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Cowboy Angels Paperback – January 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616142510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616142513
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,465,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This gripping tale, which calls to mind both the Stargate TV series and any number of spy thrillers. . . provides nonstop action, a believably damaged hero, and a complex set of mysteries that will keep the reader breathlessly turning pages."
—Publishers Weekly

"A clever book. . . McAuley deals with his themes intelligently and with spark. Even just as an entertaining story, this is a captivating read, depicting realistic action, unsettling events, complex characters, and great pacing. A must read."
—Dreamwatch Total Sci-Fi

"Fast moving, clever, great visuals. . . this book was great entertainment, intelligent, and enormous fun. . . Recommended."
—SFF World

"One of the best SF novels of the year."
—Locus

About the Author

Paul McAuley’s first novel won the Philip K. Dick Award, and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. For many years a research biologist, he now writes full-time. McAuley’s novel The Quiet War made several "best of the year" lists, including SF Site’s Reader’s Choice Top 10 SF and Fantasy Books of 2009. He lives in London. Visit him online at unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com.

More About the Author

Paul McAuley's first novel won the Philip K. Dick Award, and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. For many years a research biologist, he now writes full-time. McAuley's novel The Quiet War made several "best of the year" lists, including SF Site's Reader's Choice Top 10 SF and Fantasy Books of 2009. He lives in London. Visit him online at unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com .

Customer Reviews

Once this found, and the characters began using it, the story really got confusing.
Clifford J. Walk
The science is plausible even if the multiple universe concept of quantum mechanics is only an interpretation of the theory and very difficult to prove.
Hank Rainwater
Besides some really good action, strong characters, with their interesting flaws and conflicting agendas helped keep me engaged..
Russell Cashman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Chris Roberson on September 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Cowboy Angels, McAuley breathes new life into a fairly well worn idea. This is a story of alternate histories and parallel worlds, of people travelling through magic doors to worlds that are almost-but-not-quite their own. This was an idea that wasn't new when Andre Norton did it in The Crossroads of Time, much less when Keith Laumer tackled it in Worlds of the Imperium or when Harry Turtledove more recently dusted it off for Gunpowder Empire. But as Cowboy Angels shows, it's an idea still worth exploring, if an author can come up with a novel approach to the subject. McAuley's twist here is to view the interactions of different histories through the lens of American foreign policy, and in particular the CIA's "dirty tricks" in the mid-20C Cold War. The superpower in this particular multiverse is the "Real," a version of America that didn't experience our WWII, but in which physicists at a high-energy physics lab in Brookhaven in 1963 discovered the secret of creating "Turing gates," doorways to parallel worlds. The US government takes control of the technology, and uses it to "spread democracy" to the various alternate Americas it finds out in the multiverse. The various worldlines, or "sheaves," are known by the name of whomever was in charge of America when contact is first made, hence the designation "Nixon sheaf" for our own history. The structure of Cowboy Angels is part thriller, part murder mystery, with a fair number of pulse-pounding action scenes along the way. But it's really in the examination of the history of the 20th Century seen from a variety of angles, and the history of America and her foreign policy in particular, that Cowboy Angels shines. Highly recommended.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. R Weaver VINE VOICE on March 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Paul McAuley for a long while now, ever since I read Pasquale's Angel, so it was nice to see him dipping into the alternate history genre once more.

Cowboy Angels is a thought-provoking and truly intriguing vision of just what the cost of empire-building actually is - the Americans of 'The Real' (the alternate history which invented cross-time travel) see it as their sacred duty to bring freedom and democracy to as many different versions of the United States as they can find. Sometimes this involves rebuilding Americas destroyed by nuclear conflict, but just as often it involves overthrowing communist or fascist Americas and instilling their own brand of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, whether the inhabitants want it or not.

As the story opens, it's 1980, and Jimmy Carter has just been elected President of the Real America, promising to end 15 years of cross-time war and focus instead on peace, not bloodshed. But there are those who want to preserve the status quo...

This book is just hands down good. McAuley mixes Ludlum spy-games, Wambaugh police-procedural, pop culture, gee-whiz science fiction, and just plain old-fashioned excellent story-telling to create a fantastic novel. The characters are sympathetic and interesting, with enough back-story and vivid dialogue to make them really come alive and relate to each other like real people. The twists and turns will keep you guessing, and the ending is not to be missed.

Five stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clifford J. Walk on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have a love-hate relationship with alternative history novels. I think most of them are crap. This one was pretty good. The concept of one world discovering the means to travel to alternative worlds and then subverting those worlds for its own ends is not new. But I thought that McAuley handled it well. I had some problems with the characters, especially the main character, Agent Adam Stone. Stone is a retired CIA agent, one of the first Cowboy Angels, who was known as a tough and decisive character back in the day. I wish McAuley had written about that Adam Stone. Retired Adam Stone seems to be confused most of the time and often doesn't know what to do.

The main characters are all searching for Hitchcock's McGuffin, which in this case turns out to be a mysterious device which not only allows you to travel to an alternate history but time travel as well. Once this found, and the characters began using it, the story really got confusing. McAuley creates a number of time loops and didn't do a good job of explaining what was happening.

I started reading another McAuley book last year called The Quiet War. This had gotten off to a promising start but about half way into it I had to give it up. I didn't understand what was going on and worse, didn't care. I'd say that Cowboy Angels is a better book. Although I was confused I did want to see how it ended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By booksforabuck VINE VOICE on July 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
In 1963, American scientists opened a Turing gate, and promptly initiated a major effort to bring together Americas across quantum sheafs (alternate realities). Pouring soldiers, resources, and CIA-style intelligence through these gates, the "Real" stands at the head of a multi-universe organization when Jimmy Carter is elected as a peace candidate. Rather than continue to throw resources at an apparently infinite number of Americas, Carter wants to focus on negotiations and consolidation. The "Real's" version of the CIA isn't happy. To them, any America enslaved deserves its freedom and there are plenty of enemies.

Adam Stone was one of the CIA agents, "cowboy angels" who infiltrated new sheafs, discovered what made their economies and political systems click, and helped bring an American-style government and economy into worlds where America had taken fascist or communist paths, or where they were threatened by European powers. Now, though, he wants his retirement on a sheaf where humanity didn't develop, where he can lead hunting parties to catch saber-tooth cats, and where he can develop his growing affection toward the pretty widow who is his business partner. When the Company wants to reactivate him, he isn't interested, until he learns that they want him to help look for an old Company buddy, Tom Waverly. According to the Company, Waverly has gone on a murder streak, killing the same woman across multiple sheafs, and Tom is asking for Stone.

As Adam follows leads, trying to prevent his one-time friend from killing again, he learns of a plot by disaffected Company agents. Rather than accept their new role, they're trying to change the world of the Real, allowing them to re-launch their crusade to save every America.
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