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$122.85 $90.00 list($195.00)
61. The Complete Star Wars Trilogy:
$17.16 list($26.00)
62. We Few
63. Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide
$7.19 $4.89 list($7.99)
64. Foucault's Pendulum
$16.77 $14.00 list($23.95)
65. Iron Sunrise
$17.13 list($25.95)
66. Sunstorm
$29.95 $8.00
67. Dark Encounters (Star Wars: A
$9.60 $7.00 list($12.00)
68. Out of the Silent Planet (Space
$16.35 list($25.95)
69. The Star Wars Trilogy (Collected
$26.37 $26.32 list($39.95)
70. Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars
$10.17 $9.75 list($14.95)
71. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
$7.19 $4.65 list($7.99)
72. The House of the Scorpion
$6.29 $2.94 list($6.99)
73. Hard Contact (Star Wars: Republic
$10.17 $4.19 list($14.95)
74. Broken Angels
$16.76 $15.77 list($23.95)
75. Fight Club
$7.19 $3.79 list($7.99)
76. Speaker for the Dead (Ender Wiggin
$7.19 list($7.99)
77. Titan, Book One : Taking Wing
$7.19 $5.53 list($7.99)
78. Xenocide (Ender Wiggin Saga)
$10.88 $9.82 list($16.00)
79. Messenger
$10.17 $5.95 list($14.95)
80. The Sparrow

61. The Complete Star Wars Trilogy: Original Radio Dramas
by George Lucas
list price: $195.00
our price: $122.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565111656
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 59024
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great set! If you are a collector, this is worth it!
This CD set is great. You think you know Star Wars because you've seen the movie? Wait till you hear it! I'm so glad I decided to go for the Collector's Edition. There were only 7500 of these made, so it is quite expensive, but I think it is worth it.

Important about the COLLECTOR'S EDITION: it contains the following special tracks: comments from four of the principals, the speederbike scene without sound or music added, then with all the effects, for comparision, two public radio membership spots by Tony Daniels (C3PO), and the touching "Message for Brian." For me, "Message for Brian" was worth the extra all by itself. (Brian Daley, the writer, was ill with pancreatic cancer when this was recorded, and the cast recorded this "get-well card" for him, only to find that he died within 24 hours of the completion of the recording sessions.)

Unfortunately, Brian never got to hear this message. But the radio dramas he created, which are now dedicated to him, are a great monument to his efforts. I would recommend this set to anyone who is a real fan of the Star Wars universe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ever Wonder About the Little Things in Star Wars?
In this classic radio drama it fills in all of the Star Wars gaps left in the plot like the stort of Biggs Darklighter and Lukes other friends before the arrival of R2-D2 and C-3PO. The voices that aren't the original cast are done so well that after a the first few episodes you forget that they weren't cast originally I give it two thumbs up. The music and sound effects can't be beat.

4-0 out of 5 stars Superb
I'm very satisfied with this set. Great voice-acting, superb production values. Captures the atmosphere of the original trilogy. But I was somewhat dissappointed with the packaging.
Nice, but somewhat plain compared to the extravagant treatment the LOTR:BBC Radio Drama got. Just a minor quibble.

I recommend getting the regular version. I bought the collector's edition, and while I'm very pleased with it, the difference between the two is very minimal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent production fills in the gaps
I listened to these on NPR Playhouse when I was young, and tried to record all of the episodes onto cassette tape. I finally got to throw the old recordings away when I got this excellent box set. As a long time fan, I could not be happier with this collection.

The Star Wars trilogy translates well to the radio play format. It helps that a few of the original cast members reprised their roles. Anthony Daniels is the mainstay, and voices 3-CPO through all three productions. The other cast members are all talented radio actors, and suited to their parts. The actors keep their roles for all three productions, so there is nice continuity of character.

The stories are considerable longer than the films, and fill in the gaps of the storyline. Star Wars contains all of the famous deleted footage between Luke and Biggs, as well as a window into Luke's life on Tatooine. (As a side note, some of this was included in the Star Wars special edition re-release, as well as The Phantom Menace. Look for the pod racers to "thread the stone needle" as described in the radio play.) The other two series are not as expansive, but still deliver more story than the film. The excitement and gradure of the series is well translated to audio.

This collector's set includes many extras not available in the standard releases. These include commercials, making-of features, and the touching get well card to Brian. The box is very nice, and the entire set has very high production values. It is worth the price.

I remember receiving bad recordings of all 13 episodes of Star Wars and only 6 of the 10 episodes of Empire from my English teacher many years ago. Despite these disadvantages, however,I listened to these episodes religeously, whether it was after school or on the weekend. Why? Mostly because of their atmosphere and if you're a Star Wars fan you would know that the Star Wars movies alone are drenched in atmosphere. The Radio Dramas however go one step further and extend the already classic story.To understand What I mean...GET IT!!...NOW. ... Read more

62. We Few
by David Weber, John Ringo
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074349881X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Baen
Sales Rank: 11086
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Book Description

Prince Roger MacClintock was an heir to the galaxy's Throne of Man-and a self-obsessed spoiled young brat . . . until he and the Royal Marines sent to protect him were stranded on Marduk with only their feet to get them half way around the entire planet. So far, they've crossed a continent, crossed a sea full of ship-eating monsters, taken over an enemy spaceport, and hijacked a starship. But they're not home-free yet, because home is no longer free. In Roger's absence, a palace coup by enemies of the MacClintock family has seized control of the Empire. His mother the Empress is a captive in the palace and even in her own body, drugged so that her will is not her own. Roger's bother, the heir to the throne, is dead. And Roger himself has been branded an outlaw and traitor. Roger and his faithful band of human marines and native alien warriors have beaten the barbarian planet Marduk, and now they must re-conquer an interstellar empire. But they aren't about to give up, and with the help of those on the throne planet who are still loyal to the Empress they will infiltrate (under cover of a restaurant specializing in exotic Mardukan dishes, no less), they will make anyone who gets in their way (such as local mobsters who make the mistake of kidnapping Roger's fiancé) very sorry that they did, and they will not rest until the rightful ruler has been restored. Once again, a lot of power-hungry people are going to learn a hard lesson: You do not, ever, mess with a MacClintock! ... Read more

63. Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, The
list price: $42.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517599244
Catlog: Book (1994-10-11)
Publisher: Harmony
Sales Rank: 199939
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book, irritating presentation
First, the good news: this contains the complete Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel, one of the greatest books ever written. Problem is, the photos and art that accompany this particular version only serve to distract the reader and snap him/her out of the fictional dream. Die-hard Adams fans are the only people who will really want this, and then purely as a conversation piece. If you are new to the world of the Guide, you would be better served by getting The Ultimate Hitch-Hiker's Guide, which has the text of this book plus the other four in the series and a short story, and no pictures.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Illustrated HGTTG is a MUST for every D. Adams fan.
The story :
It's a thursday when the earth get's destroyed to make space
for a new hyperspace highway. The human Arthur Dent and
his friend, Ford Prefect from the Planet Beteigeuze, are
flagged up to the Vogon spaceship. From now on begins a
crazy travel through the Universe (and beyond) ...

Specials about this book:
If you are a real Douglas Adams fan, you MUST own this book.
The whole story is described with funny looking pictures,
and even Adams itself has a guest-role.
... Read more

64. Foucault's Pendulum
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345368754
Catlog: Book (1990-11-13)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 3516
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"As brilliant and quirky as THE NAME OF THE ROSE, as mischievous and wide-raning....A virtuoso performance."
Three clever book editors, inspired by an extraordinary fable they heard years befoe, decide to have a little fun. Randomly feeding esoteric bits of knowledge into an incredible computer capable of inventing connections between all their entires, they think they are creating a long lazy game--until the game starts taking over....
Here is an incredible journey of thought and history, memory and fantasy, a tour de force as enthralling as anything Umberto Eco--or indeed anyone--has ever devised.

... Read more

Reviews (283)

3-0 out of 5 stars You'd better have an unabridged dictionary handy....
Umberto Eco is a major cause of headaches. Well, he was for me, at least.

About seven years ago, I bought myself a paperback copy of Foucault's Pendulum at the university book store. It looked like an engaging plotline, the reviews were excellent, and it had a really neat cover.

I realize now that most of the reviewers were probably intelligentsia-wannabes who didn't want to admit to the other reviewers they didn't have a clue what Umberto Eco was going on about. I remember seeing pictures of movie stars holding copies of Foucault's Pendulum in order to look brainy.

Expecting some sort of smart cyber tale with a mystical flavour, I started reading. It was the densest prose I'd ever encountered, even worse than the Webster's unabridged dictionary's definition for "existentialism."

Foucault's Pendulum is definitely not a cyber story. A word processor is the only computer, and there aren't any net-running scenes. Nevertheless, the mystical stuff is certainly there. Umberto Eco waxes philosophical for pages upon pages about word processors (and everything else) in a mystical fashion, all the while going off on Rosicrucian and Greater Key of Solomon tangents in languages like Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and medieval French.

I slaved over Foucault's Pendulum for about a year, always making sure I had a copy of Webster's unabridged dictionary on hand. Unfortunately, it didn't help very much. You see, many of the words in the book are not in the dictionary.

I think that in order to truly comprehend the intricacies of Foucault's Pendulum, a reader needs to be a polyglot with several PhDs in history, philosophy, occult studies, and sciences under her/his belt. Oh yes, and the reader should also have more than a passing familiarity with Sam Spade detective novels.

This makes me wonder what sort of man Umberto Eco really is.

The book proved to be too much for me in my undergrad days. I only got about a third of the way into the novel before giving up in consternation.

Some time later, my husband made the cocky assertion he could read any English novel and fully comprehend it. I called his bluff and handed him my dusty copy of Foucault's Pendulum. I don't think he even made it as far as I did before he unceremoniously jammed the book back into its place on the shelf.

Then, about a year or two ago, I watched The Name of the Rose, and the richness of the plot made me want to try reading the book again.

So, I dragged the dusty book out of my bookshelf. I opened to where the bookmark was, and couldn't remember what the hellwas going on. I groaned aloud when I realized I would have to start all over from scratch.

Once again, I began struggling my way through heavily obfuscated prose. The three-volume dictionary did not leave my side. I was determined to finish the book, and finish it I did in a scant month.

Sure, I was irritable and walked around with a perpetual wrinkle ensconced between my eyebrows, but I finished it, darn it! And, with plenty of research on the side, I even understood (most of) it.

Never before have I worked so hard to read a book.

Now I have just begun to read Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln's The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. While reading the forward, I experienced a bit of déja vu. The subject matter is almost identical to the plotline of Foucault's Pendulum, albeit much easier to comprehend.

