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Version 43 Paperback – October 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (October 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316018945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316018944
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,843,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set in Bompasso City, also known as Lawless City, on the planet Belladonna, cyborg narrator The Cop Version 43 is sent by the government of the Solar Neighbourhood to investigate a mass murder. Like many of the Exodus Universe planets, Belladonna was colonized by convicts, the insane, and the desperate; so a corrupt mayor and gang leaders who specialize in assassinations, prostitutes, and black-market organs are de rigueur. Version 43 deals swift (if faulty) justice, and is promptly blown up. Good thing Version 44 (same narrator, different version) is standing by! Meanwhile in deep space, the hive-minded Sand-Rats who live in six dimensions (three in space and three in time) have decided to declare interstellar war on humanity...or at least the original rat mind has. The five other species minds in the hive have literally been consumed by The First, depicted in the novel through a series of hilarious flow-charts graphic illustrations. As the various criminal elements burn through one Galactic Cop Version after another and the Hive Rats draw ever nearer, who will save humanity? British TV scribe Palmer's (Red Claw) Sci-Fi epic reads like Rudy Rucker collaborating with Olaf Stapledon on an Ed McBain novel with sweeping galactic history, silly (yet nearly believable) science, pitched battles, plenty of sardonic humor, and a serial investigation by a lonely cyborg.

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By wheeeeee on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Cyborgs and Death Rays and force fields and jet boots and millions of spaceships blowing up, Oh My!

This novel is a action comedy sci-fi film-noire cyberpunk detective novel mashup, opening with a murder in time tested manner.

I heartily recommend it. The author while munging all of these genres together, and playing up the various cliches, manages to write an entertaining novel that still has deeper elements that can be examined and thought about.

One can linger over the thought of Version 43's well intentioned but heavy handed pursuit of justice and the havoc it wreaks when it is not tempered by any compassion, all the while being entertained by the language and dialog which made me laugh out loud from time to time.

I read this book over about 24 hours, I could barely put it down... it was a great relief to read this novel and not have it be Book I of the First Trilogy of the Foo Cycle and have everything drag out in a process intended to suck hundreds of dollars out of my pocket over decades in a never ending poorly written melodrama that I'd be committed to to just see how it eventually ends.

This is a book with strong characterization, funny dialog, interesting ideas, and for the first time in a long time I delighted in every character.

Please understand that it's clearly intended to touch on many cliches, and does so in a fond way.

I bought this book based on reading a strong short story by this novelist, and I'm very glad I did. I'll happily buy whatever else he's got available to read now...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Locy on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Version 43 is a cyborg cop with a bad job, uncover a mass murderer on a planet where crime is the government and corruption is ubiquitous. Lucky for him, he's a machine with a lot of assets, mostly hidden rocket launchers and laser cannons.

If you aren't expecting a mind-shattering, world-altering, perception-changing experience (and frankly, as a lifelong consumer of science-fiction, there aren't that many books like that anyway), this book is top notch. The author mixes noir detective style with pulpy sci-fi technology and a smattering of X-Files-like conspiracy in a way that I found absolutely delightful. I was never bored, and I took each plot twist in stride. Hell, plot twists are a mainstay of this work, and never was I disappointed.

Some people would say, this is just pulp. In a world where millions gather to watch Jersey Shore and Real Housewives, this book stands as a paragon of what pulp can be. Again, don't expect anything mind-bending, just expect an awesome romp around a crime-vexed world and a robo-cop with laser eyes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By allysonnona on January 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
It was definitely one of the most interestingly laid-out books I've read, and I enjoyed the storyline and Palmer's writing style. I found a lot of it quite humorous, and felt the plot was pretty strong from beginning to end. Cool crime noir/sci-fi, with themes of the frontier, power, corruption, morality, and humanity. I don't want to give too many details on the plot since part of the fun in reading this came with the amount of surprises I experienced throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Wimpey on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are happy with honest pulp SF, Version 43 is probably for you. There is no tedious retreading of past information, very little soul-searching and tons of action. Compared to a lot of cheap but prolific space operas and military SF novels littering the Amazon store at the moment, Philip Palmer is very good indeed.

The writing is taut, flows without any trouble and delivers enough surprises to keep you interested. Since it is, after all, an action story rather than a treatise on the latest trends in cosmic theory, the treatment of 'quantum jumping' and the like is very lasseiz faire but valid enough to make the story work.

Very briefly, a galactic cybercop is sent to the planet Belladona to investigate a gruesome murder. On the face of it the planet is ruled by various criminal networks, but it contains deeper and darker secrets. Along the way you meet, almost as an afterthought, various alien races (written about by the author with much tongue-in-cheek humour and verve), and in the end, the 'real' rulers of Belladonna are unmasked and end up fighting a war with one of the alien races which has the ability to slow time down (or speed it up, depending on which side of the fence you are standing). Couple this with Version 43, your cybercop anti-hero whose murder investigation eventually becomes entangled with the bigger picture and who gets mind-wiped every time he is close to solving the murder mystery, and you have, to borrow a phrase, a rollicking good yarn.

I have given the novel only three stars as Mr. Palmer is, at least with this novel, not in the same camp as Greg Bear, Ursula K Le Guin, Harlan Ellison and Philip K Dick, and nor does he have the lyrical qualities of a JG Ballard or Ray Bradbury.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Wilson VINE VOICE on April 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Where is the line between human and machine? Or is there one? At least one difference is that an android can survive being destroyed.

This is just one of the ideas explored in this interesting novel. Overall, it was fun, but it could have used a little more editing to remove a few pages of unneeded verbiage and to tighten the plot.
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