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This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman
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This Alien Shore (1998)

by C. S. Friedman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9561413,462 (3.99)35
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This is an author who knows how to tell a story. It sweeps you up from the moment you read the very first page and speeds you along until you turn the last page. At which point, if your anything like me, you won't want it to be over. The plot never lags, the characters are three-dimensional, and the emotions are spot on. It even manages to make some poignant observations about humanity. All in all, it's an excellent story. ( )
  kjpmcgee | Sep 9, 2015 |
Pretty good book. Good, complex story. I really like the idea of Gueran social structure.

My only complaint is the author's tendency to switch rapidly from one POV to another. Or perhaps that was 3rd person omniscient POV. In any case, it's disorienting at times. Fortunately, it's usually only employed at the beginning of chapters. ( )
  lavaturtle | Dec 31, 2014 |
4.5 stars Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

This Alien Shore is another outstanding science fiction novel by an author who I??ve come to respect immensely for her extraordinarily creative worlds, fascinating ideas, complex characters, and elegant prose. If thereƒ??s one flaw (from my perspective) with Friedmanƒ??s work, itƒ??s a difficulty in actually liking many of her characters, but even if you find that itƒ??s hard to sympathize with them, itƒ??s also hard not to admire them, or at least to see them as superb creations.

I think many readers will, however, sympathize with Jamisia, the protagonist of This Alien Shore. Sheƒ??s on the run from unknown enemies who want the bioware thatƒ??s in her brain. She canƒ??t feel safe anywhere because she has no idea why her brain is so valuable, or to whom. Is it the Guerran guild that oversees all intergalactic traffic? An Earth corporation who wants to break the guildƒ??s monopoly? Maybe itƒ??s a terrorist from the Houseman Variants ƒ?? those former humans who were mutated by Earthƒ??s first attempts to break out of the galaxy and now want to punish their Terran ancestors by isolating them.

As Jamisia is trying to evade her unidentified pursuers, she also has to deal with the extra people who live in her head. Humans on Earth have managed to cure all mental disorders, but Jamisia, for some reason, has not been cured of her multiple personality disorder ƒ?? or perhaps her condition has been purposely created. If Earth finds out that sheƒ??s not normal, they will take her into custody.
Fortunately, Jamisia meets a few people who can give her some help, though theyƒ??ve got their own issues to deal with. In particular, Phoenix the hacker is trying to trace the origin of Lucifer, a computer virus thatƒ??s killing his friends when theyƒ??re hooked into the Outernet. Could it be a government plot designed to take out all those Moddies whoƒ??ve got illegal bioware installed in their brains? But Lucifer is not only stalking hackers ƒ?? itƒ??s invading the minds of the pilots who guide spaceships through the Ainniq, the dangerous crack in space/time thatƒ??s full of monsters but is the only way to travel to other galaxies. Could the virus be linked to Jamisiaƒ??s bioware?

Besides the exciting plot, the most impressive part of This Alien Shore is Friedmanƒ??s characterization of Jamisiaƒ??s multiple personalities. This was sometimes funny (especially when the emo boy took over), but it was also incredibly eerie. Also well done was Phoenix the hacker. Since I have a son with this type of personality, I can attest that she gets it just right ƒ?? the arrogance, ambition, curiosity, single-mindedness, and dogged determination to solve a computer programming problem, even if it means ignoring all other aspects of life such as eating.

In many ways, C.S. Friedmanƒ??s work reminds me of William Gibsonƒ??s ƒ?? unique settings, complex and fascinating (though not necessarily likeable) characters, cool ideas and technology, a smart and savvy style. Friedmanƒ??s plots are always tighter, though. If they havenƒ??t yet, Gibson fans should give Friedman a try.

I listened to Audible Frontierƒ??s production of This Alien Shore which was narrated by Kathleen McInerney. She was new to me, but I thought she was perfect for this story. She has a nice voice and cadence and was convincing in her various roles. This Alien Shore is highly recommended, especially in audio format. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
harder sci-fi than I usually read, traveller-with-a-secret-past premise ( )
  EhEh | Apr 3, 2013 |
7/7/12 This Alien Shore, C. S. Friedman, 1998. A space opera with an interesting premise; when humans first went to the stars the technology mutated them. This terrified those left on earth, and they shut off contact, leaving the first explorers stranded. When the mutated humans, Variants, developed an interstellar civilization, with presumably different technology, they returned to connect Earth into the civilization. The story within this setting focuses on a young girl who is forced to flee powerful forces that chase her through the galaxy. Heavy on computer programming technology and hackers, no mathematics except for a few nice quotes.
“... the fractal dance of each cloud formation, the infinite mathematical complexity which bonded each moment to the next ...” “(music is) a mathematical perfection whose mere shadow inspires symphonies ...” “... the first tenet of chaos theory – infinitesimally small input can alter infinitely large systems ...” ( )
  drardavis | Jul 10, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Friedman, C. S.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McInerney, KathleenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for my mother, Nancy Friedman, who died while it was being written. [First of 22 lines.]
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In a world where data is the coin of the realm, and transmissions are guarded by no better sentinels than man-made codes and corruptible devices, there is no such thing as a secret. —DR. KIO MASADA, "The Enemy Among Us": Keynote address to the 121st Outworld Security Conference (holocast from Guera)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0886777992, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"It is the second age of space colonization. The first age, humanity's initial attempt to people the stars, ended in disaster when it was discovered that Earth's original super-luminal drive did lasting genetic damage to all who used it - permanently mutating Earth's far-flung colonists in mind and body. Abandoned by their home planet, exiles in alien star systems, these variant humans had no choice but to survive any way they could."--BOOK JACKET."Jamisia has always lived in Shido Habitat, a corporate satellite in Earth's outer orbit. She has no memories of her parents, but has been nurtured by the fatherly care of her tutor. Protected by her biological brain-ware systems, and accompanied by the many voices in her head, she has grown into a resourceful, if unusual, young woman. When Shido is viciously attacked by corporate raiders, Jamisia's tutor risks his life to smuggle her onto a ship bound for the nearest ainniq - the Gueran jump station to the Up-and-Out. But before he dies, he tells her something which rocks the foundation of her world - the raiders were searching for her...."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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