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FURIOUS GULF (Galactic Center, No 5) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Galactic Center, No 5
  • Mass Market Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; 2nd Printing edition (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553572547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553572544
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,439,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the fifth novel of Benford's "Galactic Center" series - the others are "In the Ocean of Night" (1977), "Across the Sea of Suns" (1984), "Great Sky River" (1987), "Tides of Light" (1989), and "Sailing Bright Eternity" (1995). The novels are grouped in two's - the first two concerning Nigel Walmsley and the relatively near future, the middle two Killeen Bishop and the far future in the galactic center, where humans are scavengers, and the last two Killeen's son Toby, and the conclusion of the series at the true center of the galaxy.

"Furious Gulf", the fifth novel, is both the shortest of the series and the one I found most compelling. Benford's flowery language can get away from him at times, making the other novels seem longer than need be. But it was also the real climax of the series - the Bishop clan heads straight to the central black hole, and there are exciting new creatures, artificial structures, and astrophysical marvels all over the place. The mechanical intelligences have been busy at the galactic center, and others have been at work there too. But the novel also works the best because here Benford's favored "loner" character makes sense for a teenager who's having problems with his father: the "furious gulf" of the title is in part the one between generations, a central piece of the mystery that makes organic life, and humans in particular, special in the universe. Toby also maintains a wonderfully portrayed friendship with the myriapodia creature who accompanies them. His internal development from boyhood is one of the novel's (and series') strengths.

Another "furious gulf" is that between the mechanical and organic intelligences, exhibited throughout the series but most explored toward the end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Benford has managed to put together a story that reaches
from the present into the far, far future and uniting both.
By exposing the desperation that future human beings will
suffer and endure to continue their survival, Benford makes
the future understandable to us today. Indeed, he makes
clear the powers and mysteries of nature, that human beings
will certainly be required to utilize if we are to care
and survive in our universe.
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