A few pages later, I read how Umberto Eco was inspired to write his migraine of a novel from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.

Why couldn't I have read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail first? It would have saved me a few brain cells.

I guess it's because of the cover. The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail has a rather vanilla cover, and I'm drawn by shiny things. Foucault's Pendulum has the coolest foil embossing.....

4-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, intelligent, but tough
I've just finished Foucault's Pendulum, after reading on and off for about six months. Certainly I agree with the cross-section of opinions already listed. However, for me the biggest draw-card for this book was it's humour. So often I was more than just chuckling inside at the subtle and not-so-subtle humour that Eco uses to lampoon his various secret societies. But of course, as Eco drew me into the story, it turns out that the joke was on me!

Having finished the book, I went back and spent several hours skimming it from cover to cover, and picked up on a whole lot of stuff I didn't fully appreciate on first reading. Also, by that stage I had out my two volume dictionary! Yes, I got sucked into it too.

Several people I know had read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. From what they told me about it, Foucault's Pendulum could be interpreted as a direct parody of the three authors of that book. I am now reading it to test my theory.

As others have said, this is a tough read. However, I loved the first chapter, and it is Eco's descriptive yet highly intellectual style that kept me going through this minefield of pedantic knowledge.

Finally, when I finished the book I really felt as though I'd finished a great journey. It was tough to get to the end, but worth the effort. I actually saw the book in a new light, and, until I'd finished it I would have had a lot of trouble telling people what it was actually "about".

5-0 out of 5 stars Reacquaints you with long lost parts of your brain!
I was digging through Amazon's online version of a bookstore's "bargain bin" looking for something new to read. I came across Foucault's Pendulum and it sounded interesting enough. It starts out, the first 10 or 20 pages, quite convoluted and confusing. I remarked to my husband that perhaps this book was a bit "too cerebral" for me. But, I perservered and I am so glad I did!

Yes, those that say the book starts slow- it truly does. But then, it opens up to this magnificent and complex universe of religious history, conspiracy theories, murder, mystery and suspense and keeps you wanting to read more.

The vocabulary is intense and pretty advanced and there were, in fact, several words that I was unfamiliar with entirely- particularly those that were in LATIN (what was that about?) But, after sitting down with this book for a while, you feel that you have just worked out your brain. It's invigorating! I found myself having resurected a long-lost vocabulary that I almost forgot I even had!

To sum it up- great book. Very intriguing, complicated, and, sorry for the cliche, "page turning" story. But, as an added bonus, it is extrordinarily thought-provoking and brain exercising! Highly recommend it to those of you that don't want your brain to turn into oatmeal in the lazy summer months.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Game
It is a great book!!!
And Foucault's Pendulum IS the GAME!

1-0 out of 5 stars Incomprehensible
I thought I was dumb when I read over three fourths of this gobbledygook and didn't understand more than a line. However, one odd day I chanced across a collection of essays of Salman Rushdie in a bookshop and was flipping through the pages when I came across by chance Rushdie's review of the book.
In short Rushdie said that he read the whole book and didn't understand a single sentence of the book. What a relief - the author of the booker of bookers said not a sentence...So here I am pride salvaged - and writing this review.
Piece of advice for anyone considering picking this up - unless you have a Ph.D in theology AND a masters degree in occult faiths, you may not appreciate this book.
Sandeep ... Read more

65. Iron Sunrise
by Charles Stross
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441011594
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Ace Books
Sales Rank: 29472
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Charles Stross's "visionary" (Library Journal) debut novel Singularity Sky was hailed as "a carnival of ideas" (Michael Swanwick) and sealed his reputation as the writer who "owns the cutting edge of science fiction" (James Patrick Kelly). Now he moves beyond that horizon with his stunning sequel, Iron Sunrise.

When the planet of Moscow was annihilated, its few survivors launched a counter-attack against the most likely culprit: the neighboring system of New Dresden. But New Dresden wasn't responsible, and as the deadly missiles approach their target, Rachel Mansour, agent for the interests of Old Earth, is assigned to find out who was.

And the one person who knows is a disaffected teenager who calls herself Wednesday Shadowmist. But Wednesday has no idea what she knows...
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading it now and loving it.
I'm not in the habit of writing reviews of books I'm still reading but Iron Sunrise appeared on my "plog" so I decided to wade in with a "Wow!".

Stross has more going on in the 98 pages I have read than many authors manage in an entire book (or two...). I'd previously read Singularity Sky and loved it. This book is in the same universe but feels a bit different. Stross seems more deft and comfortable with his characters or maybe I thought Singularity Sky was just a bit on the silly side.

I have the feeling that after Iron Sunrise we'll be waiting anxiously for the next Stross volume.

Stross is in my mind a first class member of the UK SF luminaries that includes Asher, Morgan Reynolds, and Banks.

5-0 out of 5 stars innovative science fiction
The Escheton, an artificial intelligence, caused the human disappearance on Earth, sending the nine billion people to different planets by opening macroscopic wormholes in space-time. People were warned not to violate causality (time travel) or they would suffer the consequences by the Escheton or its agents. Five years ago, weapons of mass destruction destroyed the planetary system of Moscow though nobody knows who caused it.

Moscow had in orbit four ships that were sent to destroy the 800 million inhabitants of New Dresden who they believed caused the destruction of their planet. There are people who know the codes to abort the attack but an enemy who seems invisible and invinciple is killing them one by one. Rachel Mansour, a black ops agent is sent to New Dresden where two of the people with the codes are staying and hopes to bait a trap to catch the assassin and find out who is behind this tragedy. On New Dresden is Wednesday, a Goth teenage, who works with the Escheton to learn who the enemy is and destroy it. The teen has knowledge that she is not aware of that could solve everyone's dilemma if only if she can figure out what it is.

IRON SUNRISE is innovative science fiction with many subplots leading seamlessly back to the main storyline. The characters are well developed and feel realistic especially Wednesday, whose parents were killed by the same group that was involved in destroying her home world Moscow. Although she is emotionally a mess, she has the brains to be an agent of Escheton even though for much of the book she does not know what its' plans for her are. Charles Stross is a great storyteller and an author who is superstar bound in the science fiction galaxy.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

66. Sunstorm
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034545250X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 23074
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67. Dark Encounters (Star Wars: A Long Time Ago..., Book 2)
by Archie Goodwin, Carmine Infantino, Terry Austin, Various
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1569717850
Catlog: Book (2002-07-10)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 311864
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... features classic Star Wars stories not seen in over twenty years! Originally printed by Marvel Comics, these stories have been re-colored using today’s computer technology, giving "old" work a fresh face. Volume 2 collects issues of the original Marvel run and contains such riveting classics as "Crucible" and the unforgettable "What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut?" ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Marvel Star Wars
I read the first volume in this series, "Doomworld," and enjoyed it, but thought it was a bit corny and too cartoonish in places. I was surprised and pleased that the comics got much better with time.

A good portion of this set of 19 comics revolves around the Tagge family, who generally opposes Darth Vader, but also opposes the rebellion. Baron Tagge even hopes to supplant Darth Vader himself, though we know where such schemes end. In "Doom Mission," we find Baron Tagge has created a space station within the stormy atmosphere of the gas giant Yavin where Tie fighters launch attacks against the rebel base on the fourth moon. This story is quite creative with how Baron Tagge created the space station, how it was discovered and how it was eventually attacked.

There are quite a few creative moments in the various stories. In a series of three stories, "The Jawa Express," "Saber Clash," and "Thunder in the Stars," we see the Tagge family test and implement an interesting device that freezes anything between implanted towers. The Tagge family uses this device as a weapon against rebel forces.

In one of the most creative stories, "Riders in the Void," we find Luke and Leia have jumped into the void between galaxies. In one of the emptiest places in the universe Luke and Leia discover a unique, organic space ship with only one inhabitant, who is marginally insane. The ship and its inhabitant have an interesting and unique history, and there are moments when I wondered how Luke and Leia were going to escape.

Creature creation was similarly unique and better than in the first 20 comics of "Doomworld." In "The Long Hunt/A Duel of Eagles" we meet the winged people of Skye. In "Cavern of the Crawling Death" we learn about stone mites that destroy everything they contact as they eat it.

There are a few departures from the Star Wars universe as we know it today that are forgivable given that the second two Star Wars movies had yet to be released. We see a Jabba the Hut very different from the slug-like creature we came to know and loathe. We also see the continuing romance between Luke and Leia, though we also know that they are brother and sister. Yet, the general tone of the stories fits well within the Star Wars universe, and the astute reader can see some of the substantial creativity yet to come.

If you read "Doomworld" and liked it, you'll find that "Dark Encounters" is substantially better and more interesting. The quality of the stories is still lower than the general caliber of the Dark Horse stories, but some of them are very creative and interesting. For those readers that look back fondly on memories of comics from the 60s and 70s, these are the types of stories that you remember well. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid Improvement
3.5 stars actually.

The artwork, and the plotting improves dramatically in this second collection of Marvel stories. Unlike most of the first collection, these stories mostly feel like they could take place in the Star Wars universe and are viable adventures that the heroes could have had before The Empire Strikes Back.

Still though, they are not stellar work by any means, merely solid. In retrospect, due to the authors not knowing where George Lucas was going, some of the things you see cause some cognitive dissonance. No fault of the authors, but it is still jarring to see things you know are untrue.

Decent artwork, and stories in a rather large collection make this a worthwhile collection if you'd like to read a sort of slightly altered universe of what the Star Wars characters did between the movies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Green Rabbits and Cyborg Bounty Hunters...
I've just ordered the reprint trade paperback reprints of these Marvel books. I remember reading and re-reading all of these "beyond the movie" adventures when I was a kid. It was just such an incredible charge to see what Luke, Han, and company were doing between the movies. Water worlds, gambling satellites, Darth Vader learning the name of the Death Star's destroyer(a nice plot device), the blocky artwork and awkward poses of Carmine Infantino artwork, wondering WHY these adventurers NEVER changed their clothes as they NEVER seemed to make their way back to Yavin Base after their Flash Gordon-esque side-adventures... Oh, and we can't forget that Obi-Wan Jedi story with the droid 68RKO (which were the call letters of a radio station if I'm not mistaken)...They really DID capture the imagination. Hopefully, Dark Horse will get around to publishing a VOLUME 3 because therein lie the BEST Marvel STAR WARS tales. But these first two will take you to a Long Time Ago in a Decade Not Far Away Enough--The Seventies. You'll see the pop-cultural impact of the first wave of STAR WARS mania, in many ways as endearingly cheesy as that Thanksgiving Holiday special. If you remember these, you will LOVE them all over again...if you don't, then prepare to be mightily entertained, whether you like comics, STAR WARS, or pop-culture in general. These books definitely belong on your shelf...

