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Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard di [Schoen, Lawrence M.]
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Lunghezza: 385 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
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Descrizione prodotto


The Sixth Sense meets Planet of the Apes in a moving science fiction novel set so far in the future, humanity is gone and forgotten in Lawrence M. Schoen's Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard

An historian who speaks with the dead is ensnared by the past. A child who feels no pain and who should not exist sees the future. Between them are truths that will shake worlds.

In a distant future, no remnants of human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of humanity's genius-animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings. The Fant are one such species: anthropomorphic elephants ostracized by other races, and long ago exiled to the rainy ghetto world of Barsk. There, they develop medicines upon which all species now depend. The most coveted of these drugs is koph, which allows a small number of users to interact with the recently deceased and learn their secrets.

To break the Fant's control of koph, an offworld shadow group attempts to force the Fant to surrender their knowledge. Jorl, a Fant Speaker with the dead, is compelled to question his deceased best friend, who years ago mysteriously committed suicide. In so doing, Jorl unearths a secret the powers that be would prefer to keep buried forever. Meanwhile, his dead friend's son, a physically challenged young Fant named Pizlo, is driven by disturbing visions to take his first unsteady steps toward an uncertain future.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 1762 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 385
  • Editore: Tor Books (29 dicembre 2015)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Abilitato
  • Screen Reader: Supportato
  • Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
  • Media recensioni: Recensisci per primo questo articolo
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #491.267 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards") 4.6 su 5 stelle 75 recensioni
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle I did like the idea of how the Fant sail off when ... 3 maggio 2016
Di gross_fruit - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
I found the this book not very compelling. Some interesting ideas but none fully developed. Lots seeming borrowed from other works. A drug of critical importance to the galaxy that cannot be replicated and comes from only one planet? Uplifted sentient animal species? So we have Dune and Brin's Uplift universe combined. I found the uplifted animals to be just regular old humans with vaguely different kinds of bodies. Wouldn't each species have different psychologies? Or was all that drummed out of them? Anyway, the story started slowly but unfolded predictably. It had the standard SciFi mutli-page monologue by a character who thankfully knows everything the author wants the reader to know and explains all the concepts in one big shot. The concepts are interesting for sure but noting revolutionary in the story telling here. Not much is explained around the central concept of nefshons either. Particles that contain part of our sentience that can be pulled together to talk to the dead. What are they made of? How are they generated? They seemingly never fade so is the universe just filling up with them? Do they have mass? No, they are just there and work. Ok. Small peeve: apparently time is still counted in Earth years 60K years into the future and no one thinks this is odd? I did like the idea of how the Fant sail off when their life was over. But that just set me up to expect the other species to have cultures and behaviors derived from their ancient animal instincts which sadly is not explored in the book.

Surprised seasoned SciFi readers would be drawn to this book. The ideas around language origin and transmission were interesting but for me not enough so to overcome what I felt was standard storytelling, average-to-weak world buildings, and characters I did not care about.
4 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle To the Graveyard and Beyond 10 gennaio 2016
Di John T. Sapienza, Jr. - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
This is an excellent, and most unusual, science fiction novel. The characters are engaging, the puzzles intriguing. It’s a real page-turner. Read it, and you will see why I think it will get the author another Hugo nomination.

The local star cluster is full of intelligent species that clearly are uplifted mammals from ancient Earth. But how? When? Why are the two elephant species shunned by the others? And finally, where are the humans?

If that doesn’t make you buy the book, consider the science at work. How does memory work? Is it individual or shared? Electrical or chemical? How can certain individuals speak with the dead? Because an elephant never forgets?

Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, with a special focus in psycholinguistics. He spent ten years as a college professor, and has done extensive research in the areas of human memory and language. His background in the study of human behavior and the mind provide a principal metaphor for his fiction. So far as I am aware, however, he does not speak with the dead.
5 di 5 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Read This! 29 dicembre 2015
Di Paula - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Barsk is definitely on my re-read list, I've been through it twice already. I've read complex stories that feel like I'm inside the book's outline, checking off bullet points as we move along- there's none of that here! All the characters, ideas and story lines are introduced and reestablished with a great balance- no going back to reread passages for explanations, no overly repetitive reminders, and lots to ponder as I learned about nefshons and Speakers and Barsk's (and everyone else's) place in the universe.
As I read Barsk (the first time) questions kept arising that were all ultimately answered in the end, showing an attention to detail that I thoroughly enjoy. The second time, I saw new layers of subtlety that demonstrated how deeply the author has developed this world, without overwhelming his readers.
Barsk is on my to-gift list, for my friends who enjoy SF and also for those who enjoy thinking while they read. I highly recommend it!
5.0 su 5 stelle Nebula-Nominated BARSK Envisions a Far Future Like No Other (No, Really!) 13 settembre 2016
Di Michael Voss - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
If there's one thing I like, it's a logically rigid system of magic in a made-up world. If there's one thing I like better, it's a logically rigid system of science in a made-up future. Particularly one that brings to mind Clarke's Third Law, the one about a sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic. You'll find Lawrence M Schoen's science of the far future in his Nebula-nominated novel BARSK: THE ELEPHANT'S GRAVEYARD more logical than Spock. And until Schoen starts explaining things, it might as well be magic. But the revelations, when they do come, fuel a masterpiece denouement that will have you staying up as long as it takes to finish.

