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Achilles' Choice Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 1991


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (March 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812510836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812510836
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,254,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The world of 2048 is ruled by a council of computer-enhanced, "linked" people, with new members chosen every four years through a competitive mental, physical and aesthetical Olympics. In training, contender Jillian Shomer debates whether to use a "boost" to enhance her chances. Nobody who has not boosted can prevail over anyone who has, at least in the physical contests, but those who use the boost and do not win will die within 10 years--only the link can counteract its effects and only a council member can be linked. Seeking to learn why the council would so allow the destruction of the majority of the world's finest youths, Jillian discovers unsavory aspects to her utopia. Then someone, or something, catches her spying. Niven and Barnes's ( The Descent of Anansi ) romance-like light fiction, with its predictable plot, loosely drawn characters and no more than a promise of a resolution, is, nevertheless, fun to read.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Achilles' Choice transcends science fiction. As one formerly shortlisted for the Olympics, I recognize the truth in Niven's and Barnes' depicion of the sports world. They understand the intense competitiveness that overrides all else, that turns people into something more, and less, than human. Achilles' Choice is about believable people who must make that choice." --Morgan Llywelyn

"A masterpiece!" --Andrew M. Greeley

"Larry Niven and Steven Barnes seem to bring out the best in each other. Achilles' Choice is ample proof of that." --Mike Resnick

"Set in an all too plausible, sinister near future, Achilles' Choice not only tells an exciting story, it gives us a great deal to think about." -Poul Anderson

"Achilles' Choice is a rousing tale of men and women pushed beyond competition--into evolution or extinction." --Jerry Pournelle

"An intriguing idea, strikingly presented!" -Gordon R. Dickson

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Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Larry Niven (and his co-authors) usually write something either memorable or entertaining. ACHILLES CHOICE is neither. The authors (three of them!) reach hard to impress the reader by mixing references to the current "exciting" mass appeal physics of Chaos Theory. They then proceed to make flat characters behave in ways that no one with any experience would believe they would act. Not very typical Niven - not very good. Two stars because you CAN read the whole thing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is about love, life and sport. Based on a future Olympics where not only physical perfection is required but also extreme intelligence. It is a story where the nobel prize is inspired by elite athletes, and practical meets theoretical. It is a story of choices. Choose wrong and you may die. Either way you need to be fully committed to your descisions. If you are going to aim high in life then this is where you would be.
Achilles Choice was a light but enjoyable read. I am looking forward to a sequel.
I would recommend this novel for the age group 8-22 years of age. If you are an older reader the predictability of the storyline may be discouraging.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story follows a young athlete as she trains for the new Olympics, which include intellectual competition and a de facto death sentence for the those who fail to take the gold. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Ah, well. I have read of number of Larry Niven novels, and I understand the premise that maybe a book can be just a ripping good adventure, and not a contribution to world lit. But, ack, this was horrible. You will find the characters cliched, the plot "twists" too easy to figure out, and the ending is either a cop out because the author had filled the requisit number of pages, or a cheap way to prep for a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reading Larry Niven's thoughts on the publishing world in "Playgrounds of the Mind" and "N Space" gives a good insight into why this book was published: simply to fulfill a contract. As usual, the concept is very strong. The story develops nicely and then ends in mid-thought. As an avowed Larry Niven fan, I was extremely disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sgt. J's wife on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Honestly, the cover is so fantastically campy that I had to read it. I found it while shelving books at the library where I work.

The story was not too painful, especially if you skim through it, and the Boris Vallejo illustrations sprinkled throughout the book were my reward for sludging through the text. They're kind of like the marshmallows in my Lucky Charms. Awesome.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Achilles' Choice delves into a future evolution of the Olympics in which life is the ticket to enter. This extreme development of sports is expressed through the people most involved--the athletes. The characters , especially Jillian Shomer, are magnificently expressed in their actions and thoughts. The reader can easily feel the heated struggle of competition and the agony over moral and life dilemmas faced by Jullian. Furthermore, these future competitors are extremely applicable to today's athletes, and connect the reader to the harsh life and choices these talented people face. A great read.
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Format: Paperback
Honestly, the cover is so fantastically campy that I had to read it. I found it while shelving books at the library where I work.

The story was not too painful, especially if you skim through it, and the Boris Vallejo illustrations sprinkled throughout the book were my reward for sludging through the text. They're kind of like the marshmallows in my Lucky Charms. Awesome.
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