5-0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first collection!
This is the second trade paperback reprinting the original Marvel Star Wars comics from the late 70's/early 80's. It picks up immediately following the first trade paperback, and goes forward (timeline-wise) up to the first issue of Marvel's Empire Strikes Back adaptation.

Now, I've already given the first volume a good review, and this one's not going to be any different. I enjoyed these stories immensely when they first came out, and it still gives me a thrill to glance through my collection every now and then. Some of the covers were amazing!

The stories, for the most part, are the strongest from Marvel's entire line. The very last story in the collection, a fill-in tale where Luke and Leia end up on a large ship that is alive and has emotions, is probably the strongest in the entire batch. But there are other great moments mingled in with the rest. I think the issues featuring bounty hunters (including a cyborg) and the role they play in the Star Wars Universe are particulary interesting reads. And the story where Han and Chewy are trapped in a cavern with metal-eating termites chewing away at the Millenium Falcon (while a very thin Jabba the Hut stands outside the cave waiting for Solo to exit) is a classic.

Of course, not all of the stories work. There are some cheesy moments when Luke returns to Tatooine, and a few other issues that look like the artwork was rushed to meet a deadline, but overall, most of the issues are still fun to read.

Should you buy it? If you're a Star Wars nut, of course! But I think these stories would also be great for a parent looking for some good safe stories set in the Star Wars universe to give to their son/daughter. ... Read more

68. Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy (Paperback))
by C.S. Lewis
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743234901
Catlog: Book (2003-03-11)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 3874
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force. ... Read more

Reviews (99)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Masterpiece!
Out of the Silent Planet is a timeless work of art that has inspired millions. Lewis has intertwined a truly surreal adventure with a deep and meaningful message of peace and tranquillity. His writing is chock full of imagery and beauty. The words paint a picture in the mind so precise that Dali himself would have only wished he could have matched the greatness of this book with his palette.

Dr. Ransom, the protagonist, is a very believable character. He and two other men, named Weston and Devine, crash land on the red planet with completely different intentions. Dr. Ransom, having been kidnapped, escapes his captors and embarks on a memorable adventure. Ransom uses very simple logic to learn the language of the native species and he interacts with the four races of Malacandria differently, creating a very interesting and awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Lewis, as in his other series The Chronicles of Narnia, uses biblical stories and principals to create and allegory that keeps the reader guessing. The race of Eldil (an energy or spirit type being) offer wisdom and encourage Ransom during his stay on the planet while essentially balking Weston and Devine's petty quest to ransack the resources of the planet. The moral Lewis conveys is a simple, yet important one.

Out of the Silent Planet is a diamond in the rough. It was written well before the recent conquest of space and the immanence of technology, so the imaginative view of what Lewis thought Mars might be like is very interesting. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, which I've read, only gets better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Down but not "Out"
C.S. Lewis is best known for his classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. But he's in his best form in the sprawling Space Trilogy. And the first volume "Out of the Silent Planet" is a solid, dreamy slice of imaginative science fiction with deep philosophical underpinnings.

Philologist (studies languages) Dr. Ransom is on a walking tour of England when he encounters a former despised schoolmate, Devine. Things take a nasty turn after Devine and his accomplice Weston drug Ransom, and load him onto a spaceship. Over the course of a month's interstellar travel, Ransom learns that they are travelling to the planet Malacandra (Mars) -- and worst, he's destined to be a human sacrifice.

Ransom manages to escape after they land, and finds himself alone in an alien world. He soon is taken in by the otterlike hrossa, and learns that there are three sentient species on Malacandra: the peaceful poetry-loving hrossa, the workaholic pfifltriggi, and intelligent seroni. When a hross friend of Ransom's is killed by the murderous humans, he sets out to find the mysterious, powerful Oyarsa, who might be able to help him and stop his kidnappers.

"Out of the Silent Planet" is no space opera. Lewis avoids most of the tendencies of typical sci-fi in favor of a more H.G. Wells approach. Big fleshy plants, sentient otters, decreased gravity and petrified forests really give it the feeling of another planet without using cheap tricks.

The most striking idea of "Planet" is the people who populate it -- three dissimilar species, who work together and have no problems like war, starvation, lies, power-lust or any of the other problems that human beings have. It's a stark contrast to our own world, and it illustrates a lot of Lewis's own Christian beliefs without being preachy or silly.

The tone of "Planet" is generally very somber and thought-provoking, with long stretches of ethical and philosophical dialogue. Parts of it almost seem like a dream, very eerie and surreal, and the dignified personalities of Oyarsa and his underlings are beautifully done. But Lewis rips loose with some comedy from time to time, like Weston trying to bribe the various natives with a cheap necklace and Tarzan-esque threats of "Why you take our puff-bangs [guns] away? We very angry with you!"

Lewis based Ransom partly on his pal, fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ransom is a nicely done hero; he's not boring or preachy at all, but merely a "stranger in a strange land" who almost goes bonkers once or twice, but manages to triumph. Weston and Devine, on the other hand, are arrogant and dumb in an all-too-recognizable way. And the inhabitants of Malacandra take a little getting used to, but they're pleasant once you do.

"Out of the Silent Planet" still stands up as a vivid and beautifully-written piece of science fiction. You think you know C.S. Lewis after the Narnia Chronicles? Try the Space Trilogy.

1-0 out of 5 stars ooh!
here's the deal. i loved this book. it really makes you think towards the end and addresses alot of interesting topics. very interesting, imaginitive, spiritual, challenging, all the great c.s.lewis characteristics.

my one and only beef (and the reason you should NOT purchase this book) is that the publication is absolutely horrible. there are so many typos, i want to cry. i seriously can't find another publisher who still carries this book. i dearly wish i could, because i am ashamed to own it, and i hate that, because the book is marvelous. but when you are reading along and every apostrophe is replaced with a quotation mark and vice versa, and simple words like "the" and "that" are mixed up, i feel that c.s.lewis must be rolling over in his grave. if you can find another publication of this book (ie, NOT by scribner / simon & schuster), DO IT. don't buy from this publisher, but DO buy the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A heck of a Book
Another wonder by C.S Lewis. The writing is incredible. He can take you on a journey to worlds unknown. The one problem is trying to remember the meanings of the hross words. When you can do that you can thoroughly enjoy the work of a genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Trilogy!
'Out of the Silent Planet' is excellent, and the only decent book in the trilogy. It stands alone, so don't feel the need to read the other two books. 'Perelandra' is bad, and 'That Hideous Strength' is worse. ... Read more

69. The Star Wars Trilogy (Collected Novelizations)
by George Lucas, Donald F. Glut, James Kahn
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345453395
Catlog: Book (2002-06-25)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 41376
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Luke Skywalker dreamed of adventures out among the stars and alien worlds. But when he intercepted a message from a beautiful captive princess, he got more than he had bargained for--and that was how the adventure of his life began....
... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars I could read it again...and again!
Pretty much the case with watching the movies too for most of us, isn't it? Excellent adaptations of the classic trilogy stories in one book, and a must for true-blooded STAR WARS fans. I only hope that in the future, after Episodes 2 and 3 have been made there will be a new addition with the novels to all 6 available. Until then, I'll keep my fingers crossed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Full rounded story.
Overall, this is not a huge book, but contains elements to complete the movies storyline. Even with a 3 film span, the book is harder to read than most Star Wars novels, including SW Episode II. However, George Lucas' vision is realized in the most basic of ways in the 3 stories that weren't shown on film. Simply put, you aren't embarking on a strict movie tie-in when you turn the pages, rather a raw form that the movies followed. For those that want to read the original storyline, and I'm not saying it's 100% different than the movie counterpart, pick up this read. It's hard to put down. The first tale, A New Hope (Episode IV), shows Lucas' initial vision, while Ep. V & VI more or less expand the story already in place. No true Star Wars fan should be without this, if I may, companion piece.

***The reviewer is author of: Amber Spirit: Poems & Stories (Hats Off Books, 2001) and a frequent magazine contributer & short story contest judge.

Rated and reviewed by ROBERT ELDRIDGE

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
These books are great after you experienced the movies, its like playing the movie in your head. You should definately check the book out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rather Much like the films...
Star Wars: A New Hope By George Lucas
This book is very similar to the movie. If you haven't seen It, I recommend it.

The Empire Strikes Back By Donald F. Glut
This book is very similar to the movie. If you haven't seen It, I recommend it. There are several slight differences between this tale and the one featured on film, but not very major ones. I think it presents a better representation of some of the concepts used in this film, and I recommend seeing that, too.

The Return of the Jedi By James Kahn
This book is very similar to the movie. If you haven't seen It, I recommend it.
There are several slight differences between this tale and the one featured on film, but not very major ones. I think it presents a better representation of some of the concepts used in this film, and I recommend seeing that, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars From Tatooine to Endor......
The 25th Anniversary edition of The Star Wars Trilogy breaks no new ground or make any editorial changes to the three movie tie-in novels based on the screenplays for Star Wars (now known as A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. There are no adjustments or rewrites to make the novels match the Special Edition re-releases of 1997. It isn't even the first time all three novels are collected in one volume...there are mass-market and trade paperback three-in-one editions. The only new features are the cover art by Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual artist whose paintings "sold" George Lucas' "out of this world" ideas to leery 20th Century Fox executives and short intros to each novelization by Lucas himself. Whether or not those were written for the 25th Anniversary Edition or if they appeared in other reissues of the novels isn't important; what is important is that the 25th Anniversary Edition's elegant package recaptures the magic of reading the Classic Trilogy....

Like most novelizations of popular movies, the authors (Alan Dean Foster being the ghostwriter for George Lucas, Donald F. Glut, and James Kahn) have adapted the screenplays to Episodes IV, V and VI with a certain sense of unity, yet each writer has a distinctive style of his own. On the whole, the best writer is Foster, who had, before Star Wars, adapted the Star Trek animated series into the Star Trek Logs series. Very few Star Wars authors, with the exception of Timothy Zahn and a few others, capture the essence of the characters and situations of the movies as well as Foster. Glut is almost as good a writer, and his style is not all that different from Foster's. Kahn's style is minimalist. I like the Jedi novelization, but there is a strange sense of connect-the-dots permeating it all the same.

All right, so we aren't talking great literature here, and I do know that the writers work from drafts of the screenplay that are different from the final shooting script. That's why Luke Skywalker's comm sign in the novel of A New Hope is Blue Five; in the movie the callsign is Red Five. And the novels do expand the storyline and "restore" deleted scenes....the literary equivalent of a DVD extra features disc, you might say.

