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Helm Mass Market Paperback – February 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st Mass Market Ed edition (February 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812571355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812571356
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Helm, Gould spins the tale of Leland de Laal, the young son of a shrewd but minor nobleman on a world far from Earth. Leland, disobeying his father's edict, dons a helm of ancient power, an artifact brought from Earth centuries ago. Gradually, he gains access to knowledge implanted in his mind by the helm, only to find that he is no longer alone in his head. He absorbs the martial-arts discipline of aikido, but before he can come to terms with either his new powers or his growing affection for his overlord's daughter, he is submerged in betrayal and war on many fronts. His homeland's worst enemy seeks the helm, ready to use it to subjugate the world. In this, his third novel, Steven Gould has whipped up a smooth fantasy story, seasoned with science-fictional elements, romance, and a lot of high-kicking action. He continues to explore the coming-of-age theme, as he did in his previous two novels, Jumper and Wildside. --Blaise Selby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Faced with insufficient resources in their overcrowded shelters, the Moon-based survivors of a war that has rendered Earth uninhabitable send most of their population to establish a colony on a world in orbit around another star. Since these survivors can't spare any technology, they "imprint" the colonists with enough rudimentary knowledge to insure that hygiene and literacy will lead to an eventual rebirth of techno-culture. Flash forward a few hundred years, and the colony is a success, glowing with rustic charm. But there's an apple in this Eden?one of the imprinting devices, which somehow survived transit and is reverently referred to as "the Helm." When teenaged Leland De Laal places it on his head, he unwittingly injects the lost wisdom of the ancients?science, medicine, foreign languages?into his mind. Although Leland's father, Dulan, the Steward of Laal, is then forced to raise his youngest son as his successor, the family's fortunes are overshadowed by the threat of war. Because his father is tough on him, Leland grows into a hard warrior prince, tender enough to fall for the pretty Marilyn de Noram but not shrewd enough to recognize how his enemies scheme to take over the family fortress. The only magic in this amusing mix of SF and fantasy is the disembodied voice that "speaks" in Leland's head, but fantasy fans should enjoy all the pageantry and sword fights that lead to Leland smashing his enemies and reclaiming his heritage.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Steven Gould is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Jumper, as well as, Wildside, Helm, Blind Waves, Reflex, Jumper: Griffin's Story, 7th Sigma, and Impulse as well as several short stories published in Analog, Asimov's, and Amazing, and other magazines and anthologies. Wildside won the Hal Clement Young Adult Award for Science Fiction and was nominated for the Prometheus Award. He has been on the Hugo ballot twice and the Nebula ballot once for his short fiction. Jumper was made into the 2008 feature film of the same name with Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, and Hayden Christensen. Steve lives in New Mexico with his wife, writer Laura J. Mixon (aka M. J. Locke) and their two daughters, where he keeps chickens and studies and teaches Aikido and Iaido. In 2012 he traveled to Doha, Qatar where he discussed writing and science fiction with Qatari college students. He is working with James Cameron on the next Avatar movies and will write four books each corresponding to Avatar 1 through 4.

Jumper was one of the 100 most frequently banned books in America 1990-1999 per the American Library Association. The fourth Jumper book, EXO, will be out in September.

Customer Reviews

The main character seemed very cardboard to me.
Ben Wand
Later, I bought both books, found Helm in the library, read it, loved it, and an hour after I finished the book, I bought it.
Pavel
I thought they were very well written and entertaining.
M. Avery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Dudley on September 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel, while a good story in and of itself, makes your realize the importance of a good editor, or at the least, a good proofreader. Much of it was very good, but its goodness was marred by the countless errors present in the text.

The story itself is an excellent tale of a feudal-style colony of humans descended from those colonists who were sent to this planet after a global catastrophe made earth uninhabitable. Much of the story centers on the politics, interactions and betrayals amongst the nobles, as alliances are formed and broken in the quest to control more of the scant livable land on the planet. The sendentary peoples of the continent prepare for war against the nomadic tribes of Nullarbor, and dark plans are made against friendly nations while their armies are away.