But let's back up a bit. What exactly is it Schoen does in BARSK to bring the Third Law into reader’s minds? First, there are the Fants. Anthropomorphic versions of the African (Lox, after the Latin Loxodonta) and Asian (Eleph, after Elephas) elephants we all know from the circus, the zoo, and National Geographic. Collectively referred to in Barsk as Fants, these futuristic mammals, found solely on the watery world known as Barsk, are recognizably elephantine, with the same big floppy ears and trumpety trunks we all know and love. But there are differences. Rather than the big clodhopper feet they walk upright on, their forelimbs feature toolmaker digits with opposable thumbs. They live in houses and sit on chairs. They make breakfast and dinner. Oh, and they talk. (But not to Pizlo, an albino abomination not expected to live even the six years he already has in BARSK. Like most cultures, the Fants are more scientifically than culturally advanced in some ways).

These far future sapient elephants also read and write and use computers. A beanstalk space elevator lifts their trade goods to orbit, where a galaxy that shuns the furless Fants can make use of their talents without risking contact. A galaxy-wide Compact sets the rules that keep Fants and other mammal species apart. But that’s just the set-up.

What Schoen then has his Fants doing that echoes the Third Law is even more improbable-sounding, at least early on. One of Barsk’s exports is a drug called koph. Koph allows certain individuals to speak to the dead. Although not wholly explained when Schoen first presents it, this process, called Speaking (and its practicioners, of course, are Speakers), involves calling up the particles that made up a person - nefshons - to recreate them as they once were, often within a constructed environment that the Speaker expects will make them comfortable during their unexpected recall. The reconstructed person, by the way, seems physically present. Piss off a Conversant you called into being and he might punch you in the nose. Ouch!

The Speaking process also comes with an 800-year-old Edict and a prophecy. Still looking very magicky and almost primitive, given an agrarian society on a sparsely populated planet. But trust me - and trust Schoen - it’s all scientifically sound in the BARSK Universe. And the story Schoen tells depends on that.

The first part of BARSK introduces a family of sorts: the historian Jorl ben Tral; his lifelong best friend Arlo, whom Jorl can only talk to via his nefshons, the original being some two years passed under circumstances that still puzzle Jorl; and Arlo's now six-year old son Pizlo, a rare albino shunned by all of their society save for his father, his mother Tolta, and Jorl.

This part of the story concerns a group of elderly Fants who each set out to sea alone as they perceive their time of dying at hand and go in search of the island that is every Fant's traditional resting place. We learn quickly, however, that somebody wants these Fants for an unknown purpose, waylaying over two hundred Dying who will never be missed - and in fact they aren't, since the only contact they might be expected to have with the living at that point would be through their nefshons. Via means I won't spoil for you, Pizlo helps Jorl go looking for these victims, whose disappearance seems related to the 800 year old prophecy referred to as The Silence. Did I mention precognition as another element in the BARSK universe? It’s rare, but it’s also real, just like nefshons and uplifted mammals are.

Unraveling this mystery takes up the rest of the novel, introducing several fascinating characters both dead and alive, including a number from other mammal species that, like the Fants, display human-like attributes but, unlike the Fants, are all furred species who shun the hairless Lox and Elephs. Which is one reason they are confined to Barsk, while other species roam the galaxy at will.

Schoen's story develops a bit slowly at first, but once he starts taking us through the logical consequences of the science behind Speaking, things get cracking in a hurry, and the last hundred pages are a joyful ride as, straining then breaking the arbitrary 'laws' of speaking, Jorl gets to the bottom of 800 years of secrets no Fant could ever have imagined. Nor you or I. All credit to Schoen. Now let’s see if he can cook up an equally revelatory sequel, now that all of BARSK's secrets have been revealed. Or have they?
5.0 su 5 stelle BARSK: The Elephants' Graveyard Deserves Applause 6 settembre 2016
Di Colin Greeley - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
If you wanted another Frank Herbert like sci-fi, Lawrence M. Schoen is your author to quench that thirst.

Quick Summary: BARSK: The Elephants' Graveyard is a geo-political, quasi-religious, science fiction novel centering around the home-world of anthropomorphic elephants. Jorl, a newly donned Aleph of his race, believes he's apart of something greater set in prophecy by a long dead matriarch. A plot is threatening to dismantle an ancient compact between his people and the greater alliance of other anthro animals around producing a drink known as "koph", which allows certain beings to summon the dead. What will become of Jorl's world, and can he put a dent in prophecy?

- Fantastic pacing.
- Interesting universe and races.
- Characters are all different and important in some way.
- Plot twists that aren't forced and you really won't see coming. (First time in a long while that I enjoyed a plot twist at all.)
- An interesting spin on many older sci-fi ideas. You can compare to many, but find few, completely copied ideas. (Fresh.)
- Grounded in reality, yet walks the line of surrealism.
- $17 is a good price for a nice hardcover edition, and I recommend you get hardcover for any book worth your time.
- Build up can give you a false sense of security and sweep you off your feet quickly.
- Every little thing throughout the book will connect and make monumental sense later on. This is how you're supposed to bring up older information and make it important again.

- Not necessarily a con, but a warning. If you don't like Frank Herbert's writing style, for whatever reason, chances are you won't like Lawrence's. (God knows why you wouldn't.)
- Characters switch perspective almost each chapter, so be warned if you're not used to this type of writing. (Cloud Atlas had me prepared for this.)

I'd recommend this book to any science fiction lover out there. Grab yourself a copy today!
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