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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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This Alien Shore Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The spaces between space are full of dragons. The colonists on Guera went mad--one of the plague of mutations that affected all human colonies and drove Earth back from the stars--but their controlled madness meant that they and they alone could cope with hyperspace, could ask the Earth humans they and other new human species hate for past betrayal back into space. But a virus is infecting the human-machine interfaces by which they live and stay sane, and Earth's racists are the prime suspects. Meanwhile, Jamisia, the subject of endless experiments and host to a myriad of alternate personalities, flees Earth's bloody corporate politics in pursuit of safe haven--and everyone wants a piece of her. The hacker known as Phoenix just wants revenge on the makers of the virus for the death of friends.

C.S. Friedman's galaxy full of altered humanities and vicious politics has room in it for tenderness and honor; this is a satisfying space opera because it is full of characters, some of whom will do the right thing. She is good on what stays the same when things change--the austere, mad, security expert Masada and the sweet slob Phoenix are recognizable types, but attractively individualized. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In a far-future interstellar society, star travel is monopolized by the Outspace Guild, which controls the only method of faster-than-light travel that doesn't result in horrible mutations among the star travelers. Now a deadly software virus is attacking Guild members, so the Guild's investigators, led by Dr. Masada, must learn where it came from and how to defeat it before interstellar society breaks down. Meanwhile, a young woman, Jamisia Shido, has to flee for her life from a space habitat near Earth, where all mutations are forbidden and launched, if discovered, into Guild-controlled interstellar space. Secret illegal therapy for a disaster that killed her parents has left Jamisia with an acute form of multiple-personality disorder?and may have made her the key in the fight against the virus. The plot of this stout novel is simple, with few really original details, and the Guild and Jamisia subplots fail to connect until far into the story. Still, Friedman (the Coldfire trilogy) keeps her tale moving at a vigorous pace that's boosted through an abundance of well-chosen details, such as those accruing to the characterization of Jamisia's unruly guest personality. The novel may read like a cross between cyberpunk and Star Wars, but it is likely to hold readers' interest tenaciously. The ending neither requires nor precludes a sequel, so readers are left with some hope of again encountering Jamisia and the duel between the Guild and Earth that backdrops her adventures.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; Open market ed edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886777992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886777999
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm not really a big scifi fan, but a friend recommended C.S. Friedman, and when I saw This Alien Shore at the store I picked it up and took a look. Pretty soon I was sitting on the floor in the middle of the aisle with my nose buried in the book. (Fortunately it's the sort of bookstore where that's perfectly normal behavior)I finished it today, two trips to the bookstore later, and I think it's one of the best books I've read in a long time. The setting and history was intriguing,especially the problems caused by the FTL drive and the tensions between the variants and the humans, and the whole thing was obviously very thoroughly researched. I'm a neuroscience major, and I thought the concept of brainware was very well done, and the neuroanatomy and physiology she touched on in relation to it was quite accurate. I had a lot of fun trying to deconstruct Gueran society and attempting to figure out what disorder each Gueran had. (Masada and the other irdu are obviously autistic, but the others are harder to place) I'm glad that the author wasn't more specific in decribing the Gueran culture; it's more thought provoking to let people fill in the blanks themselves. I hope that this book doesn't take too long to come out in paperback so I can get my own copy and read it to pieces, and I hope Friedman writes a sequel or another book set in the same world(s), preferably sometime soon
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A very good book. The characters are engaging, the 2 mysteries (one whodunit, one howdunit) are kept going til the end, and the politics are believable. For a 565 page armbuster, it reads fairly quickly. The author keeps away from long digressions, but gives a good feel for the backstory. The ending (on reflection) is a little "and now the jigsaw puzzle pieces all fit together-ish", but not grating or unbelieveable.
The story, in brief, is that of 2 characters, a young girl from Earth with multiple personalities, who may hold the key to breaking a guild's monopoly on interstellar travel, and a computer security expert hired by the Guild to find the cure for and creator of a dangerous computer virus which threatens the Guild's pilots.
Many of the story elements are reminiscent of the work of Cordwainer Smith. After reading this book, I had the strange desire to planoform, kill some rats and dragons, visit some Scanners and Underpeople, and have tea on Alpha-Ralpha Boulevard with Lord of the Instrumentality Jestocoast and the 'Lady Who Sailed the Soul'.
Reading this one should go fairly high on your list of things to do.
my stars: 1, don't bother; 2, maybe from the library; 3, wait for the paperback; 4, read it; 5, a classic.
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By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
As usual, C. S. Friedman delivers an engrossing world with fleshed out characters in "This Alien Shore."
T.A.S. describes a world where humans are again a far-flung culture, due to a mixture of space travel technologies. The first was abandoned after humanity realized the genetic cost, and colonies of humanity that no longer resembled Homo sapiens were left, with differing results, to fend for themselves. Later, a second method was discovered. One guild rigidly controls passage through spatial "nodes," making them virtual masters of a human space. But now, the ancestors of man are aliens to each-other, and sometimes even themselves.
Despite mankind's spread there is enormous connectivity: data speeds forth faster than the speed of light. Nearly everyone is immersed in a cyber-world (called the outernet) of external data and headware processing power. Real time programs filter your sensory input, provide etiquette tips, monitor and adjust your health, and provide even the poorest with access to news and information on demand. Yet this connectivity does not always bring people closer - why talk to your neighbor if the inside of your head is so much more interesting? And even shared data can be differently interpreted by the alien mindsets the genetic changes have wrought.
These elements combine to craft a diverse universe with common threads, leading to some thoughtful questions: Do we really have more in common with each-other than we have our un-resolvable differences? Can you really now what is going on in a person's head? At what point could we draw a line and say, "this is not human." T.A.S does not offer the answers, but the insights of the characters point to several different possibilities for these questions.
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Format: Hardcover
After her triumphant "Coldfire Trilogy" I was eagerly awaiting 'This Alien Shore.' Having read it now, I can honetly say that I enjoyed it, but there was something missing for me. It has believable characters and a basis for story that is very good. However, there are two main plots running through the book, and at times I despaired of ever seeing them reconciled.

Ms. Friedman's attention to detail and her stunning realism when it comes to creating her characters and their worlds is in full force here, and I was not disappointed wih this aspectof her storytelling. The amount of research she must have done to work with the programming and to be able to detail programming in such a way is mind-boggling. All the high points aside, though, the ending seemed a bit anti-climactic, and felt contrived, as if she couldn't figure out how to bring the threads together and tie them off neatly, so she just hurriedly did it in a slipshod fashion.

I look forward to her work, as I feel she is an excellent storyteller, and I look forward to her next foray into Fantasy, where she has previously excelled.
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