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Red Claw Paperback – October 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Original edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316018937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316018937
  • ASIN: 0316018937
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,302,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Red Claw is that rare treat, an intelligent action adventure replete with intellectual rigour, human insight and superb storytelling' Guardian 'It's been a while since I've read a science fiction novel as invigoratingly original in approach and theme as this one' Morning Star 'Red Claw moves at a relentless pace ... I was hooked' thebookbag.co.uk 'I keep going back to the front cover and marvelling at how awesome it is' Graeme's Fantasy Review 'A marvellous mix of the ridiculous and the sublime, mashing pulp sci-fi with a seedy Heinlein style utopian dystopia, and some pretty dark humour as well. It's The Lord of the Flies meets Starship Troopers. A truly dark tale of betrayal, big guns, and monsters ... This is one of the best novels released this year' Emotionally Fourteen --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Philip Palmer lives in London and is currently at work on a new book set in the same universe as DEBATABLE SPACE. He has written for film, TV and theater. Find out more about Philip Palmer at www.philippalmer.net.

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Customer Reviews

I would very much recommend this as a fun, fast-paced reading adventure.
DigiSol
That being said, there are plot holes, fragmented story lines, and characters who are just simply annoying, underdeveloped, and simply unbelievable.
Gregory O'brien
Palmer's style of writing is incredibly vivid and I found the ideas presented in the story to be quite imaginative and clever.
Erik Peterson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ScrawnyPunk on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Red Claw is classic pulp fiction. It is well paced, very enjoyable, and definitely worth reading by any fan of science fiction or adventure (excluding the last 2-3 pages which provide a second ending on a superfluous existential note). As the characters slowly succumb to the ravages of a foreign planet and his own nature, the title refers to Tennyson's famous couplet concerning the loveless savagery of nature: "Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw / With ravine, shriek'd against his [God's] creed."

The story itself is a basic run-for-your-life-and-get-out tale. Take the characters from "Battle Royale," place them in an off-world version of Arthur Conan Doyle's "Lost World," have HAL-9000 direct a constant assault with Terminators and sentient flying scalpels, and you have a feel for the story line. A well-paced escape story is supported by a thorough imagining of alien taxonomy, future governance structures, and an underlying theme of revenge.

Although the story works well as a thriller, the occasional mix of existentialism, environmentalism (No Terraforming!), and rebellion against an autonomous government is a bit tedious. Other than that, it's a great little read. Enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Engel on June 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Much better than Debatable Space, especially without the incredibly long personal journals (there are personal journals in this, too, but they're much briefer). Some might get confused if they haven't read Debatable Space, since this has quite a few references to it, takes place in the same universe (it sometimes suggests itself as a prequel), and a couple of times mentions characters from the novel. Debatable Space's biggest problem was inconsistency and the overly frequent and lengthy personal logs, and since that's no longer a problem, Palmer's unique and intense style of writing can come through in full.

The ending is awfully anticlimactic and doesn't seem to end in the right place, though, and a few characters seemed underdeveloped. There's also way too much graphic sex, comparable to Debatable Space, which got annoying. Still, I really enjoy Palmer's style of writing and storytelling. He seems to enjoy doing it, and I enjoy reading it. I look forward to his next novel, Version 43.

I have to say I just don't get the hate for Palmer's works. It's as if some people have a grudge against him for some reason. I see a of nitpicking on details I wasn't particularly bothered by, and almost no appreciation for the things Palmer does right, and there are many. Sure, his novels aren't perfect, but they're definitely an enjoyable and well-written read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory O'brien on December 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
The first paragraph of Johannes Stauffer's review sums up Red Claw, with the kid describing a video game. That being said, there are plot holes, fragmented story lines, and characters who are just simply annoying, underdeveloped, and simply unbelievable. Especially the female characters. I can't not finish a book, so I powered through it. Terrible, no. I've read worse. But not on par with Scalzi, Heinlein, Stephenson, etc.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jim Molnar on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book refreshing and enjoyable to read despite the casual sociopathy the author displays in parts. I think it was mostly because of the good writing: witty, ironic, literate, sort of Dr. Who-ish in humor. It's fun to read the writing of someone who actually knows how to write and enjoys the process. Frankly, most SF does not display this quality. Unlike one of the other readers I had no big problem figuring out the terminology or the world that was built to set the story in. I thought the characterization was pretty good. I found this book way better than Debatable Space which for some reason rubbed me the wrong way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erik Peterson on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love old-school classic sci-fi and I loved every page of this book.

I originally picked up Red Claw while waiting in a book shop for a friend I was about to go camping with. I chose the book entirely based on it's cover and title without reading the back or looking up any reviews. I finished it in two days and had a blast the whole time. Palmer's style of writing is incredibly vivid and I found the ideas presented in the story to be quite imaginative and clever.

Obviously based on the other reviews on this page the book isn't for everyone, but I learned long ago that my personal tastes do not match the general populace. I've re-read it twice and I still find it immensely enjoyable so I have no qualms about recommending it to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DigiSol on February 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you were a fan of the somewhat juvenile Harry Harrison Deathworld books then you'll thoroughly enjoy this. It's a sophisticated take on survival in a hostile environment when you're fighting yourself, your fellow humans, an egomanical corporation and the planet itself. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book. The author does take some liberties such as why the hell you'd build a planetary base so far from your one permament link to orbiting support systems and what happens to Carl in the end is sudden, unexpected and completely off the wall. I would very much recommend this as a fun, fast-paced reading adventure.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Professor Richard Helms leads the classification of the animalia and plantae found on recently discovered New Amazon. The planet is a nightmare with its acid rain and the discovery of "kingdomshifters". Still even with the hostile orb seemingly at war with the outside occupiers, the team of scientist protected by genetically enhanced human commandos and gigantic robotic soldiers finish the cataloguing of this alien ecosystem.

The invaders plan to burn everything to the ground so they can terraform New Amazon into a place for humans to live without wearing protective helmets. Instead of the final solution, the crew is attacked by a flying seemingly invincible monster forcing them to find shelter in the deadly jungle. Survival of the fittest means betraying your friends and lovers as the rain forest proves lethal as does the robots. As the human number dwindle Helms fails to take the helm as the commandos with weapons overwhelm the scientists,

Although this tale has a pulp feel with an over the top of Mt Olympus satirical stripping away civilization story line, fans will enjoy this tale that is the Lord of the Flies in outer space. The story line is fast-paced and filled with dark humor starting with Dr. Baal's opening "whatever" diary and never slows down as terraforming becomes terror forming. Filled with several twists, readers will enjoy Red Claw as the scientists argue how to classify gryphon, Godzilla, and seditious killing robots while the mercenaries argue how to survive the hostile ordeal with pathetic intelligentsia leaches unable to set up camp.

Harriet Klausner
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