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The Games by Ted Kosmatka
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The Games (edition 2012)

by Ted Kosmatka (Author)

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1473281,427 (3.49)10
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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Silas Williams in the head geneticist conceiving the next United States's gladiator for the Olympic Games, in this futurist world where genetic manipulation is commonplace and a spectacle. But little does he know what a supercomputer has wrought for their new gladiator: a predator beyond their imagining.

I love this book. It takes place in a futuristic world that is not unbelievable with this amount of science.

I love the description of the gladiator and the slow progression of foreshadowed horror and fear as it grows up.

The pacing was fantastic - I never felt like the story bogged down, and I was eager to always get to the next page to see what would happen next.

Fantastic control of characters and plotline and innovative ideas. Aliens have been done before. AIs have been done before. But this sort of science melded with sports, I have not seen before.

Three and a half stars, rounded down because I don't think it merits a reread. But wonderfully written book.
Recommended for those who like a bit of aliens, science fiction, and dark themes in their books. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Silas Williams in the head geneticist conceiving the next United States's gladiator for the Olympic Games, in this futurist world where genetic manipulation is commonplace and a spectacle. But little does he know what a supercomputer has wrought for their new gladiator: a predator beyond their imagining.

I love this book. It takes place in a futuristic world that is not unbelievable with this amount of science.

I love the description of the gladiator and the slow progression of foreshadowed horror and fear as it grows up.

The pacing was fantastic - I never felt like the story bogged down, and I was eager to always get to the next page to see what would happen next.

Fantastic control of characters and plotline and innovative ideas. Aliens have been done before. AIs have been done before. But this sort of science melded with sports, I have not seen before.

Three and a half stars, rounded down because I don't think it merits a reread. But wonderfully written book.
Recommended for those who like a bit of aliens, science fiction, and dark themes in their books. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
DISCLAIMER: I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

I was pretty apprehensive about reading this & put it off for awhile, mainly because the Goodreads rating was pretty terrible, but I actually really liked it! Super fun, fast-paced, and kept me turning pages rapidly til the very end. I appreciate that it also made you think, something the thriller/horror genre is not terribly well known for. The dangers of genetic testing, virtual reality, what it means to be "alive" and "human"--meaty subjects for a little book like this, but I think the author pulled it off well. It was a little predictable in the "oh-what-hath-we-wrought" kind of way, but most of these books/movies usually are. It was both unique and well done enough that I thoroughly enjoyed it! ( )
  rlycox | Jun 30, 2014 |
Excellent near future thriller, with some very original twists on the Michael Crichton formula. It definitely raises above the ocean of non-A-list action / sf / thriller books. Very visual story-telling (an example on the opposite extreme would be Isaac Asimov), and solid scientific background. It's rather obvious what this book wants to be, and I'm always surprised to find reviewers who choose to read a book with a broken net and blood splatter on the cover, somehow expecting major charachter depth à la Jane Austen ("Oh, the charachters are not very developed..". Who cares??).

Spoiler alert ---- A couple of comments for those of you who have already read the book: 1) the ultimate "why" was a little too vague for me and I felt it should have been further articulated. Basically, the only reason why Pea decides to help in the end is that, while he created the gladiator race, he felt they were destructive, while humans are constructive. That 11th hour change of mind left me a bit puzzled. 2) I was expecting the matter of the directive "Survive the competition" to resurface towards the end, but it didn't. It could have been interesting to find out a bit more about what happened then and how exactly those instructions influenced the creation of the gladiator. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Excellent near future thriller, with some very original twists on the Michael Crichton formula. It definitely raises above the ocean of non-A-list action / sf / thriller books. Very visual story-telling (an example on the opposite extreme would be Isaac Asimov), and solid scientific background. It's rather obvious what this book wants to be, and I'm always surprised to find reviewers who choose to read a book with a broken net and blood splatter on the cover, somehow expecting major charachter depth à la Jane Austen ("Oh, the charachters are not very developed..". Who cares??).

Spoiler alert ---- A couple of comments for those of you who have already read the book: 1) the ultimate "why" was a little too vague for me and I felt it should have been further articulated. Basically, the only reason why Pea decides to help in the end is that, while he created the gladiator race, he felt they were destructive, while humans are constructive. That 11th hour change of mind left me a bit puzzled. 2) I was expecting the matter of the directive "Survive the competition" to resurface towards the end, but it didn't. It could have been interesting to find out a bit more about what happened then and how exactly those instructions influenced the creation of the gladiator. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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Book description
This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.

Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.

The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.

Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and — most disquietingly — intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345526619, Hardcover)

This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.
 
Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.
 
The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.
 
Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and—most disquietingly—intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think. Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas's boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten. The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer's cold logic. Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia Joao. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and--most disquietingly--intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror"--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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