I rate this book 5 stars not because it is brilliantly written or philosophically meaningful, but rather because it recaptures the magic of reading those dog-eared paperbacks, but with a bit more class. ... Read more

70. Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
by Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078692876X
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Sales Rank: 8728
Average Customer Review: 4.03 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Revised and updated with new information from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, including game statistics, characters, creatures, and vehicles.

Containing all the rules needed to play the popular Star Wars Roleplaying Game, this rulebook has been updated and expanded to include changes based on customer feedback and all-new Star Wars: Attack of the Clones material. The book spans all Star Wars eras, including The Rise of the Empire era, The Rebellion era, and The New Jedi Order era, with material that has never been compiled into a single source.

Added features of the revised rulebook include rules for playing droid characters, a new starship combat system, and expanded creature design rules. New species, skills, feats, character classes, prestige classes, and equipment will be extremely well received by the players and fans who have asked for them.

The revised rulebook, which features all-new cover art and interior design, is 100% compatible with previous Star Wars Roleplaying Game products.
... Read more

Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Just Great On Its Own, But A Vast Improvement
I actually own both the original core rulebook and the revised core rulebook, and wow is there a heck of a difference. First of all get this book even if you are not going to be running a game of Star Wars yourself. This book has resource upon resource for the player to draw on, which will help save the Game Master time and energy and allow the GM to focus more on the game.

Improvements? Changes in the system! It's no longer a simple derivative of 3rd Edition D&D, it is growing in it's own direction. Also, there are prestige classes which were not there before.

There is so much in here of worth just for players, and for Game Masters, this update is a must. It has many things that will allow you to help the players understand the game, and gives ideas for campaigns, etc.

The current GM for our game is using this book, and he thinks it is great too.

Are there things left unexplained? Sure, it's just a general start into the roleplaying universe of Star Wars. There's other books for more specific things like time periods or ships/weapons or Jedi/Sith related questions.

And that is why it is a 5 star book for me. Because it covers the bases it needs to cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time to Return to the Galaxy Far, Far Away
I've played the Star wars RPG since its orginal birth way back in 1987 and ,despite the earlier version's ease of play, wanted something better. WotC delivered in spades. Combat is quick, dirty and added a few things that were missing of the old version . Character creation will take some getting used to, but makes sense. Jedi FINALLY have some limits and even if you don't choose to covert any existing game to the new system, buy the book just to read Chapter Nine about the Force. The best writing I've seen about the subject. Ever. The book's layout is sometimes confusing but is very slick and well done. Starship combat is good, but don't expect to be able to make a "Rogue Squadron" type campaign. The best part is official stats for Jar Jar Binks so you can blow him to bits if you wish. Overall, there is enough information about each "era of play" you wish to play in but not too much so the GM is overloaded. To finish, this game captures the feel of the Star Wars universe better than its predecesor. For those on the fence, go ahead and buy it. For anyone not willing to change systems, I urge all of you to give it a chance.

5-0 out of 5 stars All I had hoped for and more...
Five stars, hands down, this book had everything my friends and I needed not only to play, but to learn Star Wars RPG. I've played D&D and other Rpg's, but this book had all the tools needed not only for experienced GM's but also ew ones who don't have a clue what their doing, and with Amazon's markdown, it was too good. I reccomend this book to all serious about the game. WELL WORTH IT!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best
I am a die hard Star Wars Fan. On the weekends I will watch the a 5 movies in order. I will do this at least twice a month. When my friends started playing D&D, I liked the rpg and looked to get the rulebook. But when I went to get it I saw this and purchasd it instead. It was the best moment of my life. Since then I have been hooked on the game and gotten my friends to join in. The only thing bad about it is there are too few species, and there is not enough starships. These errors were fixed with the alien anthrolagy, and the starships of the galaxy. I mean what are 12 species and 10 starships to a real fan. The answer is squat. This book teaches you how to play, and shows you the basics of GMing. This will start you on your journey, and then when you have saved up enough, you will be able to buy other books. Once you have them all, your path of the Jedi will be complete. But beware of the Dark side. If you do not buy them all, and choose video games of some music or DVD's instead, your campians will forever suffer. You will not notice the difference until you return to the light. So buy this book and may the force be with you always.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book converted me from a D20 hater to a D20 advocate
HI there! Having a good day? Well I thought I should share my review with all you RPGers out there. First let me give you my qualifications, I have been a DM for 20 years. In that time I have used every known game system, well minus maybe a few. Anyhow over the years let's just say I have accumulated some ability to judge a games quality. I hated the new d20 game system, never gave it a chance. Bought the books and threw them away! I was that bad folks. Wait a minute now, don't get jumpy I'm coming to my point, I really do have one. This book I bought because my friend peer pressured me into it. I fully expected to never actually play it. OK now this book was so well written and so well done that I am now a true convert to D20. I repent of my former actions and confidently say that this game is great! I can't get enough of playing it. In fact I am on the way to buying every single one of the books for it. This book contains everything you need to play quite successfully in the star wars universe. If you're an old antique like me maybe it will reboot your interest, if you love the movies and wish you could be a dark lord, and I know you do, then maybe you can find some reality diversion inside as well.

PS:I just had to respond to all those award winning RPG designers out there who posted their highly critical reviews. First off I would caution you to remember this is a roleplaying game not a textbook from heaven, infallable and perfection incarnate, so don't expect too much. I think that your expectations are too high. The DnD style classes work just fine and provide a necessary framework to create characters in. Sure you don't absolutely need them to play, but for those who aren't up to your own creative genius level, have mercy and let them have classes to work with. It really facilitates character generation. ... Read more

71. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
by DC Comics
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563893428
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: DC Comics
Sales Rank: 6427
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (199)

5-0 out of 5 stars Batman at his best
I've always been a fan of Batman, but I've never been in to comic books that much. Recently I stumbled on to Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and I was really impressed. The four book saga, now combined into a graphic novel, tells the story of an aging Batman who has been retired for 10 years. Still tortured by the death of his parents, and by the growing rampant crime in the streets of Gotham, Bruce Wayne once again unleashes the Batman on Gotham's underworld. However, Batman finds himself returning into a world where super heroes are unwanted and have all but vanished.

Miller's portrayal of an overly polictically correct world with little room for Batman, is compelling and original. The book's dark portrayal of a brooding, violent, Batman who has lost his faith in the justice system's ability to rehabilitate criminals set the stage for the modern portrayal of Batman in both comics and film. In my opinion, this is a story of Batman the way he should be portrayed, as the tortured punisher of evil not the friendly neighborhood super hero. We can leave that to Superman, and if you've ever wanted to see Superman get brought down a few pegs, this is the book for you.

The artwork is gritty, intriguing and fits in perfectly with the story. This book inspired me to check out more graphic novels, and works by Frank Miller.

5-0 out of 5 stars a comic book work unlike any other
I've been a comic book reader for many years, and to this day I cannot recall another single work of comic book art that is quite so brilliant as Frank Miller's Dark Knight. Certainly Cerebus, Sandman, Cages and From Hell are to be lauded for their genuine genius, but Dark Knight remains my all-time favourite creation. Frank Miller has written a gripping story of tragic heroism and bitter social commentary. His Batman is truly a larger-than-life, tormented hero, brilliantly conceived with his many flaws and perverse obsessions intact. Miller plays with the comic book universe beautifully, realising a world wherein the so-called "super-hero" does exist, and exploring the ramifications of this fact. Batman's final confrontation with Superman at the end of this graphic novel is bar-none the most cunningly conceived battle in comic book history. It is achingly poignant to see the two old warriors confront one another at last: Superman with his compromised good-guy! agenda and Batman with his twisted, demoniac fixation. Batman loathes the figure that Superman has become, while Clark Kent pities the poor, lost soul who has sacrificed his very existence for that which he pursues with a vengeance. "You Bruce, with your obsession..." Miller has created in Dark Knight a vividly real and passionately affecting tale of Heroes and Madmen, riveting from start to finish.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Best Laid Graphic Novels of Mice and Men Often Go Astray
"In MY opinion..." Ankurpanchbudhe said in his list. Well I know for a fact that this is not a graphic novel, -- Ankurpanchbudhe's opinion is stupid -- and so is Ankurpanchbudhe. I'm going to write a criticism of the review that Ankurpanchebudhe started his list with. It never pleases me more than when someone calls a reprint collection in a thick softcover comic book form all in one a graphic novel. I bet if you went to a book store and looked at the "graphic novel" section and got a price guide that you would not find any graphic novels there at all. It's kind of like what we called a oneshot back when I lived in California. Kids that thought they were comic collectors would throw around the word oneshot because it made them sound smart. I got a oneshot! You got a oneshot? I have a oneshot! They have a oneshot. He has a oneshot. She has a oneshot. We have a oneshot. Everbody has a one shot. They would say. Longshot. Deadshot. Shattershot. Bloodshot. Sunspot. Blindspot. Grimlock. Shotshot. (Wouldn't that make a great super hero? Two shots on his name? Put him in a comic book and you could make a million!) Just because it has the word "shot" in it doesn't mean it's good. Don't call something a graphic novel unless you look it up in the price guide and it says GN next to it. Buy this book for what it is and you'll be a lot happier. One of these days I'm going to finish a list that has all of the things that Ankurpanchbudhe's list has criticising each criticisim blow-by-blow. None of the things on Ankurpanchbudhe's list is a graphic novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best graphic novel ever done, period.
Best character (Batman), best writing, cool drawings, and, importantly, Miller does not deviate from the legend like most other comic (and Hollywood) writers seem to have a proclivity for doing. Just watch the recently released "Troy" movie to see how little regard the average writer has in keeping the mythology intact (Hector does NOT kill Meneleus in the texts, Achilles was NOT in the Trojan horse with Odysseus in the texts). Jeph Loeb, in the critically acclaimed "A Superman for All Seasons," tells us that Lex Luthor did not grow up with Clark Kent in Smallville. Why would anyone weed that out of the legend? This is a major peeve of mine. Show some respect for the legend, for Crissakes. Ironically, Loeb now produces the "Smallville" TV series, which is entirely based on the fact that the two rivals were childhood friends before their falling out.

This is the brilliance of "The Dark Night Returns." Miller completely respects the legend, while creating something entirely new at the same time.

