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Seed Hardcover – November 8, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"one of the best SF novels I've read this year."

"impressive debut...imaginative world-building, vivid writing." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Richly developed characters, a stark believable world...thoughtful and entertaining speculative fiction." -New York Journal of Books

About the Author

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597803235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597803236
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,637,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rob Ziegler lives with his wife in western Colorado. He writes speculative fiction. SEED is his debut novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Justin Landon on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Much like Night Shade flag bearer The Wind-Up Girl (Bacigalupi), Seed is a near term science fiction novel that centers around the impacts of climate change and over population on the world's environment. The Hugo Award winning Wind-Up Girl focused on Thailand, but hinted at the problems ongoing in America. In many ways Seed could be that story of America. That's not to say it's derivative of Bacigalupi, but there's certainly similarities in tone and texture to the world playing to the current fears that Earth is reaching 'critical mass'.

Seed is set at dawn of the 22nd century, the world has fallen apart and a new corporate power has emerged: Satori. More than just a corporation, Satori is an intelligent, living city in America's heartland. She manufactures climate-resistant seed to feed humanity, and bio-engineers her own perfected castes of post-humans. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori product.

When a Satori Designer goes rogue, Agent Sienna Doss is tasked with bringing her in to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production. In a race against genetically honed assassins, Doss's best chance at success lies in an unlikely alliance with a gang of thugs and Brood - orphan, scavenger and small-time thief scraping by on the fringes of the wasteland - whose young brother may be the key to everything.

What struck me most about Seed is the poignancy. Right away Ziegler jumps into Brood's nomadic life as he migrates from Mexico to the Mid-West with the imminent arrival of summer temperatures. With his special-needs brother, Brood lives just on the edge of survival. His imperative to protect crackles with emotion and his willingness to do anything to survive is heartbreaking.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stefan VINE VOICE on November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
About a century from now, climate change has caused a new Dust Bowl in the Corn Belt, resulting in major famine across the United States. Most of the surviving population leads a nomadic existence, migrating across the ravaged landscape in search of habitable, arable land. Decades of war, resource depletion and population decline have left the government practically powerless. Gangs and warlords rule the land.

The only thing staving off full-blown starvation is Satori, a hive-like living city that produces genetically engineered drought-tolerant seed. Its population is a mix of transhuman Designers, Advocate warriors and "landrace" Laborers. When one of Satori's Designers leaves the fold and goes rogue, the desperate U.S. government sends the ex-military Secret Service Agent Sienna Doss to track her down.

Seed follows three separate but connected plots. Brood, Hondo and Pollo are starving migrants trying to make ends meet in the parched America heartland. Through them, the readers gets a look at what life's like for common people in this horrible, gang-dominated future. On the other end of the spectrum are Pihadassa, the Satori Designer who strikes out on her own, and her former partner Sumedha who remains in Satori. They can see and manipulate DNA helices, both of the gengineered seed Satori provides and of the people and clones around them. The third point of view comes from Sienna Doss, the no-nonsense agent tasked with tracking down the missing Designer. Seed smoothly switches back and forth between these three perspectives, and in the process paints a compelling picture of a ravaged country and of the forces that would control it.

What's interesting about Seed are the huge differences in tone between the three plots.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Galford on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Premise? Solid. World? Intriguing. Execution? Stumbles.

Seed is a book with a lot of promise, but unfortunately, it fails to live up to all of it. Let me begin by saying: don't mistake me. It's a good book, it's simply not a great one.

As a exercise in ideas and potential, it is absorbing, and there are a lot of directions it could have taken. As a stand-alone novel, I think it went in the right direction story-wise, but the problem in its execution was two-fold: poor editing and unfortunately shallow characters.

Seed is post-apocalyptic sci-fi centered in a world where climate change has run amok and brought about a second dust bowl. It's the 22nd century (so, first of all: hurray! We made it to the 22nd century!), and as the residents of America struggle through a perpetual migrant existence, a corporation has risen to the top of the food chain (literally). Satori manufactures climate-resistant seed to feed humanity, while doing predictably darker things behind the scenes.

The nomadic life and particularly the incorporation of many Hispanic and other multiracial characters and themes (characters and themes tragically skipped over in many fantasy and scifi works) lends a unique air to things that immediately piqued my interest. Mexican slang and a decent amount of the dialogue is in (pretty easy to figure out) Spanish. These characters also come with, what appears to be, a rich amount of background to draw from: a special-needs brother, traumatic family situations, military backgrounds, partner/love interests.

Unfortunately, while many of the characters seem to think "about" these things, we rarely get any depth to them.
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