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Out of Phaze by Piers Anthony

Out of Phaze (1987)

by Piers Anthony

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Apprentice Adept (4)

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Out of Phaze was enjoyable, but be warned Anthony moves from an adult, sci-fi, fantasy novel to a young adult, sci-fi, fantasy novel. This is not a bad thing it just annoyed me because the first three books had a more mature dialogue, situations, and plot mixture, which irritated me just enough to loose a star in the process. ( )
  revslick | Apr 29, 2013 |
Out of Phaze picks up 20 years after Juxtaposition, with the fantasy and scifi frames totally separated. The new main characters are Stile and Blue's sons (respectively) and their predictably subservient and socially-inferior love interests. Early in the book, they swap consciousnesses, leading to hilarious(?) fish-out-of-water sequences and encountering each other's platonic female friends, who they immediately fall for. Also, somehow the evil Adepts and Citizens immediately know about the switch and set out to capture them, even though it's entirely a psychic phenomenon and the boys have trouble convincing people they're standing in front of that it has happened.

It's not a bad book, exactly - it's just kind of flat. Neither boy is particularly engaging, the love--interests are only appealing in the depths of kink they hint at (one's a unicorn, and one's an amoeba - and yes, later books totally go there) and the sexism isn't any better - in fact, at one point it's explicitly stated that Bane is only interested in a female who will totally sacrifice herself for him. And Mach's love interest tries to, which convinces him to stick around. (Also, all female androids are amoral man-eating sex fiends. Just so you know.)

The only bit that was rather striking was that Blue, who was a character only in reminiscence in the original trilogy because he wasn't tough enough to save the world, is the flexible, dynamic, successful one, and Stile, he of the unshakeable honor, is a conservative old stick-in-the-mud who basically sabotages himself. It's actually a fairly plausible extension of the original character development. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
Twenty years has passed since the events of the last book in this series. Blue has been living in Proton, endeavoring to bring serf status to the self-willed machines as well as other aliens from off planet. Stile resides in Phaze, but his progress towards unity of species has been much more slow-going. The two have borne sons: Mach, the robot son of Blue & Sheen and Bane, the human Adept son of Stile and Lady Blue. The two youngsters stumble upon a way to trade places within their forms and can therby exchange messages across the frames. Both Adverse Adepts and Contrary Citizens wish to harness this ability to gain power and, of course, Blue and Stile wish to use it to promote unity. Complicating matters, Mach and Bane form romantic relationships in each other’s frames.
It has been stated that this volume of the series is lacking, and not as fascinating as the previous. My opinion runs contrary. I find that revisiting a fictional setting some years later to learn the events that followed a ‘happily ever after’ can be illuminating. Some authors wish to revisit their creations so much that they manufacture some sort of ridiculous conflict to describe, but the reader can tell that the plot is more of a device for satisfying nostalgia than a legitimate further challenge in the characters’ lives. By making the second generation the protagonists, Anthony is able to revisit the characters, but still allow them their continued happy existence. Mach & Bane are both compelling characters, particularly Mach’s robot body and his first experiences in a human form with human emotions he cannot control by circuitry. Over on Bane’s side of things, I find him less engaging than his alien companion, Agape, an amoebic life form able to shape herself however she chooses from a very versatile blob of material. She is struggling with similar issues to Mach, in exploring humanity and the human process/experience of Love.
The transcendant theme of the piece is important and translates well to current society: differences between oneself and other sentient beings, whether it be race, ability, religion, alienness, machinery, or shape-changing unicorn/hummingbird/person-ness, need not be barriers to communication, and even love.
WARNING: Cliffhanger ending. Have the next book nearby, if possible.
  EmScape | Sep 19, 2012 |
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
there is something about the writing in this that draws you into the book. As much as I have enjoyed this in the past it now seems a little childish. Why do I have to grow up ( )
  jessicariddoch | Apr 28, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Piers Anthonyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Achilleos, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Storrings, MichaelMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The two young men dived into the pool.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441644651, Mass Market Paperback)

Out of print no longer: Book Four of the Apprentice Adept series--from the New York Times bestselling author.

Two worlds--the scientific Proton, and the magical Phaze--exist side-by-side. Now, Mach has crossed from Proton to Phaze, switching places with his counterpart Bane. And both must learn to survive in environments alien to their own nature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

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