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Murphy's Gambit Mass Market Paperback – November 7, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (November 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458094
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,940,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a fast-paced story with a great protagonist.
S. B. Wolven
Granted, this was the author's first foray into writing a full-length science fiction novel, so someone's first try at something shouldn't be shot down completely.
themarsman
There are a fair number of word errors (spelling, word choice, etc) that should have been caught by a proofreader.
Robert Parks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Daniel C. Sobral on February 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Given the author's background, I was surprised at how loose some aspects of science are played with in this book. That and the 9 as a prime number. But these elements stand out because the book has a general hard science fiction feeling to it.
But as far as the *story* goes, it is pretty good. Thia Murphy, six weeks from graduating from academy at the top of her class, is set up by an unscrupulous corporation whose job offer she snobbed, expelled, and then left no choice but to take up that offer or being forced into indentured service and bought by them all the same.
On the run, without money or options, she is offered a job by a rival corporation: to steal the very ship the first corporation wanted her to pilot. A path that will turn her into a criminal, a fugitive with a huge price on her head, a path that will endanger those close to her and will turn her into the very thing she entered the academy to escape: a floater rebel, daughter of her father.
One foot on each culture, grounder and floter, accepted by neither, she tries to find herself, to discover who she is as she desperately fights to stay alive and free.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a distant future, there exists a new class of beings. The floaters are humans born and raised in near zero conditions. Most of the other members of society look down at the floaters who serve as indentured servants of large corporations ruling space. The floaters perform the most menial jobs that lead to a shortened life span and are rejected by the rest of society. The floaters loathe feeling like slaves and have tried to overturn the current government.

Floater Thiadora Murphy, whose rebellious father vanished, is being trained to work in normal human conditions. She is six weeks from graduating from the military academy when someone sabotages her career and she is unfairly expelled. This pressures Thiadora to accept work with a corporation flying a mysterious spacecraft that travels faster than the speed of light. Many people and other corporations want to obtain the ship and Murphy, but she outwits everyone including her employers enabling the Floaters to take the first baby step towards freedom.

This debut novel is an enjoyable high tech space opera that keeps sub-genre fans entertained for hours. The charcaters on both sides of the conflict ring true and their actions seem credible given the situations that occur. MURPHY'S GAMBIT is a well designed tale that belies the fact that this is Syne Mitchell's first book as readers will line up for book two.

Harriet Klausner
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Presby on January 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The best things about this book are the main character and the spacer culture. I wanted Thiadora Murphy to come through. I found her self exploration and development believable and engrossing. The best part of the book is the end, which I will not spoil. Suffice it to say that my parting thought was: "Hey! This woman really doesn't think like me!". The author's ability to convey such a difference in psychology is a testament to her skill: because the book is ultimately about a culture of people adapted to zero gee.
I enjoyed learning about that spacebound culture immensely. Ms. Mitchell approaches the topics of human space habitation from a refreshing perspective. Very few people speak believably about the poor and destitute in science ficiton. It is sometimes assumed that there simply won't be any. CJ Cherryh and J. Michael Straczynski are the only other sci-fi writers that I can think of to present this side of the future. Ms. Mitchell doesn't flinch to give us stale, musty, sweaty spacecraft crewed by tightly night communities of highly adapted people.
Persons who dislike the author's science should note the boldface above. The technology is used to establish a setting for the culture and character. I've been interviewing people and reading technical journals on fission and fusion drive research for six years and I work in the nuclear fission field. Ms. Mitchell has integrated a number of different real world propulsion concepts to make her setting believable while simultaneously keeping her story firmly grounded in character. She also throws in a good old fashioned inertialess drive for flavor which is fun to play with.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Hank Schwartz on February 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"If you purchased this book without the cover", so the legend inside every one of these begins, it's probably because the cover is the best part.
I regret that I found the writing stilted, repetitive and cloyingly cliche for the most part.
I didn't particularly care for our dauntless heroine, Thiadora Murphy, or any of the other overdone and under-realized characters in this tale. They all change attitudes and even personalities at the drop of an opportunity. And how many times did our Murphy bemoan her condition as a victim, unable to continue in her battle against the forces of evil, only to once again come to the fore and triumph.
The wondrous ship and space suit combination warp all concepts of physics beyond any possible rationalization other than the author's need for a thrilling and unlikely plot.
I didn't hate it, but I didn't much like it either. No recommendation here.
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