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Gravity Dreams Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031286826X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312868260
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Zen master in a primitive society gets turned into a nanotech-enhanced "demon" by a mad, malicious mushroom-farmer. The master, now gifted with superhuman strength and senses, must flee his fearful Luddite fellows or face death. The similarly gifted, space-faring Rykashans take him in and use more "nanites" to bring their low-tech stray up to speed. Pssht! A spray can of nanites teaches the master the rudiments of Rykashan society. Pssht! He then learns to be a space janitor. Pssht! He later becomes a "needle jockey," a sort of interstellar flying-ace/truck driver, who even gets to talk to God (or a god, at any rate).

Leave it to L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Fall of Angels, Ghost of the Revelator) to pull this sort of weirdness. But, as should be expected from such an inventive author, the quirky mise-en-scène serves a purpose: setting a story of personal transformation against a Twilight Zone-ian backdrop of contrasting societies, ethics, and tech levels. Although flat in spots and maybe a little pokey, Gravity Dreams is a winning little SF drama, the tale of one man's realization that true knowledge doesn't come from a can. --Paul Hughes

From Publishers Weekly

The transformation of a young man from an agrarian Luddite to a physiologically enhanced star pilot provides the plot for Modesitt's (The Ghost of the Revelator) latest, a far-future SF adventure. Young Tyndel is content with his career as a teacher and following the antitechnology philosophy of his religion, Dzin. But when he's infected with nanites, microscopic machines that alter his blood chemistry, he's labeled a "demon" and forced to flee his home of Dorcha for the high-tech neighboring country of Rykasha. Tyndel is welcomed by the ultra-rational Rykashans, who not only embrace his enhanced abilities, but recognize that he has innate talents that would make him an excellent intergalactic pilot. At first, Tyndel resists Cerrelle, his Rykashan teacher, and eschews the teachings administered through nanopills, preferring to work as a "low tech" worker on an orbital station. Yet eventually he relents and asks to begin training as a pilot. Tyndel overcomes his squeamishness, letting the Rykashas "adjust" his nervous system so he can complete the space program and integrate himself into his new society. Modesitt does a fine job of creating a believable world where citizens are exhorted to accept complete responsibility for their actions and genetically "rehabilitated" if they do not. While some readers might be put off by the excessive philosophizing on Dzin naturalism vs. Rykashan pragmatism, the novel is loaded with enough hard science and space opera elements to please the author's large and avid body of fans.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

After spending years writing poetry, political speeches and analyses, as well as economic and technical reports on extraordinarily detailed and often boring subjects, I finally got around to writing my first short story, which was published in 1973. I kept submitting and occasionally having published stories until an editor indicated he'd refuse to buy any more until I wrote a novel. So I did, and it was published in 1982, and I've been writing novels -- along with a few short stories -- ever since.

If you want to know more, you can visit my website at www.lemodesittjr.com.

