Beyond the Rift and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$11.94
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $3.01 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Friday, April 18? Order within and choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Beyond the Rift Paperback


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.94
$8.80 $7.94

Frequently Bought Together

Beyond the Rift + Burning Paradise
Price for both: $30.86

Buy the selected items together
  • Burning Paradise $18.92

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (November 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616961252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616961251
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Known for his pitch-black views on human nature, and a breathtaking ability to explore the weird side of evolution and animal behavior, Watts is one of those writers who gets into your brain and remains lodged there like an angry, sentient tumor.”
io9.com (Fall 2013 Must-Read Pick)

"Despite a career of more than 20 years, Peter Watts has published only a handful of novels and a not much larger handful of stories, which nevertheless have given him a solid reputation as a sharp and incisive stylist with a rather tragic, if clear-eyed, view of human nature, and the capacity for some remarkable hard-SF inventions."
Locus

“Possessing the stern moral acuity of James Tiptree, he [Peter Watts] also exhibits the intellectual zest of Arthur C. Clarke.... His killer opening sentences ("First Contact was supposed to solve everything"; "Wescott was glad when it finally stopped breathing") are rabbit holes to strange futures.”
—Paul Di Fillipo, The Barnes & Noble Review


"From the award-winning author of the Rifters trilogy (Starfish; Maelstrom; Behemoth) comes a collection that demonstrates Watts's skill with short fiction."
Library Journal

“[T]here can be no denying Watts’s skills as a writer.”
Publishers Weekly

"[A] sharp and incisive stylist with a rather tragic, if clear-eyed, view of human nature, and the capacity for some remarkable hard-SF inventions."
—Gene Wolfe, Locus

“5/5 Stars I’m not usually one for short story collections; normally I usually like one or two stories and then chuck the rest. But this one is freaking amazing. One story better than the next...It is far and away the best science fiction collection I’ve read in years.”
Among the Wreckage

“A wonderful collection of unique stories, Beyond the Rift had all the cogs in my brain whirring at full power.”
My Shelf Confessions

“Excellent stories that highlight the author’s versatility and strengths in writing science fiction.”
SF Signal

“...deep, daring, and deliberately thoughtful. He's an author who isn't afraid to stare off into the bleakness of space and ponder our own insignificance, but one who also isn't afraid to look inward and question the very core of what makes us human.”
Beauty in Ruins

“Holding himself to a higher standard of storytelling, Watts uses the effects of mainstream sci-fi, yet continually aims at something deeper in humanity and society’s soul.”
Speculiction

“ [Beyond the Rift] was provocative and extremely well written. This is one of those collections that I think benefits from reflection after each story, and most of the stories will cry out for rereading in the future. Excellent collection - Very Highly Recommended.”
She Walks Softly

“Watts ranges from huge-scale ideas ("The Island," with a living membrane surrounding a star) to the immediate (what if airport scanners grew sophisticated enough to detect even potential criminals, in "The Eyes of God")? He asks the questions that the best science fiction writers ask, but that the rest of us may be afraid to answer.”
Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Peter Watts is a science-fiction writer and a marine-mammal biologist. He is the author of the Rifters trilogy (Starfish, Maelstrom, and Behemoth) as well as Blindsight, The Island and Other Stories, and Ten Monkeys, Ten Minutes. He has received the Aurora, Hugo, and Shirley Jackson awards. Watts lives in Toronto.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
4 star
5
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 16 customer reviews
They're just horrifyingly brilliant and clever.
Brian
Most all of the stories in this collection feature alien life that is far more unique, bizarre, and unfamiliar than the norm.
Bacterialover
I would suggest to any fan of science fiction to give this short story collection a shot.
Timothy Pecoraro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Han Jie on November 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
Like many modern science fiction authors, Peter Watts is not a prolific writer of short stories. In the twenty-three years since he was first published, only eighteen have appeared. This is not an insult, rather a reflection of the publishing industry: writers today must supplement their income with ‘real-world’ earnings to get by, and thus spend less time filling the niches of their oeuvres. But the advantage of limited outputs is that the ideas have time to ferment, for the prose to be polished, and ultimately for quality stories to emerge. Essentially a best-of which pilfers six stories from 2001’s Ten Monkeys, Ten Minutes and adds seven stories since published, 2013’s Beyond the Rift (from Tachyon) is high quality writing from Watts, one of science fiction’s most underrated yet important authors writing today—at least sometimes.

