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Comment: 1ST BAEN PB PRINTING OCTOBER 1994. COVER ART BY DAVID MATTINGLY. COVER HAS LIGHT CREASING AND LIGHT SHELF WEAR. 359 PAGE TEXT HAS VERY LIGHT WEAR. SCIENCE FICTION. 4.25'' X 7''.
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Jem Paperback – September 1, 1994

3.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

SALES POINTS * #41 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written. * 'Frederik Pohl, one of the old pros of the genre, never takes unnecessary risks. For him, science fiction is a form of play - an excusable indulgence since he plays it so much better than most people.' The New York Times Book Review * 'The most consistently able writer science fiction has yet produced' -- Kingsley Amis * 'One of Frederik Pohl's best novels - and my personal favourite. Complex people in tough situations on a marvelous and gritty world - who could ask for more from any novel?' Greg Bear --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reprint edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671876252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671876258
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,114,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 15, 1997
Format: Paperback
Not many authors can "build" a planet in enough detail to make it seem realistic to the reader. If they can, however, their names are often spoken with reverance among SF fans for their brilliance and ingenuity. Herbert, Niven, Robinson, and now Pohl.

But JEM is more than just the detailing of a planet, it is the creation of a civilization, where Earth can no longer support people and so they have to move on and try to start again, only our petty human disagreements get in the way and we almost risk utopia for the sake of being superior to someone else.

There is so much going on in this novel that it's almost impossible to discuss, but Pohl handles everything perfectly, from the charactization of the humans, to the imaginative aliens that inhabit the world of Jem. Yes, there are setbacks, there are fights, and the people almost fail, the black night bearing down on them, but the novel ends with a ray of light, the final few lines certain to resonate long after the novel has been closed (that's a cliche thrown around a lot, but here it is completely applicable.) It's a must for anyone and everyone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Based upon the premise of light-year space travel in the 1980s, "Jem" shows us how we cannot escape the frailties of human nature even as we attempt to populate new worlds. The story is an exciting one, including rampant commercialism and competition on Earth, political corruption, military intrigue, and even love interests. We encounter sentient but highly different alien life-forms that only we, as humans, know best how to dominate and exploit. This book is certainly one of the best science fiction stories I have read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Near future first contact sci-fi. Competing cynical blocs of Earth countries discover and send first contact ships to a newly discovered planet that could be habitable by humans. Earth's factions degenerate into devastating nuclear war while the fledgling planet encampments follow suit on a much smaller scale, wiping out or forever corrupting the sentient alien life surrounding them. A hard, cynical, negative look at how mankind is ultimately selfish to the point of destroying himself in the attempt to manipulate or destroy everything he can and how the promise of a utopian new beginning proves to be just another illusion in that endless cycle.
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Format: Paperback
I liked this novel. The new planet Jem and its strange new lifeforms were written very well. Jem orbits a tiny, not-very-hot star the same way our Moon orbits Earth. That is, with one side always light and the opposite side dark. Three sentient species inhabit the planet: mole-like Creepies who live underground in burrows, crab-like Krinpit on the surface, and flying Balloonists who never land. If the story had been more about the interesting animals, I would have enjoyed the book better. I did not like any of the human characters. By the second hundred pages, I was already hoping they would all die. But of course they don't. People on Earth bomb each other to bits and the related factions on Jem almost follow suit, being stopped only by a natural disaster. The resulting civilization is an utopian parody; it reminds me of "Animal Farm". Everything is "freely given" or not given at all. The native sentients of Jem work for the humans because they can't do otherwise after their planet is subdued by humans. It's repulsive, but realistic, to imagine that humans would do no better with a new planet than they have with their first one, even after all their experience and knowledge. I prefer happier fantasies.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an avid reader and devour books at an alarming rate. This book sucked me in from the moment I started to read it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A dark satire, I suppose you would call this. This shows what happens when humans go to an alien world, that has three races that exist in different ecological niches, basically. They aren't huge fans of each other, but mostly get along.

Humans bring their warlike, country fighting and spying ways along, and teach the natives. People ain't nice.
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