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FURIOUS GULF (Bantam Spectra Book) Hardcover – July 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Series: Bantam Spectra Book
  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; First Edition edition (July 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553096613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553096613
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,198,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This fifth installment (after Tides of Light ) in Benford's "Galactic Center" series, set thousands of years in the future, finds the remaining humans from the planet Snowglade fleeing the genocidal Mechs in the spaceship Argo . As the vessel speeds toward the Galactic Center, the refugees verge on mutiny as food becomes scarce, Mechs close in and Captain Killeen grows ever more determined to discover what lies at the Core. Even Killeen's adolescent son, Toby, begins to question his father's fitness for command, particularly when he discovers that his nervous system has been used as a repository for the skills and personality of the captain's slain lover. Meanwhile, unknown to the Argo crew and passengers, bodiless, perhaps egoless, intelligences muse none-too-benignly on the action at hand and whether they should destroy the shipbound humans as part of their "ancient task" of wiping out humanity. If the first half of the narrative is a chase, the second half is a discovery: an exploration of the universe that lies within the human heart, as well as a study of nonhuman beings and of the artifacts of space and time that Benford's fevered imagination has strewn through eons of human history. The author's fans won't be disappointed with this tautly plotted entry in the series, which by now has eclipsed even Asimov's Foundation saga in ambition, and which still has one more book to go.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-This science-fiction novel is the fifth in a series that began with In the Ocean of Night (Bantam, 1987). Except for the cliff-hanger ending, it stands on its own, with the background story filled in smoothly and mostly unobtrusively. In a future tens of millennia away, humans have been driven nearly to extinction by the metal-and-steel "mechs" The last humans live aboard an ancient spaceship, speeding toward the monster black hole at the center of the galaxy. This book focuses on Toby, 18, son of the ship's increasingly unstable "Cap'n." Stranded with an ambiguously allied alien just above the horizon of the black hole on a bizarre worldlet made of compacted spacetime, Toby must survive attacking mechs and a "Personality" implant that's threatening to take over his mind. His change from boyish hesitation and dependence to mature uncertainty and strength of will make this partly a coming-of-age story. He is a strong character of some depth, as is the believable alien. The Cap'n, a major figure in previous novels, in this one is more of a tortured foil to Toby. The writing is good, although the attempts of Benford-a physicist- to describe the forces and matter around a black hole sound like descriptions of magic in a fantasy novel. While wordy and slow-paced at times, this installment is packed with enough excitement and strange concepts to bend the minds of curious YAs.
Chip Barnett, Rockbridge Regional Library, Lexington, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Gregory Benford, author of top-selling novels, including Jupiter Project, Artifact, Against Infinity, Eater, and Timescape, is that unusual creative combination of scientist scholar and talented artist; his stories capture readers - hearts and minds - with imaginative leaps into the future of science and of us.

A University of California faculty member since 1971, Benford has conducted research in plasma turbulence theory and experiment, and in astrophysics. His published scientific articles include well over a hundred papers in fields of physics from condensed matter, particle physics, plasmas and mathematical physics, and several in biological conservation.

Often called hard science fiction, Benford's stories take physics into inspired realms. What would happen if cryonics worked and people, frozen, were awoken 50 years in the future? What might we encounter in other dimensions? How about sending messages across time? And finding aliens in our midst? The questions that physics and scientists ask, Benford's imagination explores.
With the re-release of some of his earlier works and the new release of current stories and novels, Benford takes the lead in creating science fiction that intrigues and amuses us while also pushing us to think.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on October 18, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
So the human remnants are headed to the center of the galaxy. Unfortunately, even though I was a science journalist way back when, the concepts that Benford wants to get across - the high gravity environment, the differing passage of time, the energy beings that seem to have forgotten who they are yet still talk, all of which are related to the arcane world of modern physics, i.e. quantum gravity, etc. - were for the first time completely incomprehensible to me. Even worse, with some exceptions like Toby or the resurrected Shibo, Benford seems far more interested in his ideas than he is in characters or even a coherent plot. I could not get myself to care about the characters, to suspend my disbelief and get into the story as if it were possible, or even to doubt that the outcome would be stupidly predictable. I did not want to try very hard to understand the physics.

This is extremely unfortunate, because the first 4 books really held my attention as some of the best current scifi I had yet read, idea novels that had great characters. In a way, it is like Benford is trying to milk a good thing when the gland is already empty. He is pushing the grand concept novel to a logical extension, and it stretches things so far that it breaks.

Not recommended. He wrote this too quickly, didn't care to formulate a better plot, and essentially turned me off to his writing, which I regret.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick E. Harvey on January 13, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are in to hard core science fiction, you need this series. rockin!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Loris Paul Bemesderfer on January 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I know a lot of reviewers found some of the Galactic Center series (especially the final volume) problematic. However, I found the entire series to be powerful, engaging and provocative from beginning to end.
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4 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. V. Vooren on July 26, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you respect your intellectual capabilities and have no time to waste for useless, endless pages of non-sensical and irrational fiction, written by a guy who was probably on drugs while he did it, you won't waste your money on this. See my other review of the same author's series to find out details... I just can't bring myself to talk more about this brain dead stuff again!
I'd give him negative points if there were any!
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