2-0 out of 5 stars poisonous
I'm a pretty big fan of comics; but I got something of a late start, with Sandman about 7 years ago. So there's a lot of stuff I just haven't got around to reading. I'd heard of Frank Miller, naturally -- he's one of the "big names" that you hear about, if you make even a cursory exploration into comics -- but for one reason or another I hadn't actually read any of his stuff. Without knowing anything about his work, there was something about him that didn't appeal to me, viscerally. But I was nosing around the comics section at the library the other day, and I saw his Dark Knight Returns; and it's supposed to be this seminal work, and I thought, "Hey! Finally I'll get to read some Frank Miller!"

My conclusion? Frank Miller is a fine writer, but has absolutely *no business writing superheroes.* He comes from that self-satisfied stratum of hipster, who thinks that if you aren't injecting Politics and Current Events into your art, then it's not Real Art. And it's not even well thought out politics, either. I read as much as I could. You get used to reading leftist politics, when you enjoy things like comics and fantasy and science-fiction, so I figured I could just tune it out and focus on the story. The last straw, though, was when he trots out the old saw of portraying Reagan (this was written in the '80s) as an aw-shucks idiot who is sumultaneously a somnambulist bungler and a sinister mastermind. And maybe another time I would have been able to ignore it. But I think it was just too fresh, too soon.

So I picked up the other comic I got from the library: a volume of Kurt Busiek's Astro City. What a breath of fresh air, after reading Miller's poison! The more I read, the more I just fell in love. I mean, he has superheroes who fight for god.. and they *aren't* jokes. They aren't the bad guys! How novel is that? Busiek takes superheroes seriously. He takes good and evil seriously, while still leaving room for humor, for human frailty, for both despair and hope, for real emotion. This is what superheroes are supposed to be.

So that's my endorsement for Kurt Busiek. He reminds me quite a lot of Gaiman, in the way that he constructs his stories. If you're interested in comics at all, you need to read Astro City. ... Read more

72. The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689852231
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Sales Rank: 6005
Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacr n Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect. ... Read more

Reviews (86)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good intro to sci-fi for those not fans of it
As a college student and future teacher, I was enrolled this past semester in a children's literature course. As required reading,we had two books from each genre. I have never liked science fiction and was a little discouraged to see my book was near 400 pages! It was difficult to find at the library, so I thought about buying it. I didn't though,because I didn't think I'd like it. I just finished it about an hour ago. I couldn't put it down! It wasn't only becase it was due today either! Nancy Farmer did a great job of making you care about the characters. The main character of the book is Matt. You see his struggle to live a sub-human life as a clone. After he meets his genetic "parent" El Patron, he begins to receive better treatment. Read this book if you want to find out what happens to Matt as El Patron has a need for him and what happens to the Opium Empire, which is between Aztlan (future Mexico) and the U.S. At times I was a little frustrated that I did not know Spanish, not knowing how some words and names were pronounced, but Nancy translates these phrases. I am considering buying this book and will recommend it an upper grade class if I am an upper grade teacher. Maybe this would be a good read aloud.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderous and Exciting!
The House of the Scorpion is what you would call a book 'beyond its time'. Not only is the setting a century from now, but the sensation of feeling as if you were in a time warp flying through the future (well not quite as expressive as the Jetsons') is accompanied with reading the book itself. Nancy Farmer gives the life story of a young 'boy' who is actually a clone of a 140+ year old drug lord named Matteo Alacran, (or El Patron as he is more locally called throughout the book) ruler of the country of Opium (an area within 'former' Mexico and the US). Of course, the clone is also given the same name as well (Matt). In the beginning, Matt was grown within a cow (yes cow) from DNA given from El Patron. Despite his old age, El Patron creates his clones as a way to help him live on through the use of a clone's organs once his own grow bad. However, clones usually have their brains destroyed so any form of rebellion would be prevented. As for El Patron, he does exactly the opposite. Instead, he gives his clones the lap of luxury to give them confidence until it's too late.
As a young boy, Matt is shielded from the outside world from his caretaker Celia, cook of El Patron's mansion. As time progresses, Matt is later discovered and winds up in the Big House (El Patron's house). From here on Matt begins his long journey of self discovery to find out who and what he really is. However, no journey goes without obstacles. Tom, a son of a US senator's wife (ok the wife cheated a little), terrorizes Matt's life by doing whatever possible to make his life a nighmare. Likewise, the entire estate of the Alacran's segregate Matt from itself for what Matt is. On the other hand, Maria, daughter of the US senator (no cheating this time) ends up being Matt's secret crush, that is despite some difficulties in the beginning. Tam Lin is another of Matt's favorites. Originally being a 'terrorist', he is one of El Patron's top bodyguards and becomes Matt's as well. Tam Lin teaches Matt of nature and survival as he (Matt) soon learns these techniques and lessons would come to great use in the near future (You'll have to read why...hey I can't tell everything :)]. Secret passages, hospitals, exploration, captivity, love, self-discovery, and an all out war of mind over body plus much more is what one would find in this guaranteed Farmer classic: The House of the Scorpion.

Other info:
Reading Level: Middle School +
Recommendations: Great for school reports and projects or just for fun!
Overall: Guaranteed to send shivers down the spine and tears in the end! Will keep you begging for more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Adam's Review
The authors purpose for writing this novel was to give the reader suspense and mystery. One example is when Matt, the main character, is framed for killing his friends dog when he didn't. He then must prove his innocents to a crowd of prejudice people. It is suspenceful when one of Matt's best friend's, Tam Lin, pretends to become evil in order to help save Matt.I think the author definitely achieved her two goals of being suspenseful and providing mystery. This book was brilliantly written.

5-0 out of 5 stars All I can say is wow.
After reading this book over and over again and not getting the least bit bored, I realized that this was my favorite book ever. The sad thing is, I don't even own it. Once again...all hail Nancy Farmer.

Books I reccomend:
The Ear The Eye and The Arm
Halo: The Fall of Reach


5-0 out of 5 stars I found that this was the greatest book ever.
I loved this book. I found it clever, funny, and filled with action. It also related to my life a lot, because sometimes I am treated with not much respect. I've read this book 7 times and still haven't gotten bored with it...all hail Nancy Farmer, once again. (...) ... Read more

73. Hard Contact (Star Wars: Republic Commando)
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345478274
Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 2543
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74. Broken Angels
by Richard K. Morgan
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345457714
Catlog: Book (2004-03-02)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 3170
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Critics have compared Richard Morgan's first novel,Altered Carbon, to the classic hardboiled fiction of Raymond Chandler. The comparison doesn't accurately describe Morgan's second novel, Broken Angels. Morgan's prose never approaches Chandler's metaphoric excess, and Morgan's antihero, Takeshi Kovacs, doesn't wisecrack nearly as often as Chandler's hero, Philip Marlowe. Also, Kovacs's far-future universe is considerably darker than Marlowe's noir world. In Kovacs's universe, high-tech implants called "stacks" record memory and personality; this means soldiers can be sent to their deaths, have their stacks implanted in new bodies, and be sent to their deaths again, and again, and again. Generals needn't quibble about wasting lives in massacres or nuclear explosions. The slaughtered soldiers will soon be back in action--unless their stacks aren't recovered. Then their consciousness will go mad, isolated in an indestructible, inescapable virtual reality. The proper term for the Takeshi Kovacs novels isn't "hardboiled." It's "brutal."

The Martians disappeared long ago, but they left behind their star gates, which have allowed humanity to spread across the galaxy--and bring warfare to the stars. As Broken Angels opens, Takeshi Kovacs is a lieutenant in humankind's most feared mercenary company, but rumors of an astonishing archaelogical discovery inspire his desertion. Humans have never found a Martian starship until, perhaps, now. If the rumors are true, and the ruthless Kovacs can take possession of the unprecedented relic, he will make his fortune. But if he fails in his quest, he may find himself imprisoned in high-tech hell for eternity. --Cynthia Ward ... Read more

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's not Altered Carbon, but it's still fantastic
Last year I read Richard K. Morgan's first novel, Altered Carbon, and was blown away. Such smart, edge-of-your seat darkness is hard to come by. But it also meant that Morgan set a very high standard for himself in his debut.

Broken Angels is a wonderful book and I recommend it. It's a page-turner, but I have to say it isn't as hard-hitting as Altered Carbon. Still, to say that it is not as good would be unfair because the two books can't be compared. Where Morgan's antihero, Takeshi Kovacs, was ex-special-ops-turned-private-eye-by-circumstance in the first book, this time he returns to his military roots as a mercenary fighting a planetary rebellion. The mystery novel is a genre that lends itself to the twist and turns that makes Altered Carbon great. Morgan (perhaps smartly) avoids comparison by choosing a much more subdued wartime setting for this adventure.

One thing that remains constant is the darkness; you can't get more noir than this. While Morgan's consciousness-digitizing technology was cool and mind-bending in the first book, here it is dehumanizing and bleak. In one scene, Kovacs goes to a "souls market" where piles and piles of "stacks" (digitized personalities of real people) could be bought. Death is no longer the worst punishment possible; centuries of torture can be inflicted on your digital self. War and the attendant death have lost meaning. All this and the zero-sum power games played by governments, corporations, and guilds seem to contribute to Kovac's increasingly nihilist worldview.

Another difference that I wasn't so thrilled about is that while Kovacs was cast as a beat-down mercenary and half-hearted criminal just trying to "get to the next screen" in the first book, here he ultimately finds himself in the middle of one of the most important events in human history. I was expecting more of the anonymous and reluctant protagonist, so I guess I was a little thrown off.

Nevertheless, this is a fantastic book, and Richard K. Morgan is a great writer who I'm sure I'll pick up again. If you like Altered Carbon, you should definitely give this a shot. And is you haven't read Altered Carbon, what are you waiting for?

4-0 out of 5 stars Great mix of politics, violence and archaeology
When I read Altered Carbon, I remember thinking hmm ... I'd really like to read about Takeshi Kovacs (the "hero") and his war buddies ... lo and behold, that's pretty much what you get in Broken Angels, along with alien tech, future politics, and plenty o' action, both real world and virtual. More of a "straight" SF novel than the first Kovacs, which I prefer. Plus, I love the quirky quasi-Marxist political slant native to British writers like Morgan, Ken MacLeod and Iain M. Banks (OK, so the last two are Scots), and I never fail to be amused at the ire it provokes in American readers steeped in Heinleinisms. So yeah, bring on Takeshi Kovacs #3!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as groundbreaking as Altered Carbon but a great read
I deeply enjoyed the gritty, dark, extremely violent Altered Carbon and was hoping for a similar thrill ride in Broken Angels but found myself a little wanting. The Kovacs we meet in AC seems to have changed quite a bit in BA, and you'll find yourself wondering about his motivations. The depth achieved in AC is not reached with this second installment as Morgan seems to have been focused more on politics and philosophy than action and violence.

