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The Practice Effect (Bantam Spectra Book) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
The gimmick in "The Practice Effect" is too entertaining to give up in a review, but you'll enjoy every minute of seeing it exploited. It's a short book (I wouldn't mind more of these, actually) but one you'll want to read and re-read every word of.
Only novels by David Brin and Robert Heinlein have had that ultimate effect on me.
If your only exposure to David Brin is Startide Rising or the Uplift War and you're expecting the same overwhelming immersion into a foreign land, you'll be disappointed. Practice Effect is the first novel Brin wrote, although not the first published, and it is "only" a good read. It has the same heroic themes common in his latter works, but without the polish. The result is inevitably, and unfairly, disappointing to someone familiar with his later works.
On the other hand it may be a good introduction to Heroic SF, especially for juveniles. There's still the same action on a grand scale, "ordinary joes" changing the course of nations, friendly familiars (a bit more explicitly than the Tymbrini computers hidden in Tom and Gillian's quarters), and the smugly superior facing their own petards a-hoisting, but the heros and devils are clear from the start and the point of view doesn't jump among the many players.
Finally, as a would-be author I've found it useful to compare the writing in Practice Effect, Sundiver, and Startide Rising, in that order. They form a dramatic demonstration of how a writer matures. If you want to learn how to write books like Startide Rising or the Uplift War, start by learning how to write books like Practice Effect and then refine your skills from "merely" very good to Hugo- and Nebula-award winning.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Real Rating = 4.5*
SciFi Novel that achieves the author's objective of "mixing rapid fire fun with challenging ideas"
The Practice... Read more
Dennis has clearly slept through his classes on AI safety (he was nonchalantly giving orders to a self-improving robot without considering possible side effects like filling the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Other authors who use a teleporter act like it would be a hi-tech gov't operation; yet Brin first sends one explorer through, equipped with camping... Read more
I've read this book 4 times and it's still fun and worthwhile, totally, to read. I idea is original, refreshing if you've ever felt entropy was the enemy. Read morePublished 8 months ago by readsalot
It's a cute little story, completely outside the universes of the rest of Brin's work.Published 8 months ago by Darren
Brin is one of the few modern sci-fi writers who truly delivers the whole package.Published 8 months ago by David Richardson
If you enjoy sci fi at all this should be in your list. When I started introducing my son to Sci-Fi this was right after Enders Game in his reading list and he is hooked for life.Published 10 months ago by Daniel Lewis
Ok, premise plot was not as good as his later work. Did enjoy.Published 14 months ago by Alexis Shaw
Really enjoyable read - Brin has always been one of my favorites. I know some have criticized The Practice Effect for its seemingly less developed style than Brin's later, award... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Brian D. Smith