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Oracle Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1992

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sequel to Soothsayer concerns attempts by the interplanetary empire Democracy to retrieve the Oracle, a young woman who not only can see into several possible futures but can influence events so that the future she desires will come to pass. She is located on Alpha Crepello III, and it is believed that her influence has kept that planet of aliens out of the Democracy. The Democracy hires an old man with a shady past known as "the Iceman" to pursue the young woman; he in turn hires "the Whistler," a highly skilled assassin. But then the Democracy leaders decide to have the Oracle killed rather than retrieved--so they send in "the Injun," which results in a race among the hired hands to reach the Oracle first. There's just enough action to keep the pages turning, but only just. The preponderance of people who use silly nicknames--including the Democracy agent running this operation, known only as "32"--gets tiresome, and the anticlimactic ending, which brings the Oracle, the Whistler, the Iceman and the Injun all together, happens much too quickly after nearly 250 pages of buildup.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; First Printing edition (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441586945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441586943
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,542,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Resnick is the author of numerous science fiction novels and short stories, including Dragon America, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Amulet of Power, Mutiny, Return to Santiago, and Santiago. He is the editor of This Is My Funniest and has won five Hugo Awards and the Nebula Award. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Oracle is the second book in the Penelope Bailey trilogy.

**Note: While they are no spoilers for this book in this review, this is a sequel to Soothsayer and there will be some spoilers for that one here. Oracle is sufficiently developed to be read on it's own, but it' much better to read the series in order.**

The Penelope Bailey series is set in the same universe as Resnick's stand alone novel Santiago, a setting where larger than life characters face life not dissimilar to that of the wild west, except that in this case it spans planets. It's been fourteen years since the little girl referred to as the Soothsayer escaped numerous bounty hunters and other dangers and disappeared with the creature known as Mock Turtle, leaving friend and foe alike scorched in her wake. The Iceman, the only survivor, has searched for her on and off without success, until someone comes in with information about a mysterious Oracle, and an offer to hire him to bring her in. But what moves are the right ones when dealing with a being who can manipulate the future?

Oracle has the engaging atmosphere and style as Soothsayer and Resnick's other Far Future stories. Whistler and the Injun are interesting, diverse characters and serve well as central foci for the action and intrigue of this story. And the Iceman continues to be one of my favorite characters ever.

While the third book in the trilogy (Prophet) feels a little tighter and a tad better paced (Oracle slows a bit in the middle), the overall plot and story twists make Oracle my favorite of the three. The entire trilogy is well done and tells a great overarching story, while letting each book contain a complete tale on their own.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Penelope is now a grown woman, and still causing consternation in the hierarchies of power, because her ability to see the future allows her to change things.

The Iceman becomes involved, and he hires an agent, and a third agent also appears after the authorities decide that the Iceman's activities may not be in their best interests.

Suddenly, you get a bunch of these people after the same woman at the same time.
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Format: Paperback
Me and many of my friends and family have read and re-read this entire series many times and never tire of mike resicks universe where little penelope comes slowly into the most powerful being in the entire universe. The Ice Man is truly one of best characters he has created.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book because it was the sequel to Soothsayer, but I think I was a lot less interested in it once I realized it took place after Penelope was already an adult. (I like books about super-special children. They're fun.) I remember beginning to read the book and seeing that Penelope now lived apparently by herself sitting around choosing futures by seeing which possible futures exist and then making the one she wants a reality by moving in a certain way--as in, she might see three futures, and in one of them her head is down, in one of them her hand is up, and in another one she's standing. She'll choose which one she wants by moving to the position she sees in association with that future. It's not something I've seen before but it feels kind of weak as a way of controlling reality, since it's not like she actually gets to pick what happens in the futures--she just gets multiple choice. What I remember most about this book was that the protagonist might as well have been a stone for all the emotion she had, and it could have been intentional (because I could imagine the way her ability works kind of turning her into a robot), but regardless, I didn't really want to read about her. I also remember that everyone in existence was scared of her, and that was handled well but of course contributed to her being off-putting. In any case, I don't remember much about the plot, just the concept, and I think that's why I decided not to read any more of the series; I wasn't into it.
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