Customer Reviews

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The major drawback of the book is that the plot is dragging as there is simply not enough action.
Johs Sondrup
Modesitt always provides a good story, but Gravity Dreams makes you contemplate the human condition in an advanced technological world.
Brian A. Cooke
Again, the sci-fi was great and thoroughly enjoyable and the arguments presented about truth and honesty were awesome.
Simon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Johs Sondrup on January 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first time I read this book, I found it good, but nothing special. More like an addition to both the Recluse and the Eco series. The major drawback of the book is that the plot is dragging as there is simply not enough action. Especially not when compared with The Parafaith War, which I had read a few weeks before this one (If you haven't read the Parafaith War yet DO IT).
Two weeks ago I read Gravity Dreams again and, being prepared for the lack of action, I loved it. It's extremely wellwritten with characters that really comes to life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel M. Nugent on November 5, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. Well, now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me go on to say that I'm impressed by that Tyndel reacted to each new situation he was in. He is definitly not a static charachter as you can tell by the end of the book. Each individual section of the book was unbelievably well though out, from Dorcha, to the station, and especially the way Overspace was represented. You could see all the places and things in this book with vivid definition.
I especially liked the way Nano-tech was used. It was just another part of life. Like Televisions and radios are to us, Nanites are to the Rykhashans.
A few things I didn't like though: Just why was Tyndel more perceptive, and able to handle Overspace, than normal demons? Also, as previously noted, why doesn't Tyndel have any male friends?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr Blitzer on April 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm sorry, but I sort of hated this book. I genuinely found it frustrating. It's well written, and I see that many people enjoyed it and I respect that, but this book is not for everyone. Hundreds of pages go by with virtually nothing happening, other than long repetitive philosphical dual-ogues between the main character and his various handlers. Detail? Yes, I suppose if you like to know the color and shape of everyone's outfit, the color of every room and building and rock and tree, then you'll be happy. There must be forty or fifty different times when we get to hear what these people are having to eat in various cafeterias as they gently argue about what's important in society. There must be five or six hundred redundant references to the importance of honesty in a relationship. I get the feeling the author had a real personal breakthrough in his relationship with "Carol" (to whom the book is dedicated) and it seems clear "Cerrelle" is based on her. That's beatiful and I certainly support it. But frankly, I got tired of reading the same dicussion over and over again. I don't want to be a killjoy, and clearly many will disagree with me, but I feel I should warn those that like books that move on from new idea to new idea, with at least a little action: this is probably not the book for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "ilanajayne" on July 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Modesitt turns out another solid book in Gravity Dreams. Those of you who read Parafaith War will find some plot elements to be similar.
In Gravity Dreams, Tyndel finds himself sunk into a technology he was taught to believe was "demon's work." Tyndel's learning to deal with his new reality covers 98% of the book. The final section where he has to meet a god-like being was a bit contrived, but emphasized just how far Tyndel progressed in understanding himself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The plot of this book is almost indistinguishable from that of "The Parafaith War". Once again, a strong man who is alienated from the society in which he finds himself is helped by a stronger woman to come to terms with it and is rewarded by being made immortal. What makes the book attractive despite this is, as usual, the well thought-out society and the convincing detail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dixon Whitley on September 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have always loved a book that isn't afraid to talk about philosophy. Modesitt is not only not afriad, but any of his science fiction books could serve as a final paper in a philosopy 101 class. Kind of like an action book for an acedmic, the plot of this book is really just meant to set up the main character's discussions with himself and other people around him.
I liked this book for the fact that was kind of a comeing of age story. I brought up issues such as honesty, and had some very good comentary about a man who is forced to come and live a socity that is different, and technoligly more advanced than his own.
The problem with the book is that the philosophy and the main character quickly becomes very self centered and arrogant. Many parts of this book brought me back to my high school days, where I would have arguments with friends that were more about being clever that being right. By the end of the book the character has a very contrived philosophical conversion that is a the best example of intelectual flatulence that I had seen written outside of a university.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By craig p lofton on July 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
IMAGINE AN EARTH SO DEVASTATED BY OVERPOPLULATION AND POLUTION THAT THE REMNANTS OF THE SOCIETIES OF THE PLANET HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM ALL BUT THE MOST NECESSARY TECHNOLOGY. TYNDEL, A TEACHER, AND JUNIOR MASTER OF THE DZIN, FINDS HIMSELF INFECTED WITH NANOTECHOLOGY. HE IS STRONGER, FASTER, AND SMARTER. HE IS ALSO IN BIG TROUBLE, SINCE HIS OWN PEOPLE NOW CONSIDER HIM A DEMON. HE FLEES ACROSS THE BORDER TO THE LAND OF DEMONS. AND FINDS HIMSELF IN A LAND WHERE MAN STILLS SPANS THE GALAXY AND COLONIZES PLANET IN OTHER STAR SYSTEMS. THE STORY OF TYNDELS STRUGGLE TO ADAPT HIMSELF TO A PEOPLE WHOM HE HAS BEEN TAUGHT TO CONSIDER DEMONS AND HIS TRANSITION FROM BACKWARD DZIN MASTER TO STAR PILOT MESMERISES THE READER IN A MANNER THAT FANS OF MR. MODESITT WILL BE FAMILIAR WITH.
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