Containing thirteen stories and one essay, all published between 1990 and 2013, Beyond the Rift is a varied mix that would be a great place to start for anyone looking to delve into the fiction of Peter Watts. Short stories and novelettes, the selected pieces range from far to near-future scenarios, deep space to deep in the Earth’s oceans, post-humanism to the birth of AI, religion to secular interests, hard science fiction to cyberpunk (albeit cloaked), free will to determinism, environmentalism to the psyche, and life to death and back again.

Brooding and dense, Watts’ style requires reader engagement. Dialogue can be obtuse and exposition is most often indirect, giving Beyond the Rift a bleak, stark feel. Stories like “The Island”, “Home”, and “A Niche” scrape their fingernails along the blackboard of storytelling, sparks crackling to life the closer one draws to the end. Like Arthur C.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Milne on November 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
Science fiction is an incredibly diverse genre, both in terms of content and in terms of storytelling. At one end of the spectrum you have your pulp sci-fi, rollicking adventure stories that often skirt the boundaries of science to tell their fantastic tales. Further along the line, at the middle of the spectrum, you find space opera, which generally uses (and often abuses) the more outlandish possibilities in science to tell a tale. Finally, at the other end of the spectrum you have hard science-fiction, which more often than not uses the techniques of the tale to convey the intricacies of its science.

That, of course, is a gross simplification, but if we think of the spectrum in those terms, then Beyond the Rift is the kind of collection that often peers back towards the centre, but which is very firmly grounded in the hard. Peter Watts is an interesting guy, a scientist, an author, and something of a political philosopher. He's been described as "too dark" by some, and as both "exhilarating" and "deeply paranoid" by others. To dismiss him as just another depressing, pessimistic hard science fiction author, however, is to do him a huge disservice. Personally, I would lean more towards terms like deep, daring, and deliberately thoughtful. He's an author who isn't afraid to stare off into the bleakness of space and ponder our own insignificance, but one who also isn't afraid to look inward and question the very core of what makes us human.

I won't attempt to tackle everything in the collection, but instead look at the highlights.

"The Things" kicks off the anthology with, as he describes it himself, a bit of fan fiction. Watts takes the story of The Thing and turns it inside out, exploring the shapeshifting monster as not the aggressor, but the victim.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert M Hodgson on January 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A collection of the authors short stories combined with personal reflections on his writing and his famous falling out with US border officials make up this idiosyncratic offering. In recent years I have almost stopped reading SF but this book and Blindsite have rekindled {no pun!} my enthusiasm.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John M. Sanders on December 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most of what I read is technical materia, abstract mathematics, or history. Usually the fiction I read is just something to kill some time and let my mind wander away for a while. With Peter Watts, it's different. I read his work in order to bring my mind out of the dark. Whenever I get bored or sad or stuck in a rut, I read one of his books to snap me back into the world of the living. I always come away thinking new thoughts, or thinking about thought, or at least thinking old thoughts in a new light. This collection of stories is no different. They're short but engaging. Surreal, yet illuminating. You should buy this up and enjoy the ride. It's more than worth the price of admission.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By monyouk on December 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
yet quite original and mostly thought-provoking thirteen (hard) SF short stories written/published between 1990 and 2010 are contained in a single volume here. Don't expect some merry ride with happy ending, though, but be prepared instead for an atmosphere/style as bone-chillingly cold as deep space/ocean!
The writing is smart, uncompromising and precise, with occasional grittiness and violence. A not-so-minor gripe of mine, however, is that resorting not infrequently to scientific jargon may hinder full appreciation of Watts' intended message. You can come across technical terms of biochemistry, neuroscience, cosmology, what have you, like: actomyosin, adrenocortical analogs, anoxia, ATOC pulses, benthic ooze, cumulonimbus, dendrite, eumelanin, Hawking Hoop, myoelectric, perspex, phaeophytin, or ventral notochord, etc. with aliquot, photophore, and subroutine being his favourite words - a glossary would have come in handy. It's also questionable how many readers know exactly/are able to recall from their high school/college studies what, say, parietal and occipital lobes are responsible for.

Contents: 1. The things (2010) 2. The island (2009) 3. The second coming of Jasmine Fitzgerald (1998) 4. A word for heathens (2004) 5. Home (2000) 6. The eyes of god (2008) 7. Flesh made word (1994) 8. Nimbus (1994) 9. Mayfly (2005) 10. Ambassador (2002) 11. Hillcrest v Velikovsky (2008) 12. Repeating the past (2007) 13.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa60c44c8)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?