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Tunnel Out of Death Hardcover – May 7, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765306115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765306111
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,929,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


For The Houses of Time

“An intelligent novel about faith and human consciousness.”
—J. M. McDermott

“Well worked-out and agreeably challenging.”
Kirkus Reviews

"This is an unusual and thought-provoking book about dreams, reality and the mind's power to change both…it's fascinating to fall into Grant's mind and watch what happens as he moves through alternate realities.”
RT Book Reviews

For Jamil Nasir

“Worlds break and buckle under the weight of man's imagination, doors to new universes yawn open in suburban subdivisions, and dreams become deliriously—sometimes frighteningly—real.”
Strange Horizons

About the Author

Jamil Nasir's third novel, Tower of Dreams, won France's top science fiction award, the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, and was runner up for the Philip K. Dick Award for best science fiction paperback published in the United States.  His short story “The Nomalers” won a first prize in the Writers of the Future Award.  Tunnel Out of Death is his sixth novel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Walford on January 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Mr. Nasir has done something really difficult; he's created a narrative that's satisfying both on the story level and the philosophical. His characters are engaging and his settings beautifully evoked. You really don't know what's going to happen, but when it does you believe.
He's also taken on really profound themes: what is death, how much can we change and still be 'us'? I don't think he completely succeeds at this, hence the missing last star, but I really appreciate the attempt and intend to read everything of his I've missed.
Jamil Nasir won France's biggest SF prize for 'Tower of Dreams' (which is brilliant) and that tells you something. The French, by and large, appreciate thoughtful books more than we do. I believe this is why Mr. Nasir hasn't gotten the attention and acclaim he deserves in America. I hope this hasn't discouraged him and that he will soldier on for the sake of those of us who appreciate speculative fiction with real depth.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An ambitious science fiction brain tease in which the protagonist “falls into an astonishing metaphysical shadow play”. What is real and what isn’t? What does real even mean?

Description: Set at some point in the future, the story revolves around Heath Ransom who is a very special kind of private investigator. He is a former police psychic and machine-enhanced “endovoyant” who is able to travel into etheric worlds in order to answer puzzles and to track down missing people.

Ransom is hired to find the consciousness of an extremely rich but comatose old woman and to try to bring it back to her body. However, while trying to track her down in the etheric world he finds a terrifying, dark vortex. Falling through the vortex he soon finds himself inhabiting the body of a young man who has just been poisoned by his girlfriend. This in turn leads him into an ever-darker investigation involving government conspiracies, mutants, corruption, torture, self-aware artificial intelligence, androids and attempted immortality.

In deadly danger himself, Ransom starts to jump back and forth between the two worlds. He then finds out that much of what he thought was real is in fact artificial and as paranoia and conspiracy abounds, he starts to doubt his own sanity.

John’s thoughts: Where to start? Well, it is a very interesting idea on which to base a novel. I like how it started and was quickly pulled into the plot. Soon, however, two things started to happen. Firstly, I started to hit some dense pieces of text that were so full of obscure words and complex ideas that I didn’t comprehend them even after a few re-reads. There weren’t loads of sections like this, but there were enough to make it a difficult read.
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Format: Hardcover
As a consumer of media, I'm usually OK with works that aren't particularly focused on plot. Some of my favorite books and films are uber-quiet stories where "nothing happens." Heck, I'm really looking forward to the new Terence Malick film, even though it appears to have the same narrative quality of a screensaver program. Character-driven works, works where the images sweep you away, works where the ideas make up for lack of story--I've enjoyed all of them. Unfortunately though, Jamil Nasir's newest, Tunnel Out of Death, managed to test even my patience for non-story-driven fiction. I think partially because it tries so hard to have a story, at least at the start. If it hadn't, if it had dispensed with all that, I might have been more open. As it is, though, this was a tough go for me from beginning to end, though it has its moments.

Heath Ransom is an endovoyant private investigator, an empathy who can pick up "neural field leakage" from people and who also can go into a tank trance for a "viewing," where he can enter etheric worlds and in the words of one of his clients, "talk to spirits." Ransom himself puts it slightly differently: "Holographic torsion wave interference patterns in the vacuum field constitute the forms of this world, including the forms of what we call matter and consciousness. The matter patterns of the body dissipate after death. Do the consciousness patterns also dissipate? . . . I have no idea whether the people I seemed to talk to were spirits or completely non-personal etheric field fluctuations that my mind invested with humans shapes and voice." Got it? Luckily, that sort of language doesn't permeate the novel, but there is enough at the outset to make it off-putting to the point of my questioning if I was even going to continue.
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