The hero of the story, Leland du Laal, the youngest son of the local ruling noble, has for whatever reason climbed the Needle, a forbidding rock spire, and donned the Helm, which is supposed to be charging in the sun in preparation for Leland's oldest brother to put on. The Helm infuses the wearer with the total of all human knowledge, and was created to help the colonists set up a good colony. After months of punishment, Leland is sent away to study Aikido, and comes back to lead an army against the nomads.

The characters in the story are well drawn out, if not totally believable. The bad guys seem a little too needlessly cruel, in my opinion. Granted, it makes it easier to hate them and root for the good guys, but some of the things they do go beyond simple conquest of a neighboring province. Leland himself is very likeable as a character, as is his second in command, Gahnfeld.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pavel on April 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first met up with Gould's writing in Jumper, and loved it. I then read Wildside, and fell in love with the book. Later, I bought both books, found Helm in the library, read it, loved it, and an hour after I finished the book, I bought it.
What I love about Helm, is that I have to keep telling myself that this is NOT medieval times, but about a millenium in the future. I loved the aikido scenes, and the twisting plot. Out of all of Gould's books, this has to be the most vivid and gigantic in terms of the world that Gould has to explain and forsee. I recommend anyone who even liked Helm, to read Jumper, Wildside, and Blind Waves. I myself now have three out of these books, and am thinking of buying Blind Waves.
Good luck to all, and, Mr.Gould, keep on writing!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tod A. Jebe on December 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading 2 of the author's previous books, Jumper and Wildside, and really enjoying them, I had high expectations for Helm -- and fortunately I was not disappointed. Gould drives the plot relentlessly throughout the book. The martial arts parts are highly readable and very entertaining. My only criticisms with the book are 1) as a previous reviewer mentioned, a few of the characters were difficult to delineate from one another early on, but not overly so, and 2) the ending is good, but seems to be lackluster compared to the incredible first 90% of the book. Overall, Helm is a great and fairly quick read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found Helm to be as fun a read os Jumper. Gould seems to have a great talent for coming up with interesting ideas, or spins on old ones, and building a real page-turner around the idea. While I won't say that he's at the peak of his career, Gould definitely shows he's a talent to be watched.
I generally have 3 categories of books: 1. Buy this book 2. Borrow this book from the library/a friend 3. Forget about it.
I'd easily put this in the first category. This is a book I really enjoyed and would have no qualms recommending to anyone else.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Speaking as Aikidoka -- a student of Aikido -- this book brought tears to my eyes. Happy tears, tears of remembrance of my own times on the mat. From the first utterance of "Onaigashimasu..." to the folding of the hakama, this was a complete, exact, and poignantly real depiction of what it is like to study Aikido. As Aikidoka say, this book has Ai-ki, harmonious energy. The philosophy of the martial art is woven delicately yet unswervingly through the plot, and everything balances at the end. A "TV show ending?" I think not. It simply did not bash the bad guys over the head like most stories. Instead, the characters followed the true principles of Aikido, the good guys using the energy of the bad guys to defeat them.
Well done, Mr. Gould, if you read this...and I would be honored to practice with you, should you ever come into the dojo where I practice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LiveInHoth on August 5, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gould is just a great Author, Jumper was not a one hit wonder. There are similarities in his themes, young boy given an enhancement, an an ability, high moral compass, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
first off i don't know the slightest thing about martial arts so many of the detailed discriptions of the moves were lost on me, but it was my fault and not that of the author. i however found ths book to be very entertaining. even though the idea of a person being able to gain all the klowledge of history has been toyed with for longer than any one person can recall i have read few stories that handled with the fragile psyche of a person who has just gone through such an ordreal so well. i think that in itself makes this book a good read.
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