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GroundTies Paperback – October, 1991

Book 1 of 3 in the Groundties Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Questar; First Edition edition (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446361488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446361484
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best first novel I've ever come across...Fancher has the potential to become one of the field's greats." --C.J. Cherryh

From the Author

GroundTies is my first novel. I began writing it October XX, 1988. I remember the day, because it was my XX birthday... (Xs are my doing. ;-}) I had no idea at the time that it would grow to be such an important book in my own "future history." I just wanted to figure out how to write.
     The only writing I'd done prior to this was the adaptation script for the graphic novel of C.J. Cherryh's Gate of Ivrel. Based on something she saw in that project, C.J. encouraged me to try my hand at writing my own story, and she being who she was, I wasn't inclined to argue. However, never having written my own book, I did ask her "How do I start?"
     She said, "Write a one page outline."
Oooo-kay. I'd been dealing so closely for years with C.J.'s future history that I wanted mine as far removed conceptually as possible. In her universe, communication travels only as fast as the fastest ship, ergo, I would have instantaneous interstellar communication, thus the ComNet was born. I wanted to play with a Spacers vs Terraformers sociological scenario, and thus the Ethnic Reconstructionists were born. (I think of them as the Society for Creative Anachronism given planets to play on.) She considers planets to be navigational hazards, I think of them as the ultimate reality-check. I needed a problem, so I made the ComNet vulnerable.
     My outline? I had a bigoted little spacer boy going downworld, encountering Recons and having his misconceptions blown to smithereens while they helped him solve the problem with the ComNet.
     That was pretty much it. Simple, eh? (Little did I realize.)
     I took that page to C.J. and asked, "What now?"
     She said, "Take two characters, throw them in a room together and see what happens."
     That scene became the opening scene of the second section of the book, and is, for the most part, as I wrote it that day. It became the core of a project far greater than I ever imagined.
     My question at the beginning of that day was: How do I start writing? My question at the end of that day was: How do I stop?
     It was, quite literally, the first day of the rest of my life.
Over the years, GroundTies became GroundTies, UpLink, Harmonies of the 'Net and the soon to be released 'NetWalkers, which is a prequel to the others. And there's more to come. Not just the completion of Stephen and Wesley's story, but explorations of other parts of the ComNet Alliance.
     I look forward to sharing the journey with the characters and my amazing readers.

Customer Reviews

Good characters and plot, serious editing problems.
Amazon Customer
A very engaging book, the characters are well developed, and plot is original and so very interesting.
Annmarie
The story is potent and has a great finish; I couldn't wait to get to the next book!
Todd R. Moody

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By BlueCatShip on March 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Netwalkers: GroundTies has several things going for it. You have strong, believable characters, male and female, and they have real quirks, flaws, and strengths. You have high technology alongside low-tech living, with a relevant and believable computer network problem. You have conflicting ideas by several groups, not just two sides, on how these people act and their beliefs and goals. You have space-going humans who think themselves advanced, and some of whom think others are backward. You have planet-dwelling colonists who want to live their lives as they see fit. You have moderates and radicals and kooks. You have real differences in how people live in space, on ships, on stations, on planets, and their cultural outlooks all differ. Then you have a strange technical problem and various groups with vested interests in solving or covering up or exploiting the problem. Now throw in a character who has been uprooted from all he knows and who is struggling to adapt, and a researcher banned for maverick ideas and behavior, and you have the highlights of a really good read. Get the book. Get the other books in the series. You'll want to know what happens next.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sandor on March 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this eBook from Jane Fancher without having read any of her work previously. I have to say I was very satisfied. Worth every penny and I would have been almost as happy paying the regular price (gotta love a deal).

This is an interesting mix of futuristic net-centric computing and the psychology/sociology of the characters and their groups. The characters are definitely richly developed and the plot is interesting. I keep looking for a "bad guy" but even the potential antagonists are 3-dimensional, so it's hard not to find something redeeming in their characters.

I recommend buying it instead of that soda - water is healthier anyway :)
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on March 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I first stumbled across the 'NetWalkers series some time ago, and truly enjoyed them. The combination of robust characters, a moving, sound plot line, and penetrating insights very much makes this series worth reading.

Though not solely a "techie" book, I found the extrapolations of where the 'net might take us, and the possibilities and ramifications to be absolutely fascinating.

The characters are well developed and quite believable. Rather than being in any way generic, they come across as having their own personal flaws and failings; in other words, as being real.

One hallmark of a truly well told story is that the layers of plot, motivation and character are revealed in an onion peeling manner; once you think you've got everything figured out, another layer is revealed. This is one of those tales.

Finally, it's just a fun story.

