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Further: Beyond the Threshold Paperback – May 22, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The author takes many science fiction cliches -- astronaut awakening from long sleep centuries away from his own era, gateways to other planets allowing instantaneous travel, humans who look like animals, uploads of peoples' brains so that they can live forever, eternal youth due to nanotechnology -- and gives them fresh life.
The book has some wonderful set pieces where history buffs from the future approach Captain Stone and show hilarious misunderstandings of his era.
The reason I did not give the book five stars were some glaring improbabilities. I couldn't imagine why this far future culture would put Captain Stone in charge of its most futuristic star ship, given how primitive his science knowledge must have been on arrival.
The author's assumption that all of the intelligent people in the far future will be atheists is very unlikely. The bad guys in the novel are devoutly religious and destructive fundamentalists. This is another science fiction cliche, but the author did not give it convincing new life. The bad guys are very stereotyped in their appearance and beliefs -- cartoonish.
Finally, I had a problem with the multi-worlds government, supposed to be a supremely wise group.Read more ›
The irony here is that the protagonist (Captain RJ Stone) went out looking for alien life, but by the time he awakes, humans are the aliens. And I don't exaggerate when I say that. In the future this book describes (one 12,000 years hence) "human" is a nebulous term. There are human "beings" in mechanical bodies and in lab-grown biological (but not necessarily human in appearance) bodies. There are distributed intelligences (consciousness shared over more than one body), animals that have been "uplifted" to sentience, humans reconstructed from former memories...it has the makings of the cantina scene in Star Wars, except all the creatures can trace their origin to Earth. But even Earth has radically changed too.
Because the future is so very different from our own, "Further" spends many pages in description and exposition. Much of that is probably necessary, given the foreignness of the surroundings. However, it means that about two-thirds of the book is spent touring around and talking to creatures, and discovering still more human-based creatures. To the book's credit, I never felt like it was dragging. The new things were interesting enough to hold my attention. But if you're looking for Star Wars style action, you won't find it here until the end. And then it comes in a hurry.Read more ›
I regard him primarily as a stylist. He excels at sketching in new universes and settings in a few quick, broad strokes without bogging down into smothering detail, and he can introduce large concepts without undue flourishes and hoopla. His prose is clean and straightforward and propulsive, moving along smoothly to the major action set-pieces and resetting in between the dramatic high points with a few reflective character moments. I would, though, have liked in this present volume to have had a bit more development of the protagonist, your standard Man Out of Time, who reacts to the revelation that hundreds of years have passed him by and made him obsolete with the equivalent of an unruffled "Bummer, man...but what can you do?" I might have preferred a *bit* more angst than that.
I'm oddly reminded of Peter David's initial Star Trek: New Frontier books here. As with those, much of the focus of this novel is on introducing the ship, an unfamiliar and unwanted captain, and its eccentric crew. Again, a bit more time spent with the supporting cast would've been nice, but your average Roberson novel gets skittish when the page count nears 300. This is, in any case, a real solid introduction to what hopefully will become an ongoing series, and I look forward to future installments and seeing how the characters will be fleshed out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thoroughly enjoyable. A good start for the series. I hope to get the next. Very star trek like Too seek out new worlds.Published 4 days ago by robert zuckerman
The author takes this question and gives us a good look at what he imagines. Fun read! Very much recommended!Published 5 months ago by Susan C. Smith
Just too far fetched for me. Didn't really connect with any characters. Didn't even finish the book.Published 7 months ago by Lake Dog
Very uneventful. The book was too short to be that all over the place with the story!! Read it through because I bought it.Published 11 months ago by GmarsD444
Captain Ramachandra Jason Stone is the classic Buck Rogers astronaut by way of a future that doesn't include the U.S. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ernest Lilley
Overall an entertaining read. Kind of goes a bit too far with the fiction in "science fiction", but I did enjoy the the themes of exploration and discovery. Read morePublished 13 months ago by The Amazon Customer
Biggest problem was the author's weak grasp of basic science. Redshift is for things receding from you; a ship accelerating towards a star will see it blue shifted, not redshifted.Published 16 months ago by James T. Yezek
The leader of a space exploration team is awakened several thousand years in the future. The human expansion in to he galaxy is now slowing down, and human space is so vast and so... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Kenn Brody