and it adds up to a sum of its parts perfectly. This is sci-fi at its best; a wonderful tale, beautifully told, and another masterpiece from Lavie Tidhar.
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 May 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
I had an advance e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

Despite what Amazon says about the paperback edition, it has been published and is available!

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik—a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

The breadth of Tidhar's imagination in this book just left me gasping.

Central Station itself is a spaceport. Built in a future version of Tel Aviv, several centuries hence, it provides the gateway to the "Up and Out". Like the seaports of old, a vast and diverse hinterland supports the Station and this book tells the stories of some of those who live there.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've never encountered a novel quite like this. The last great sci-fi novel I read was Theodore Sturgeon's dazzling 'More Than Human', and finally I've found a worthy successor!

The titular Central Station is a space port located in Tel Aviv, Israel. As Earth's only link to vast swathes of the Solar System, Central Station is a melting pot of culture. Immigrants from all over Earth live both within and outside of Central Station, searching for a life close to the stars. Visitors from other planets, the descendants of human settlers, are all drawn to the hive of activity that is Central Station. And infiltrating the lives of all who live in this universe is the digital realm, encompassed by the constant feed of information, 'The Conversation', fed to people through nodes installed in their bodies at birth. The divisions between humanity and digital intelligence are blurring: half-human, half-cyborg robotniks fall in love with human women, vampires roam the universe feeding on data rather than blood, and the omnipresent 'Others', sentient digital intelligences, lurk in the background. Tidhar follows the lives of the people and digital beings caught up in the midst of Central Station, weaving a beautiful tapestry of words that both tantalises the boundless depths of imagination, and affirms the bonds that unite human-kind.

This is sci-fi done well. The world-building is impeccable: the reader is whisked away in a panoramic view of Central Station and all its inhabitants as we flit between new and old characters, fleshing out this truly vibrant society Tidhar has envisioned. We meet interesting characters such as Brother R. Patch-It, a robot priest who questions what it means to be both human and robot ("To be a robot, you needed faith, R. Patch-It thought.
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