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Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer
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A little philosophical and slow in spots, but well worth it. ( )
  ajlewis2 | Feb 24, 2016 |
Sawyer has captivated me with his explicitly theological and philosophical explorations through science fiction adventure. This is the earliest one I've read by him and it seemed a little clunkier than his more recent work, but I still enjoyed it and will probably end up reading the rest of the trilogy. A species of highly evolved, sentient Tyrannosaurs (Quintaglios) play out a thinly veiled version of human history through some well-known characters (Galileo, for example, in this volume).

"...maybe it wasn't just individuals who went through rites of passage on their way to adulthood. Maybe his whole species had to do that...And what is to come? What awaited the Quintaqlio race, after its childhood's end?"

What indeed? Lucky this is just a fantasy about dinosaurs... ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
I have enjoyed several of Robert J. Sawyer’s science fiction novels, but “Far-Seer” is the first fantasy sci-fi I’ve read of this author.

The back of the book of this particular paperback has spoilers, information on the characters of the book that are not revealed (apparently) until the later books in the trilogy, and I was disappointed by that. Of course I won’t reveal that!


This is Book One of the Quintaglio Ascension. A “Quintaglio” is a species of intelligent dinosaur, genetically related to Tyrannosaurus Rex, that are on a moon orbiting a gas giant.

The gas giant has religious significance on this moon. The people there believe the world is flat, going down a river and that the gas giant is The Face of God. Asfan, apprentice astrologer, makes discoveries of his universe that fly in the face (sorry for the pun) of the scholars and religionists of the day.

Asfan realizes that if he claims there is no God, that the Face of God is just a planet, that he will crash and burn the religion which has kept his kind civilized for many hundreds of years. On the other hand, he needs to if he wants to have an honest heart and tell the truth.

He discovers the truth with the “Far-Seer” (a telescope), notes the movements of the planets and makes his discoveries. Asfan is also a very skilled killer and some of the more gory aspects of the book make for some intense reading.

The truth has costs, however. A faction that considers him “The One” (holy Matrix!) wants to believe Asfan has been prophesized for the final coming of the world. Asfan on the other hand just wants to help people get off the planet!

Bottom Line: We get to know the Quintaglio society, its language, swear words and even partake of some dinosaur sex. The parallels to our own Galileo is purposeful and enjoyable to say the least. The author really blasts adherence to dogma rather than having an open mind, which should open the door to discussion of these topics, especially with young adult readers.

Not sure if I will continue with this trilogy, but this book is a great start. Just don’t read the back of the book! Recommended.

( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
Dinosaurs in Space! Okay, not really. Its more like Dinosaurs Discover the World is Round! and other stories.

Essentially, we have an intelligent dinosoar society living on the moon. They are, science wise, in the age of telescopes and the beginning of astronomy. When a young saurian named Afsen goes on a pilgrimage to gaze upon the face of God, he doesn't see something holy, but another object in the sky. With this knowledge, he changes his world, possibly saving it from the gravity of the planet his world rotates around that threatens to destroy his home.

My thoughts. I liked it. Where this book excels is how the author creates a truly dinosaur society. It is not human, nor do the characters think human. A lot of thought went into how this society works. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Dec 27, 2011 |
Together with _Fossil Hunter_ (1993) and _Foreigner_ (1994), an early trilogy by the Canadian SF phenom -- something to read while waiting for the third volume of his _Hominids_/_Humans_/_Hybrids_ trilogy.
  fpagan | Dec 19, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441225519, Mass Market Paperback)

In a world where the age of dinosaurs never ended, the young saurian Afsan becomes apprentice to the court astrologer, when he discovers something about the Face of God that will test his faith and may save his world from disaster.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:15 -0400)

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