None of this means that BA was not a great book and well worth the time. If you liked AC then this is a must read, if you're just discovering gritty hard core sci-fi I'd grab Altered Carbon first and check out Asher while you're at it.

5-0 out of 5 stars I would say this book is as much space opera as hi-tech
My love for sci-fi and space opera began during high school with the masters of that time and has grown over the years to include not only their works but the works of other excellent authors of this genre, such as Richard K. Morgan with this book and with "Altered Carbon", another great work. His books belong with:
"Stranger in a Strange Land", "Puppet Masters", "Foundation", "2001", "2010", "Rendezvous with Rama", "Ringworld", all the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" books, as well as books as new to the genre as "Advent of the Corps" and others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best new sf author in a decade . . .
Morgan came out of nowhere in 2002 with _Altered Carbon_, the first novel about Takeshi Kovacs, overstressed, dangerously empathic diplomat/soldier trying to stay alive (more or less) four centuries into a future in which the mind lives in a bit of metal housed at the top of the spine and can be re-installed in any convenient "sleeve." This time out, a disgusted Kovacs is recruited by a deserter from the other side to set up an expedition to check out a major find left by the long-disappeared Martians -- who are the only reason humans are out in space to begin with. It's a quest tale, and a very good one, but the real pleasure, for me, is in the author's masterful portrayal and development of the characters. You don't necessarily have to like Kovacs, and you certainly wouldn't feel comfortable around him, but after two excellent novels, you would probably begin to understand him. There's some great quotable passages here, too, about the nature of war, and government, and loyalty, and the human situation in the universe. If _Broken Angels_ doesn't win the Hugo or the Nebula, or both, there is no justice. But, then, Kovacs knows that already. ... Read more

75. Fight Club
by Chuck Palahniuk
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393039765
Catlog: Book (1996-08-01)
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Sales Rank: 27330
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With more than 300,000 copies sold, Chuck Palahniuk's brilliant first novel and cult classic is being reissued with a new Introduction by the author

An underground classic since its first publication in 1996, Fight Club is widely recognized as one of the most original and provocative novels of the last decade. Now the author adds his own voice to the critical debate he generated. In a new Introduction, he discusses the various interpretations in the popular media of Fight Club and the movie it inspired, as well as his personal reactions to the work's reception and the influence that the Fight Club phenomenon has already had on our culture.
Chuck Palahniuk's darkly funny first novel tells the story of a disenfranchised young man frustrated with his bureacratic job and superficial relationships and disillusioned with the consumer culture's prepackaged pleasures. Relief for him and his peers comes in the form of Tyler Durden, the intensely charismatic inventor of Fight Club. Waiters, clerks, and middlemen seek out the visceral satisfaction of secret after-hours boxing matches in the basements of bars, thinking they have found a way to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, no brakes.
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Reviews (494)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Pass This One Up - It's absolutely INCREDIBLE
I don't remember the last time I was so impressed by a book. I have to admit, I still haven't seen the movie, and although I've heard that it's every bit as good as the book, I'm still a bit cautious, because I don't want to spoil the feeling I got after reading this.

It's the most twisted story I've ever read, and yet it was never hard to follow. I made the mistake of beginning to read it in the company of other people, and about 6 times per page I stopped to read bits out, trying to show them how incredible even the first few pages were. I had a really hard time putting it down.

When you pick this book up, be prepared to be challenged. This book is filled with ideas - scary, intimidating, and at times downright insane, but you'll think twice about your actions and the actions of others after you've finished. "Fight Club" moves on from one big event onto the next, even bigger one, on a scale that seems immesurable at times. Some parts are shocking, and create a completely different narrating character than the one you find in most contemporary novels. You get the feeling that he isn't quite balanced right from the beginning, and you move onto new heights of doubt and, for lack of a better word, weirdness.

If you haven't seen the movie, you have to read this book before you see the movie. I always find that the way a book unravels a plot like this one is better than the way a movie can, although, I've heard that the movie does a really good job as well. But if you HAVE seen the movie - READ THIS ANYWAY!! There are parts in the book that you won't find in the movie, guaranteed. And they are just as important as anything else. Palahniuk is a master with the written word.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite contemporary novels
I'll admit that I'd never heard of Fight Club before the movie, but I'm incredibly glad I found out it was a book first. This is an amazing piece of fiction. I agree with one of the previous reviewers in saying that I wish I had read the book before seeing the movie, but what the hell, they're both awesome. If you don't know anything about the story, there's this guy (no name is ever given) who goes to support groups so he can sleep at night (he has insomnia). He meets a man named Tyler Durden, then his house blows up. So he moves in with Tyler, and before long the two are totally embroiled in the underground organization they create called Fight Club. Fight Club evolves into something more dangerous, and the narrator starts to question, but he can't find Tyler. It's a really quick read, but it's awesome. The movie is great too, but if you haven't seen it yet, read the book first. The movie follows the book pretty closely, although the endings are a bit different.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where is my mind?
This is a rare thing. Whats rare? Well, this is the first instance In which I have encountered a work of literature that can be most enjoyed AFTER watching the movie. Maybe Ballards "Crash" falls into this category as well. It is definately a dual experience. Both book and movie are capable of standing alone, but a real Chuck fan will enjoy both. They have some different dynamics, but the core remains the same in both, and that core screams, "Let me never be complete!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Just as good as the movie
An exciting novel. I didn't know that was possible!

Chuck Palahniuk's style of writing catches the reader from the first page, and the twist is unbelievable.

The movie is awesome, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fight Club
As rare as it is, the movie is actually better. The movie looks exactly like you would imagine the book in your head, except the scripting is slightly different. The book is fantastic; not too drawn out. It's good if you're thinking of picking up something interesting that won't take all summer to read. It's very updated and pop-culture-ish. It makes you say "hmm. i never thought about it that way, but i guess that's true". the only reason i think the movie is better is because it was so much more streamlined and understandable, not jumpy (like the book tends to be). the book reads like it's coming from someone's head (which it's supposed to). sometimes thoughts can be jumbled, but the movie just visually lays those jumbled thoughts out for you in a sequence that's easier to digest. for those who can easily read and understand complicated books (think something like...if memento or mulholland drive were originally books) then this book will be among the best books you've ever read. ... Read more

76. Speaker for the Dead (Ender Wiggin Saga)
by Orson Scott Card
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812550757
Catlog: Book (1994-08-15)
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 3716
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.
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Reviews (293)

5-0 out of 5 stars Which came first?
After reading Ender's Game, and loving it more than I thoughtpossible, I read "Speaker for the Dead". In theintroduction, (if you ever bother to read those things), the authorpoints out that Speaker was his original idea. He wrote "Ender's Game" as BACKGROUND! "Game" won the Hugo and Nebula awards as a background novel. In this story we "meet" Ender again, this time as a rather jaded thirty-something man who has to keep his identity a secret. History has unfairly branded him a mass murderer rather than the hero as he was first regarded, or the abused child he was in reality. He is the original "Speaker for the Dead", a humanistic ideology/psuedo-religeon that teaches the virtues of the truth. Don't let this mumbo jumbo throw you, its a great read that doesn't get too mystical. The book would be great on its own, but it's all the greater because anyone who's read "Ender's game" already knows the protagonist in more depth than any character in recent memory from any book. Ender is our childhood friend, who we have the priviledge of meeting again in adulthood. The reader will root for the boy to become greater than the myth and end his life of lonliness. He is summoned to a colony world that has discovered another form of sentient life. Ender is there to speak a death, (give an honest to the point of being harsh eulogy), but finds himself once again wrapped up in the politics of humanity. Basically he has to save the Portuguese Catholic world of Lusitania from a variety of things that would destroy it. What turns out to be his hardest task though is helping a family in emotional distress.

If it sounds complicated, it isn't. Card has given us another moral human tale, told in great detail and depth, yet never boring. Although the events in this book are far less catostrophic than the events our "hero" went through in Ender's game, the emotional impact is still there. We see what became of the lonly mistreated little genius, and how his life turned out. In "Game" Ender was battling for his own personal sanity and survival, playing by the rules of his controllers. In "Speaker", Ender fights for others. He has more control over the circumstances and chooses to help people he barely knows, and the last survivor of the race he was accused of wiping out.

We get a philosophically different book than "Ender's game", but it still has the power to break your heart and lift your spirits. We get a whole new set of personal moral dillemas, and see the dark and light sides of relationships. This book may be different in tone and philosophy than the prequel, but the main player is still intact. If you've read "Ender's Game", this is a must read. If you haven't, don't read this book yet. You'll like it, but that prize winning background novel is still worth the effort before going on to "Speaker". These two are the best books I've read in years.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great sequel to "Ender's Game," but a different beast
"Ender's Game," a fabulous novel, was rewritten from a novella specifically to allow the writing of "Speaker for the Dead," a considerably more complicated and challenging novel. Ender Wiggin has travelled from world to world, trying to find a new home for the Hive Queen whose race he eradicated, so that he can expiate his guilt. Along the way, he has become a Speaker for the Dead, a kind of professional eulogist who bares the soul of the corpse with all flaws revealed, so that we can come to truly know the dead. On the next world that Ender comes to, he becomes personally involved in the family of the deceased, and in the indigenous sentient species of this world, the Pequeninos. A far more difficult book to read than "Ender's Game," a very different narrative style drives the philosophical discussion of racism, family, love, and genocide. Readers searching for the same kind of adventure story as "Ender's Game" should read "Ender's Shadow"; anyone looking for a truly serious, marvelous philosophical novel that also moves with grace should read "Speaker for the Dead."

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books Ever
SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, along with ENDER'S GAME both rate as some of the best books ever written.

I remember when I discovered SPEAKER as a freshman in high school. Ender's Game had been one of my favorites since childhood, and over the years I had heard rumors of a second in the saga. On a school trip I entered a book store and discovered not only was there a second book in the Ender Series, but a third. I felt like I had discovered a buried treasure. I rushed back to my hotel room, ripped open the front cover and was shocked by what I found.

Ender was no longer the child that I loved, but a 45 year old man. The book takes place 3000 years after the first (Ender is still alive due to almost constant near-light speed travel). Instead of being the savior of the world as he was in the first book, Ender is the equivallent of satan, and he is the one who wrote the "scripture" that is used against him. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the book.

To make a long story short...I loved the book, but it did take some getting used to, as I had grown very attached to a much younger and different character. The book had moved onto more of a philisophical tone, a tone that as a child I had completely overlooked (but is still present to a minor degree) in the first book. I can't say I completely understood the philosophy in this book, but the intrigue and mysteries that were unravled by Ender helped to keep my interest, and as I have read it many times over the years, social issues continue to emerge that I had not considered before.

