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The Last Legends of Earth Paperback – August 18, 1989

4.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
Book 4 of 4 in the Radix Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest novel by Attanasio ( Radix ) partakes of elements of both fairy tale and high-tech science fiction. Billions of years in the future, long after the extinction of humankind and of the planet Earth, humans have been resurrected as pawns in a cosmic power struggle waged in a distant world. Tall and ungainly Chan-ti Beppu, who can expect only a spinster's life in her native land, travels by lynk (a portal joining even remote regions) to the beautiful city of N'ym, where she woos and wins Ned O'Tennis. A fighter pilot, he is one of the Aesirai, a human strain crafted from the genetic code of Earth's Vikings and unmolested by the lethal, spiderlike zotl who prey on all other humans. But when war heats up Ned is called away, and Chan-ti finally must seek her lover in the treacherous Overworld, where no humans are safe. Theirs is an epic love story, intricate, wildly imaginative and touching.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An epic battle between two alien races spans thousands of years during which a re-constituted human race serves as bait and trap in a war they cannot hope to win. This conclusion to the Radix Tetrad ( Radix Morrow, 1981 ; In Other Worlds LJ 10/15/84 ; Arc of the Dream Bantam, 1986) explores the vast reaches of time from human and inhuman perspectives, and provides a perfect vehicle for the author's boundless imagination. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st edition (August 18, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385263937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385263931
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,111,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is simply one of the best. Nothing I have ever read in all of the 500+ books I have consumed (at least half being sci-fi) has come close to the depth and entertainment of this book. Not only does it entertain, but this is one of those few books that truelly makes you think. The sheer scope of the epic is unbeleiveable. It goes through 2 very different primary species on Earth, a group of beings that literaly eat the pain of lower races, an aloof group of beings from another reality out for revenge, it goes on and on. Throughout it all, the central thread is humanity itself.
When you finish reading this book, you won't put it down and pick up another. For days at least, you will just sit back thinking about the book saying "wow that has heavy, but SO great". It is unparalleled at what it is, one of those small genre of Sci-fi books all by its self. The end of time/universe/etc book. Besides the central plot of the book, and all the many subplots, the story actually strives to tell something in its completness and complexity. The book shows the unstoppable power of the human spirit, and humanity as a race's unwillingness to give up or surrender. Infact, at several points thoughout the book, the Rimstalker actually handycaps humanity against the high tech Zolt, fearing that humans would prove too difficult of prey. That would cause the solarsystem sized trap to be unsucsessful.
In summary, simply a beatiful master peice, long neglected. Honestly, I have no idea why this book is not considered one of the great "must reads" of the science fiction world. If you ever see a copy, BUY IT because this great (and unfortunately rare) book is out of print. Enjoy it while you can. One for the ages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a rule I will not touch Fantasy and this one had several elements of fantasy - the ridiculous, unpronouncable names, the wild beasts, castles, etc But it was packed with science fiction ideas - indeed, it was a mesmerizing, visionary work that seemed written in an exalted, transcendent state.
First of all, the premise was startling. To reassemble living creatures that had been dead for 2 billion years from traces of burned DNA was just so...original. And what made such an impact was how "human" our makers turned out to be and what literal devils the spider foes were. There has never been a more sinister enemy, none more horrifying (the slasher monsters look tame in comparison). For once, the author does not attempt to show understanding or concern or empathy for such evil creatures but treats them like the unimaginable horror they are.
The love affair was wonderful as was the story of the female explorer (the alien) who came to not only understand but empathize and finally side with humanity. The understated character of the story was the captured school teacher who alternated between moments of temporary memory and sorrow and excruciating torture. The novel was a grand experiment that succeeded mightily.
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Format: Paperback
I've just finished this book, and fireworks are still going off in my head. I've never been more swept up by a work of literature as I was by this. The author delivers a book that covers 7,000 years of history, billions of years after Earth's sun goes nova. This is the story of humanity's second chance, under the most unlikely and mind-blowing cause. It won't let you go, from beginning to end. Totally original and mind-blowing. Filled with philosphy about life, death, and time, this is one of the most uplifting sci-fi action adventures ever written.

-- JJ Timmins
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Format: Paperback
In my opinion, this is (along with the first book in the Tetralogy, Radix) one of the finest sci-fi/fantasy novels written in the past 30 years. It's a rollicking good time, with good vs evil, heroes and villains, interesting scientific concepts, a romance that even manly men could appreciate, and a tempo that speeds up and slows down at just the right times.

Heavily influenced by Lovecraft, Attanasio writes stuff that is not intended to be the joy of English majors or grammar prudes but is deeply fascinating and tells great, highly imaginative stories. This book is no exception. If character is the end-all and be-all of literature to you (ugh!) and story and plot are less interesting to you, then you may not find most of Attanasio's work to your tastes, although his characters are certainly believable. Certainly in LLoE there are some highly interesting characters to add to a mind blowing story that spans billions of years.

After having read the original book in the tetralogy, Radix, when it came out so many years ago, and being so impressed by it, I was disappointed by the next two books in the series. They were interesting but lacked stories that sucked you in. Not so with LLoE, which is a page turner of the highest order. I don't think you'd have to be a sci-fi fantasy buff to appreciate it, but if you are it's one of the best. It certainly has one of the most evil races of monsters in ALL of literature, the zotl. If you can read about them and not get the creeps, you should probably be in an institution somewhere.

In fact, if all you read of the tetralogy were Radix and LLoE, you would be well served, but you might want to read the others for the sake of completeness.
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