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The Fortunate Fall Hardcover – July, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; 1st edition (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031286034X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312860349
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,465,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

In 23rd-century Russia, where the "Net" is at once a source of freedom and a means of control, Maya Andreyeva is the perfect reporter. The chips hardwired into her brain allow her to detail not only what she sees but what she hears, tastes, smells, and feels, all in resonant virtual reality. When clues turn up pointing to a massacre and a cover-up, Maya, the ultimate journalist, is compelled find the truth. Along the way she discovers answers not only to the puzzle she has set out to solve, but to secrets about her own life. At the same time, author Raphael Carter provides a compelling and chilling story that also raises serious questions about such issues as homophobia and censorship.

From Publishers Weekly

Maya Andreyeva is a reporter on the Net?a "camera." Everything she sees, hears or feels is immediately broadcast to millions. Now she's got a handle on the story of a lifetime, the government-led coverup of a series of massacres. Urged on by her mysterious new partner, Keishi Mirabara, the wired technician in charge of editing her broadcasts for public consumption, Maya seeks an interview with Pavel Voskresenye, a survivor of one of the massacres. She finds, however, that she has put her life at risk simply by contacting Pavel, because he is also being sought by the Weavers, the all-powerful Net police. Carter's repressive future Earth is a strange place. The U.S. lies in near ruins after a failed attempt at world domination. And in this world where virtual reality makes almost everything possible, it's hard to be certain of anything. Like many first novels, Carter's suffers from occasional problems of pacing and structure. Even so, this highly literate, grim and gripping example of latter-day cyberpunk counts as one of the most promising SF debuts in recent years.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on August 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is really, really, good. Set in the 23rd century, the Russian narrator (Maya) is a telepresence "camera": she "witnesses" news events, or anything which could be a story, and her total impressions (sensorium, plus memories: the latter including implanted memories of research on the subject) are transmitted over the net to her audience, although the output is "screened" by another individual (a "screener") who is totally linked with the camera, and who apparently filters sensitive or personal material, and makes sure that the sensorium output comes through OK (red looks red, stuff like that). We slowly learn that Maya has a "past" which she cannot remember, because memories of it have been suppressed, and that that past is related to her love life. We also learn that her world has emerged in recent decades from the domination of a group called the Guardians, and that it is now bifurcated into the technologically advanced, but isolated, African continent, and to something called the Fusion of Historical Nations, which seems to be a shaky reestablishment of roughly 20th century political boundaries.
Maya's latest story is about some of the key events in the liberation of Russia from the Guardians. As she begins her story, her old screener quits and she gets a new one. This new screener is revealed to have quite remarkable abilities, and also seems to quickly fall in love with Maya, which is difficult for Maya to handle because her sexual emotions are suppressed. Maya and Keishi (the new screener) begin to investigate some details of the defeat of the Guardians, details which are for some reason potentially embarrassing to the "new world order".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1997
Format: Hardcover
"The Fortunate Fall" is good, vintage cyberpunk. Its gritty and noir. However, for all the good elements of the story, the author introduced others that left me cold.

The main character of the story is a human "camera" in a near future Russia. She is a journalist with implants allowing her to broadcast directly onto the net what she sees. While she is researching a historical story on a computer virus that infected humans with cybernetic implants she comes into contact with an information terrorist. This contact leads her to a much bigger story and confrontation with her society's "Big Brother-like" computer police.

The story is great cyberpunk. I particularly liked the heroine's concern about sterilizing a public usage jack to connect to the net in a train station. What really impressed me was the idea of a verbal computer programming language to make up for the lack of precision in natural language. I loved it, glottal click and all.

What left me cold was the whale. The cover jacket provides a mild whale spoiler. Some cliche's I can handle, but not whales. The book also smacked of what I call "Sam E. Delaney-ism". That is, a book beyond the depth of its audience. It may be it was just to deep for me. It may be it was just plain confusing.

I'm ambivilent about this novel. Read it for the tech and and the story, but skim over the parts bemoaning the fallen state of mankind.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Shanks on May 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Raphael Carter shows incredible potential in his debut novel, published in 1996, but where is the sequel or prequel!
An enormous dark world springs into life on the pages of "The Fortunate Fall", leaving this reader wanting much more, I first read this book (not much more then a novellete) 3 - 4 years ago, and like all great sci-fi does, it stuck with me, but after re-reading, and finding it just as good (I think the third time) as the 1st, I was much disappointed to find that there is no follow up work.
I too felt that the geekness of this dark and forbidding place was much better technically then Gibson, but then again Gibson himself has stated often that he was not much into tech when wrote his seminal work Neourmancer. I especiallly like the plugs and sockets described in this book, and you need no go further then recent headlines news (May, 2002) describing how rats brains have been hardwired (cabled!) in experiments aimed at creating remote "camera's" how prophetic can you be?
I love grand epics, like Julian Mays classic series, but this was is a great little book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kozlowski on November 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Fortunate Fall is almost, but not quite, cyberpunk. It's got the nifty technologies, sure; but in place of cyberpunk's shallow, tragically hip veneer, Fall gives us three dimensional characters and emotional depth. The setting is a near future that is both plausible and startlingly different than anything I've seen before; the characters are superbly well-drawn; and the plot is unpredictable and engaging. The Fortunate Fall is an excellent debut novel, and I look forward to Carter's future output.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For you William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, & Neil Stephenson fans, I have a book to recommend. I know, I know: you've seen this and that book touted as the next Gibson or the next Stephenson, yadda yadda. Well, it's not the next anything, but his own work, and he's damned good. The book is The Fortunate Fall, by Raphael Carter, and it will hack your backbrain the way the Neuromancer trilogy, Virtual Light, or Snow Crash did. I've been trying to get through Gibson's 'Virtual Light' for more than 6 months now and keep setting it aside out of boredom and frustration. 'The Fortunate Fall' took me two days and that's only because I forced myself to slow down and savor it. You might say 'Fortunate Fall' is the book 'Virtual Light' would like to be. In any case, if you enjoy post-cyber-fi that makes you think about the world in new ways, snag a copy of 'The Fortunate Fall.'
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