After finishing SPEAKER, I tried to compare it to ENDER'S GAME. It is like comparing apples to oranges. Both book were great in their own way and it is extremely difficult to decide which book was actually better.

I leave it to you. Decide for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars A different kind of sequel that you will thoroughly enjoy.
Card does not go the traditional route with sequels to books as many authors have done in the past. Speaker For The Dead is meant to be a standalone book , which means you do not have to have read Ender's Game to understand what goes on in the book. However, Speaker For The Dead is a sequel in the sense that some of the background is needed from Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow to get fully what the book is talking about when it refers to Ender the Xenocide and Peter the Hegemon, and so forth. However, reading Ender's Game is not critical to the actual story itself. Speaker for the Dead follows the raveged with guilt Ender Wiggin to the world of Trondheim. Ender and Valetine are currently stationed after their choice to not return to Earth where Ender could be used as a pawn for warring nations. Ender is a teacher at a local university as is Valentine. However, Ender get's a call to go to the distant world of Luisitania to speak the death of Marcao, the husband of one of the central characters in the novel (Novinha). Still looking for that one world where the bugger hive queen may finally be hatched again to thrive and live in peace among the human worlds, Ender takes the call to become Lusitania's Speaker of the Dead. This novel will not disappoint any readers that were fans from the first book. The novel is a bit more mature as Ender thanks to space travel is in his mid-30's (which is more around the figure of 3,000 years). Also laced with interesting philosophical arguments (though not buried with them as Xenocide was) and a mature but yet fascinating storyline, Speaker for the Dead is a good read for any fan of the Ender's Series.

5-0 out of 5 stars My all-time favorite book - full stop!

It does take some 'work' - the Portugese names are an enjoyable challenge to pronounce right - even in your head. The story is COMPLEX and brilliant. It is a standalone book - you need not have read "Ender's Game" (somecentury to a theatre near you!) to read and love this book.

If you give it your reader's 'all' - i predict it will move you and open new thoughts you never imagined. The entire series is like this, but for my mind - this one is the best. It is satisfying - even with threads left dangling! The growing series of books built around Ender Wiggin are worth the money and time to acquire and devour ... or maybe you'll savour them slower.

Speaker for the Dead - i have read now in excess of 5 times. More than the rest. It contains a novel system of ... let us say 'dealing with bereavement' in what i see as a healthy and fulfilling way.

That is all you get from me on this subject. I'll not blunt the sense of discovery that makes this book uniquely powerful - to me at least.

WHEN you have absorbed the book and\or the series ; and when you decide the writer is a brilliant voice to be cherished - i highly recommend the following books by him (in no particular order):
"Memory of Earth" (the city of Basillica is maybe THE place in all of fiction to which i would permanently relocate.)
"Treason" (- or if you can find the older version "Planet Called Treason"
ALL of "Maps in a Mirror" - specifically 'The Originist' and "Breaking the Game' .
"Pastwatch - the Redemption of Christopher Columbus"
"Red Prophet" (my choice for best in the 'Alvin Maker' series)

Most of his books and some short stories compilations have the first few chapters (depending on length) available to read online for free at his site:

Thank me later - or i welcome the discussion of any of Card's works!
-keith- ... Read more

77. Titan, Book One : Taking Wing (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
by Michael A. Martin, Andy Mangels
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743496272
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Star Trek
Sales Rank: 89951
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78. Xenocide (Ender Wiggin Saga)
by Orson Scott Card
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812509250
Catlog: Book (1992-08-15)
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 4214
Average Customer Review: 3.87 out of 5 stars
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Orson Scott Card's Xenocide is a space opera with verve.In this continuation of Ender Wiggin's story, the Starways Congress has sent a fleet to immolate the rebellious planet of Lusitania, home to the alien race of pequeninos, and home to Ender Wiggin and his family.Concealed on Lusitania is the only remaining Hive Queen, who holds a secret that may save or destroy humanity throughout the galaxy.Familiar characters from the previous novels continue to grapple with religious conflicts and family squabbles while inventing faster-than-light travel and miraculous virus treatments. Throw into the mix an entire planet of mad geniuses and a self-aware computer who wants to be a martyr, and it's hard to guess who will topple the first domino. Due to the densely woven and melodramaticnature of the story, newcomers to Ender's tale will want to start reading this series with the first books,Ender's Game andSpeaker for the Dead. --Brooks Peck ... Read more

Reviews (164)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi for the thinking-person
Xenocide is Orson Scott Card's third installment in the Ender series, and the second book of the Speaker trilogy. Congress has sent its fleet to the world of Lustiania, intent on destroying it in order to put an end to their rebellion. Lusitania also happens to be the only known home in the universe to sentient beings other than Humans, so the result of its destruction will be xenocide - the total annihilation of an entire alien race. When the fleet mysteriously disappears, Congress enlists the aid of Gloriously Bright on the world of Path to discover what has happened.

Xenocide is not one of those action packed non-stop thrill-a-minute science fiction stories that readers of Ender's Game might be hoping for. Instead, Xenocide is much closer to Speaker for the Dead in its pacing. This is sci-fi for the thinking man. Card has a lot he wants to say. He addresses themes of religion, sacrifice, the family, the connections we all make with one another, and much more. Card examines our place in the universe and what it means to be a living thinking being. Card even invents his own science to explain events from the physical, such as the creation of the Universe, to the metaphysical, such as where do our soul's come from. In the midst of all this is an engaging and enjoyable yarn, complete with a rich cast of characters.

If you are looking for a story that makes you stop and think, you will enjoy Xenocide. If you enjoyed Speaker for the Dead then this is a must read. Be warned though, Xenocide doesn't wrap up all of its threads before finishing, so you'll probably be looking forward to picking up the next book in the series in order to resolve those unanswered questions.

5-0 out of 5 stars This series just keeps getting better!
Many people don't like this book because of the long ethical and philosophical discussions in it, but these are the people who only read Ender's Game for the action, violence and war aspect of it. In fact, I'm surprised these people got so far as to even read Xenocide. If you look closely, all of the Ender Quartet are philosophical books, but Xenocide it the most open about it. Xenocide considers outrageous things, such as an entire planet inhabited by geniuses who are struck by a crippling and incurable variation of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or a self-aware computer program making herself into a martyr even though only three people in the entire universe know she exists, or a group of aliens determined to bring humankind to meet it's maker by spreading an incurable plague, etc. The sub-plot on the world of Path is riveting, and holds up the whole book of itself. I don't know how Card does it. First I was convinced that Ender's Game was the best book ever written, then no one could tell me that Speaker for the Dead was anything less than perfect, and now Xenocide has risen to claim the title! I want to read Children of the Mind, though I am skeptical about whether Card can improve on the perfection of his previous three books. For the reader who is into deep philosophy: read Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder, but take it in small doses! I have only one question. Orson Scott Card, will you marry me?

4-0 out of 5 stars Serious reading!
With every book in Ender series it's becoming more complex and sophisticated. This book is full of very interesting mostly phylosophical (especially interesting on role of religion) and metaphysical discussions. The drawback is that it's much more difficult to read. It takes some effort (at least this was the case for me) to get to the end. Although the series started as quite typical sci-fi I can't consider it to be this genre anymore (the presense of another planet and alien cultures notwithstanding). I am not saying that it's a shortcoming but it's something that future readers need to keep in mind not to be disappointed. I believe Orson Scott Card is a very smart person but not a great writer (if you judge his novels by such criterias as plot and character development). Still, it's a very interesting book assuming you know what to expect.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not too bad
Xenocide is not quite up to par with the previous books in the Ender Series. It starts off slowly, with Jane cutting off ansible communications with the fleet that has been sent to attack the colony on Luisitania, and doesn't really start to get interesting until over 100 pages into the book. From the 100 page mark it does become an enjoyable read.

A God-spoken girl on the world of Path is set the task of finding out why they lost contact with the fleet, while the people of Luisitania search for a way to stop the Descolata from killing them and all of humanity by keeping the Pequinoes confined to just one planet. Through their separate searches, many amazing and terrifying things are discovered. The frightening purpose of the Descolata is discovered, as is the reason behind the God-spoken of Path. All of these discoveries help to add tension and excitement to an otherwise pretentious book.

The story leaves many questions unanswered, and the survival of the human colony is in doubt, as the whole universe seems to be pushing for its destruction. With the first books in this series, all this seemed fresh and new, if not a little overbearing, but now it's just getting old. The story seems a little forced in places, and it's not as fun as its predecessors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful.
I've scanned some of the reviews for this book, to find that a lot of people found Card's change of pace difficult to digest. I suppose people were hoping for a similar dosage of brash suspense and violent conflict. Xenocide delivers something much different. Orson Scott Card is probably one of the few Sci-Fi writers who could get away with creating his own science. Some may argue that he does not accomplish that in this novel, but I beg to differ. Xenocide reads far more like a journey into the psyche of the feeble-brained human, than a simple conflict of interest which is once again, perpetuated by the patriotic, but ultiamtely antagonistic, Starways Congress. Card decided to write something less like a simple novel, and more like a philosophical odyssey. This book also tackles a very popular sci-fi issue of artificial intelligence, but with a complete twist. In this book, readers will actually feel a great deal of empathy for the one called "Jane." Her character makes this novel an emotional masterpiece... it may even be enough to bring one to tears. And the villians of the novel turn out to be multi-dimensioned to the nth degree. And finally, you are left with the story of many factions, fighting to do what they believe is right, and none seeming to be ultimately evil or ultimately good.

Card exposes the flaws and the beauty of the human psyche in what is easily one of his best works to date. ... Read more

79. Messenger
by Lois Lowry
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618404414
Catlog: Book (2004-04-26)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books
Sales Rank: 1493
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Strange changes are taking place in Village. Once a utopian community that prided itself on its welcome to new strangers, Village will soon be closed to all outsiders. As one of the few people able to travel through the dangerous Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village"s closing and try to convince Seer"s daughter to return with him before it"s too late. But Forest has become hostile to Matty as well, and he must risk everything to fight his way through it, armed only with an emerging power he cannot yet explain or understand. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars You fill in the blanks
I did not like this book as much as the first two in the series. However, art is not always supposed to cheer us up. I think that Lowry is the kind of author who really wants the reader to become the storyteller and fill in the blanks. There is no neat package at the end, even in the book which is the third of the trilogy. Matty's true name communicates what I believe to be Lowry's central message. I don't want to spoil the end, so I won't reveal his true name, but the following quote is similarly revealing, and my favorite of the book. "So you could meet in the middle with your gifts? It wouldn't be so hard if you only went half way. If you met." Despite the abrupt ending, Messenger is a must read for those who have read The Giver and Gathering Blue.