Highly recommended!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ken Barclay on March 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
It was good to discover GroundTies. Exciting story action, science speculation, and good portrayal of character interaction. This is the kind of science fiction I like.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Battle Ax on March 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Characters who feel real; complex and intriguing situations; fascinating possibilities in plausible future societies. I read this book some months ago and very much enjoyed it and the two books which will follow. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to the characters -- and I'm not going to say more about them; other readers will want to find out for themselves. It's worth the wait! The writing is rich and professional and very satisfying. This is a real bargain, whether at $.99 or $2.99!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By iminnocent on March 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
There is a gritty realism to the characters that immediately grabbed me and held my attention. Stephen's disturbed mental character was both endearing and frightening to me and I just had to read the book in one sitting until I was done. A very good read. In fact, for me, it has become a repeat read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd R. Moody on March 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read all three books several years ago. They are gripping and still relevant today. Jane does a great job building strong, compelling characters that live in a believable, complex and far flung future society. The story is potent and has a great finish; I couldn't wait to get to the next book! I'm eager for more of her work to hit the shelves!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By HN on March 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
A character-driven adventure, exploring (among other things) the social and psychological impact of Internet-like technology on individuals and their interactions, with an exiting plot.
The characters are complex individuals, well-rounded but flawed, and not static: they change and develop. First impressions can be misleading, and getting to know the people and what makes them tick is an interesting voyage of discovery.
The technology is believable. The far-flung future universe is very connected, through the 'Net, but not monolithic: there are many different groups with their own views and interests. This sets up tensions, for instance between planet-dwellers and spacers, as well as more political tensions between factions within these groups. Add in the personal likes and dislikes, including some difficult (reading between the lines) 'old history' of the primary characters, and the stage is set for a complex, many-layered exploration of the impact of the discovery of a problem with the all-pervading 'Net on all concerned.
A very interesting read, definitely worth rereading. It kept me thinking quite a while. It's not a light and fluffy read to finish in an hour on the beach, but if you like a story you can really get stuck into, with complex characters and a believable future, in which interpersonal as well as future-society ramifications are thoroughly explored, this is a book for you.
For people elsewhere in the world, who haven't got a Kindle: the printed book is becoming rare, but sometimes still available secondhand (look at Groundties), or you can get an e-pub version direct from the authors at [...
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

On October 24, 1988 in Oklahoma City, OK, at a suggestion from SF author C.J. Cherryh, I began writing. I kept writing because two hours after starting, I had to find out what happened. A little over a year later, I was the startled owner of a three book contract based on the rough draft of my first novel.

I've been writing ever since.

What appeals to me about writing in general is the constant challenge. I'm a generalist and writing is the one thing that will happily use every bit of information and experience you have to put into it. It's constant problem solving, method acting and soul-searching all rolled up into one 24/7 job.

What I love about writing SF/F is...everything. I love the optimism of believing there is a future for humanity. I love the challenge of imagining what that future might be. But most of all, I love the thrill of exploring that future with the interesting and courageous people I find living in it.

But SF/F has another, less obvious, appeal: the ability to write with a social conscience without preaching. It lets writers create worlds in which they can shed light on aspects of current society in a less charged environment. Its a way to help raise awareness without pointing fingers at anyone.

Yes, I have same gender relationships. Yes, I have gender-identification-challenged characters. Yes, sex and obsessive attraction are definitely issues in my books, as are power and its use and abuse. But the genre's one-step-removed perspective also lets me explore the human ramifications of a too-effective educational system (be careful what you wish for), or the curious problems of being siblings and growing up with the kind of misconceptions only close association can create, or what it means to a culture to lose an entire generation's knowledge.

Can you do this in contemporary fiction? Absolutely. But SF/F lets you add extreme ramifications...like what if those sibling misconceptions were suddenly stripped away with the ability to know exactly what those sibs were thinking? What if the educational system were so effective, the subsequent misinformation threatened the very fabric of the universe itself?

In my contemporary vampire fantasy...I hesitate to call it urban fantasy, because in all honesty, it hasn't the right tropes...I'm enjoying exploring the perspective of virtual immortality and what might make life worth living after three thousand years.

And with SF/F you can do all this while have a rip-roaring adventure! What more can a writer ask for?

My formal educational background is in Math, Physics, Astrophysics and Anthropology. I've raised and trained horses, flown planes, and at 51, took up figure skating. I love building things, from costumes to computers, model ships to koi ponds. I play a little guitar, some piano and like to sing.

I actually got started in the publishing world doing art. I worked on WaRP Graphics' Elfquest, helping with inking on the last few volumes of the original black and white, also helping with the colors in the original color volumes. After that, I moved on to my own project, an adaptation of C.J. Cherryh's first novel, Gate of Ivrel.

These days, after many years away from art, I find myself returning to it to do covers for my newest venture, Closed Circle Publications. A couple of years ago, C.J., Lynn Abbey and I decided to join the ebook movement and bring out both our orphaned backlist and some new works that weren't quite what NY was looking for but which our loyal readers were demanding.

I absolutely love hearing from my readers. My blog should echo here, but feel free to join us at:
http://www.janefancher.com/TheCaptainAndLime/