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Farewell Horizontal Hardcover – February, 1989

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Abandoning the safe existence of Cylinder's horizontal interior for the riskier life of a freelance "graffex" artist on Cylinder's vertical outside rim, Ny Axxter enters a world of mercenary tribes and cutthroat politics and undertakes a one-man odyssey into unknown territory to save his life. The author of Mantis and Infernal Devices creates a visual kaleidoscope-world of grazing motorcycles, ethereal "gas angels," and vampiric computer circuit riders in his latest novel, which is highly recommended.-- JC
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 249 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1 edition (February 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312025742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312025748
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,879,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

K. W. Jeter is an American science fiction and thriller author known for his literary writing style, dark themes, and complex, paranoid characters. His latest novels are THE KINGDOM OF SHADOWS, set in the sinister & glamorous world of the film industry of the Third Reich, and the Kim Oh Thriller series -- KIM OH 1: REAL DANGEROUS GIRL, KIM OH 2: REAL DANGEROUS JOB and KIM OH 3: REAL DANGEROUS PEOPLE, with more to come.

Jeter is an exhilarating writer who always seems to have another rabbit to pull out of his hat.
-- The New York Times Book Review

Brain-burning intensity . . .
-- Village Voice

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Peter O'connor on June 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jeter invented a truely wonderful world for this novel. The setting is a huge, cylindrical building that towers above the earth. Most of society exists inside the building but those who are outside society, on the edge, live on the outside of the building, on the "Vertical".
The novel's protagonist, Ny Axxter lives on this wall and tries to make a living as a freelance artist working with video and graffex. One day, he has what appears to be a stroke of good fortune and he thinks that he is on the verge of making it into the big time as a major artist.
At this point, his world starts to fall to pieces and he discovers that reality is not what he, and everyone else thought and that the major players in his world now want him out of the way.
While many parts of the world are unexplained, Jeter throws in enough in the way of technical details to make this hard SF and not fantasy. The writing style is very sharp.
Jeter is regarded by many as an heir to the mantle of the great P.K.Dick and this book is worthy of that regard. I always think that a sign of good writing is the quality of the pictures inside my head as I read and, on the measure, this was very good indeed.
Farewell Horizontal is a gripping read and I highly recommended it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hancock on April 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you only read one K.W. Jeter book then you are missing out on some of the most significant science fiction of the last twenty five years. Still, this is the one to read if one is your ambition. Astounding ideas, breathless surgical execution and the very best gusto an amateur can bring to the field, here wrapped in one pocket-sized package by a true professional. How many authors could pull off a motorcycle chase up the side of a building and still make you want to read more? Simply marvellous.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KJ on June 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I remember, when I read this at its publication, just grooving on the cover art (google it), and thinking, this is gonna be weird. And weird it was. Jeter posits a dangerous and peculiar culture, and if you're a fan, you understand he has much to say about the organization of culture and of power. So, we've got warring tribes, angels, and a protagonist who nurses a very bad attitude, kind of like when you worry a cavity in a tooth and it hurts, but at the same time there's the soothing confirmation of pain, you know? That's our guy. What's really cool is that this all takes place on the outside of the homeworld. It's huge, planet-size. And it was built, but we don't find out much about that. It's a thing that exists and is home to a civilization, and many have chosen to forsake the horizontal and risk it all living on the vertical. This is a very strange tale and one you should definitely read. K.W. Jeter was at the forefront of a certain cadre of science-fiction writer back in the eighties. Make his acquaintance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Whitmore on February 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Imagine the extent of your world, your existence, was a massive building rising high above a ground obscured from view by thick clouds. Everything you know is either inside this structure, or -- more interestingly -- hanging off it, and people either live "on the horizontal" in the interior or have "gone vertical" on the outside.

This is the premise for Farewell Horizontal, a sci-fi novel by K.W. Jeter (@KWJeter) which was first published in 1989. I believe citing the original date of publishing is important because some of the themes in this interesting novel harken back to that time.

The protagonist, Ny Axxter, has decided to leave a life of mind-numbing labor inside Cylinder, the building, for the freedom and challenge of a life "on the wall." Forgoing an entry-level position on the horizontal, Ny's gone freelance as a graffex, a combination graphic artist/computer programmer specializing in creating intricate animated images embedded in the armor of the various warring tribal factions who populate the wall.

But only on one side of the building: the morningside, as it is called. People don't go on the eveningside, so very little is known about it. At some point in the undetermined past, there was a great War, but the people on and in Cylinder care little about the details of this conflict. Instead, they live in the moment, worrying only about themselves.

As the story opens, Ny is still adjusting to life on the wall. He has automated wires attached to his boots and belt to prevent a fall (vehicles are also equipped with these attachment wires), but that isn't his biggest problem.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Loeff author of on January 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is only the building, cylindrical and huge. And, choices are few: live a dull and conventional life on one of the horizontal levels, or live a creative, yet precarious, vertical existence on the building's exterior.

Ny Axxter has chosen a freelancer's life on the vertical. It has its risks, including starving or drawing fire from a corporate tribe fighting for control of the building. The vertical life offers hope as well, hope of fortune and hope of freedom.
There is much that Ny doesn't know. He knows there are stars above him, but he does not know what lies beneath the cloud wall below him. He doesn't know what's on the night side of the building, or what horrors live within its sealed center. He sees angels flying in the distance, but knows little about them.

However, Ny is no more ignorant of the building's secrets than the majority of its other denizens. This is how things have been since the war. No one seems to know how things were before the war. Moreover, no one seems interested in finding out.

Ny Axxter lives in a cyberpunk world, dystopian and corporate controlled. He's just another gutsy punk trying to cut it on the fringes of a society run by faceless corporations. His journey is fueled by the need to survive. If he's lucky, he might learn something on his journey, but in the end his hard gained knowledge will only scratch the surface of the unknown. However, only by surviving another day, and growing slightly wiser, does progress occur. It's an exciting journey. Come along for the ride.
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