5-0 out of 5 stars matty is not dead
first time i read the Giver, i was hooked and so i read the Gathering blue and Messenger. i finished reading it not 15 minutes ago and i have to say something. otherwise, i will not be in peace.

i love lois lowry style, she makes me think of what my real name might be.

anyway, there are questions after i read the messenger and not to mention upset about it, but when i think of it, i realize, there goes lois lowry's style again.

we know that everytime Leader, kira and matty use their gifts, they will always tired and fall asleep.matty, since we know that he is a healer,( though doesnt know realize much the extend of his power since he discovered just recently), healed a frog and dogs. and if you are talking of healing the forest and the village, it's gonna be huge. so, matty is gonna sleep for maybe 3-4 days.. in his mind, he drifted overhead before, looking down on a struggling boy leading a crippled girl, so after a tremendous work of healing, he is drifting again. to let go in peace meaning his work is done and he has to rest. i dont think it's a self-destructing gift. village needs him as a healer. and in the distance the sound of keening began.why, they wont even reach the village for a couple of days and Village doesnt know what happen to Leader, Kira and Matty yet(they dont have the gift of seeing beyond). i guess the keening is for Ramon's sister.

it's a good book. im planning to read the other books by lois lowry. she has become my favorite author.

3-0 out of 5 stars Unanswered questions left me wanting more
If you're anything like me, The Giver was a powerful and thought-provoking book. I was looking forward to some suspense of the same intensity, but closure as well. I had enjoyed the change of pace with Gathering Blue and was intrigued to see how the two stories would be tied together. Overall, the book was just too short. Characters were not developed as fully and the connection between the two worlds seemed almost trivialized. By the end if you missed even one word, nothing made sense.

The last chapter was a frenzy and the ending was too much of a "quick-fix" for a group of books that dealt with very heavy issues. I did like the portrayal of the Village and the interesting change in people who forgot their past and the kindness others had shown them. It would be a good tie in with immigration stories.

However, I just wanted more, more answers, more explanation. What was Jonas like now besides his job description? He seemed to walk around in an overly wise daze. What had happened to his town? All in all, I would say stick to The Giver for classroom use. Gathering Blue and Messenger have good issues to address as well, but The Giver does so with the most clarity and excellence in writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great....
I was excited to find out what happened to the characters in both the Giver and Gathering Blue. I was surprised to find out the lives of some of the characters. I was upset that the ending ended like the other two. I had hoped that this book would finally tie up all of the loose ends completly. I guess Lowry is going to have to write yet another stellar book!

3-0 out of 5 stars A Connection Between Two Worlds
While this book isn't exactly your typical fairy tale, if you like magical stories, you'll like this book. Have you read The Giver and Gathering Blue? If not, you should definitely read these books before you read Messenger. Lois Lowry connects these two books in Messenger.
In Messenger the main character's name is Matty. Matty is the only one who can travel through Forest without being killed, so he takes messages to outside villages. He hopes that when he gets his real name he will be Messenger. At the beginning of this book Matty's friend Ramon gets a "Gaming Machine" that his family traded for at Trade Mart. Then, some of the people of Village, who used to be very welcoming to new people in their village, want to close Village to all outsiders. A meeting is called to decide whether Village will be closed or not. Soon, some "new ones" come to Village. They are welcomed as usual, but a small group of people protest. The schoolteacher, who used to be very welcoming to "new ones," leads them. The people of Village are given names based on what they do. For example, Seer, the man Matty lives with that is blind; Leader; and Mentor, the schoolteacher. Matty discovers he has a power to heal things. He saves a frog, a dog, and a puppy from dying. Then, Matty decides he wants to go and see what Trade Mart is like. When Matty is there, he notices odd procedures. He also notices changes in behavior of people who have traded. You can hear what each person is trading for but not what the person is trading for it. One change in behavior is when one woman whose husband walks slowly, yells at her husband to hurry up which she has never done before. Next, Jean, Mentor's daughter, gives Matty her puppy, which Leader names Frolic. Frolic goes everywhere with Matty. Matty goes to the meeting that will decide whether Village will stay open to outsiders anymore or not. The decision ends up being that Village will close, although Matty is opposed to this. He is sent to post the message that Village is closing. He also agrees to bring Seer's daughter, Kira, back to Village before it closes. Before he leaves, he is told not to spend his gift and has to resist the urge to use it when he sees Ramon is sick. On the way through Forest, it is a little more challenging than usual. Matty learns about Kira's power to see the future. When Matty takes Kira back through the Forest, they face many unusual challenges. Some of these are burning sap and poking branches. Leader goes after Matty and Kira because he can see beyond and tell that they are in trouble. To save the world, using his power to heal, Matty has to make some major sacrifices.
I give this book three out of five stars. This is because it was disappointing compared to The Giver and Gathering Blue. This book has a slow start. It takes a while to get to the action. The book doesn't grab you in right away. Some things that were good about this book are that is was really interesting when you would find a connection to either The Giver or Gathering Blue. One example is that Matty was the mischievous little boy that Kira was friends with. The characters of this book are interesting. For example, it is interesting to see how Matty changes. He used to call himself "the fiercest of the fierce." Now, Matty doesn't do that. You also get into this book later.
Matty is a brave boy. He is proud that he is the only one who can go into Forest. It is unique that he can go through Forest. He is eager to get his real name, and he wants it to be Messenger. Matty was happy with his life until things began to change. The nice people and things of Village turned bad. In this book, Matty discovers that he has a power. His power is that he can heal things that are hurt or dying. He healed a frog whose leg was bitten almost all the way off. He also healed a sick puppy and its mother. This is something that is unique to him.
A key scene in this novel is at the very end, when Matty saves the world. Matty is almost dying because Forest turned bad and is hurting them with things like burning sap. Leader, using his power to see beyond, and Kira, using her power to see ahead, meet. Leader tells Kira that they need Matty's power, now. Matty doesn't think there is any way that he has enough energy to use his power, but he turns over and puts his hands on the ground. He feels his power going out of him. Everything is better. Forest isn't evil anymore, Mentor is back to his old ways of reading poetry and being welcoming, and Ramon is no longer sick. Matty sees all of these things changing. He drifts out of his body. He watches himself giving all his energy to the world.
This scene was a really good way to end the book. This is because it just resolves everything in a nice way. Things are a little more normal back in Village and the people have stopped trying to close Village.
In conclusion, I somewhat recommend this book. If you like magic or you like to discover little connections and other interesting things, this is a great book for you. I would recommend that before you read this book, you should read The Giver and Gathering Blue. ... Read more

80. The Sparrow
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449912558
Catlog: Book (1997-09-08)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 5239
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


"A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense."
--USA Today

"AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That's who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel."
--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"POWERFUL . . . Father Emilio Sandoz [is] the only survivor of a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat, 'a soul . . . looking for God.' We first meet him in Italy . . . sullen and bitter. . . . But he was not always this way, as we learn through flashbacks that tell the story of the ill-fated trip. . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"SMOOTH STORYTELLING AND GORGEOUS CHARACTERIZATION . . . Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them."
--Entertainment Weekly

... Read more

Reviews (373)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
In describing this book to friends, I found it extremely hard to classify. To describe it as a "Jesuits in Space" novel is as insulting as it is inadequate. Technically, it's sci-fi, which I don't tend to read very often, but it also covers anthropology, SETI, social commentary, commentary on the Catholic priesthood & monasticism, the inner workings of sacerdotal celibacy, and on Columbus and the subsequent ugliness that seems to be an inherent part of First Contact situations. Ultimately, though, I'd have to say it's a book about faith, done in such a way and to such a degree that it's not easily ignored. In fact, that's what I eventually had to tell my friends -- "You'll just have to trust me that it's worth reading."

THE SPARROW had my interest within the first 20 pages, and by page 100, it had climbed to my Top 100 List. I thought the dual timeline helpful and interesting. I thought the characters were brilliantly done. Russell does a great job at showing the very intimate motivations of several characters, who manage somehow to be both deep and clever. In fact, very clever. The repartee between the characters is one of my favorite parts of the book. The only thing I can mention as a detraction was that so many characters die "off camera". I was not put off by it, but many readers might be.

As for random observations: 1) The sequel, CHILDREN OF GOD, should be considered the second half of the same book. Definitely read it, and right after the first one. It's a question of symmetry. 2) This is a very disturbing book, but our lives are richer for having them disturbed in this way. 3) Any priest who quotes YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at his own hearing is ok in my book.

4-0 out of 5 stars An imaginative treatment of cross-cultural misunderstanding
This is an imaginative and well-written "first contact" novel which vividly illustrates the limitations of good intentions in a cross-cultural encounter. Russell has created a fully realized alien culture on the planet of Rakhat, and credibly charts the escalating missteps which her human characters make in exploring it. Sponsorship of the Rakhat mission by the Jesuits is perhaps a bit implausible, but the thought-provoking parallels with the "discovery" of the Americas justify the slight suspension of disbelief. The post-mission interactions among the earthbound Jesuits who are trying to make sense of what happened are also fairly gripping.

I have only two complaints about the novel. First, I was irritated by the evident authorial expectation that I should hold the character of Anne Edwards in high regard; it was (alas) not surprising at all to read in interviews that Russell had based this figure in large part on herself. Second, a "key" revelation at the end of the book smacks of cliche- Russell all but states "now the healing process can begin"- and is artificially delayed in a way which seems oddly out of character for the person who makes it. But these are minor quibbles about an otherwise terrific read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
What a truly amazing book! I think it must be close to the best book I've ever read. Although it's classed as science fiction, it's better described as a book that examines the soul of man and the nature of faith, and I've never seen it done better. There will be people who don't "get" this book and will consider her writing juvenille in places but then again there are people who consider Picasso unskilled. Buy this book and enjoy.

3-0 out of 5 stars I couldn't finish it
I tried to read this book a few years ago, and I struggled just to get a quarter of the way through... Then I just put it down. Which is something I rarely ever do. The writting style was so drab I just couldn't get into the book. But I will say I do plan on trying to read it again. If for no other reason than I am curious as to what the hell happened to that priest! I gave it three stars, because it did leave me interested in trying again, plus I can't give it an accurate rating since I didn't finish it.

My recommendation would be pick it up used if you are interested...

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
A friend of mine who reads a ton recommended this book, and although I am not generally a fan of this type of book, I thought I would give it a try. I LOVED IT! It had me captured from beginning to end, and I have told lots of other people about it and had the same response from them. If you are doubtful, open your mind and you will be engrossed immediately! ... Read more

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