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Galactic Rapture Paperback – January 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573927546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573927543
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...delightful, brilliant, and in my 'top ten' of all time! Read it!" -- Humanist in Canada #145, Summer 2003

"...delightful, entertaining reading..." -- The Ulster Humanist, November-December 2000

"Endlessly thought-provoking. Tremendous fun. Conceptually challenging. Moving. Impassioned. Richly written. Deliciously imaginative." -- Infinity Plus

"The twining yarns of the multiple plots weave seductively and the reader cares about the characters and their conditions..." -- San Diego Union-Tribune

"This 'alternative sci-fi' novel is delightful, brilliant, and in my top ten of all time! Read it!" -- Humanist in Canada, Summer 2003

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Darshan Dellson on April 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
It isn't every day you discover a black comedy about philosophy, religion, and media ethics that is also a kick-butt thriller. Galactic Rapture, which I think is secular humanist radical Tom Flynn's first novel, succeeds on all counts. Devout Catholics or Mormons with blood pressure problems should avoid this book; everyone else should read it at once!
The plot in a snapshot: Earth (now called Terra) is part of a future galaxy-wide Confectory in which only a handful of planets are voting members. Most of the more than 40,000 worlds are colonies, protectorates, or "Enclave" planets which the elite have decided must never know that the rest of galactic civilization is out there. For entertainment, the elites watch "sensos," an updated version of Orwell's feelies, which are shot on the primitive Enclave worlds by Spectators, members of the galactic elite who pose as natives but whose sensory fields are recorded and transmitted around the galaxy. Think of "Mad Max" meets "The Truman Show."
Terra was so primitive it might have been one of these voteless, exploited worlds, if the galactics hadn't been so impressed with earth religions. The Catholics have a planet of their own now, called (of course) Vatican, and they're raking in fortunes by going from world to world and telling the natives which (if any) of their historic holy men was a genuine incarnation of Christ. The elites believe God sends his son to one world after another. But they've never had any advance notice where he'd appear next. A math genius gives such a prediction to the pope; the next incarnation of Jesus will occur on Jaremi 4, one of the most twisted and horrible of all the Enclave worlds.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Freeman on November 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Flynn's current opus is, obviously, one man's pet literary project gone amazingly right. The reader is confronted at every turn with novel sci-fi themes, technologies, and premises. The characterizations and physical descriptions are vivid and lasting. That said, there is some bumpiness in the narrative.
Readers may be disturbed to find that the Skeptical Inquirer/Free Inquiry obsession with debunking magician and "mentalist" tricks is alive and well in the 24th century, though in an era with subvocalized commands, no-vis fliers, vanisher valises, and implants, you'd imagine that fakery could take a whole new form beyond "cold reading".
Some of the subject matter is innovative and refreshing. Some of Flynn's setups are so old they have white whiskers...religious traditions have their origin in the ritual ingestion of hallucinogens? Never heard that one before.
Also, non-Mormons beware...there's no Joseph Smith fan like an ex-Mormon. Though the rest of us tend to see all religious con men as more or less similar, the present or former citizens of Deseret see something special and unique in their founder, whether or not they accord him Prophet status.
Still, with so much of the science fiction literature awash in tepid religious themes, it is nice to encounter some freethinker futurist writing, colored as it is by a philosophical diatribe.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James J. Lippard on October 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book depicts a future in which the Vatican has its own planet and has recognized the existence of Christs on other planets, reality television has evolved to three-dimensional, recordings of experience called "senso," and a con man native to a backward planet is passing himself off as a divine figure. The story follows multiple convoluted threads which ultimately connect back in a cohesive whole; along the way are some historical details of Christianity, Catholicism, and Mormonism, and amusing and interesting extrapolations. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best SF book I have read in ages. A truly involving, convoluted plot combined political/religious intrigue with blinding action, suspense and humour.
Best of all, despite the plot twists and turns, gadgetry and ideas introduced, it all made sense and fitted together tightly, without any holes or logic gaps. This book has some of the most original thinking and ideas in it that I have come across in ages. Well worth a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Binga on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Tom Flynn's book is what I would call a high farce; the work can be taken on so many levels. There are the bad puns and black comedy, there is also a level of sadness because so many people in today's world are like the characters in the book, believers in anything as long as there is a sense of community; or just plain out for themselves. I liken this work as similar to Aspirin's "Myth" series or Adams' "Hitchhikers" series, because it has it's funny moments, and then pages later you are in wonder. The gadgets are very interesting, and the dialogues between the "gods" and their followers are very amusing, to the point where I was laughing out loud.
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