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Gameplayers of Zan

by M. A. Foster

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ler Chronological (1), Ler (2: prequel)

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250698,183 (4.08)9

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Wow. This is good. Very detailed and not at all action-packed. But a real classic. ( )
  Hoppy500 | Dec 1, 2021 |
Even better than I remembered it being. The world/culture building is detailed and convincing, the characters compelling, and the shifting perspectives artfully advance the plot without giving too much away.

( )
  jsabrina | Jul 13, 2021 |
need to upload cover ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
This a significant work of science fiction. Like all important science fiction this book can involve and enmesh the reader. There is an alternate world on the earth of the future. Two races of human exist. There are forerunners, who are old humans like us. There are the ler, who are a new species of human. These ler are smaller than most humans and live longer, having delayed maturation.

Like all good books, the characters in this book face moral dilemmas and decisions. There is a major decision that the ler had to make which lead to the point of contention between the species. The heroine in the story has a difficult decision to make near the beginning of the book. The path she travels sets up the action and storyline for the remainder of the book.

I am so impressed with this work. Every page causes me to think deep thoughts and wonder at implications of the ideas presented. I am not saying the ideas are good or sensible ideas. But, I was driven to think about things. It is said that he worked for secretive agencies of the U.S. government at times in his career. This gives added weight to the portrayal of secretive agencies in the book.

Now to try to think about who might enjoy this book, or not. Even fans of this book would admit there are a lot of info dumps. I mean, really a lot. The book would probably lose half its length without info dumps. But, for me they served a valid purpose. The author is introducing new cultures that are drastically different from our traditional world. The author has an excuse for downloading a great deal of facts and information. But I can imagine some readers losing patience. The ideal reader will be fascinated with reading about a new type of human and how they have structured their society so differently from the forerunners. ( )
  superant | Jul 17, 2014 |
I want to say some nice things about this book, especially because it tried so hard and was an honest, truthful heartfelt effort.

I liked the writing. The writing was the best part for me. He has many nice passages, and as one who is ever fascinated by the precision and lacunae of memory, here is a good example:

"The things that really stand out in your memory of the past were, at the time you recorded them, so ordinary and unprepossessing that they were truly unmemorable. Yet the things which you imagined to be stunning and ever-memorable cannot be recalled save as vague blurs, phantoms, mergings, and rubbings. We admit to a problem here: we fail to learn what is significant until its significance and immanence serves no purpose save to haunt us."

Proust, no. But he writes nicely and intelligently.

Rather than make sundry comments and observations of which many might be offered, I am going to cut to the two principal difficulties I have with the book.

1. This book would have been assisted by major editorial surgery. It needed to be more concise, and as it stands the (considerable) effort expended is not adequately repaid. Too long, at places repetitive, not sharp, not focused, poor pacing.

2. Coherent motives of the main characters are essential to the ultimate success of a book, no matter how well written.

Looming over the book is the tragic story of Maellenkleth, whose downfall we enter into in the difficult and grueling first chapter. We struggle to make sense of her bravery, her nobility, her devotion to a cause whose nature we will surely come to understand.

The question is posed directly in the text for our consideration, but it need not have been, as the question is core to the story:

Why did Maellenkleth venture on the mission of sabotage, when no use was being made of the artifacts in question, and her action served to alert the opposition to secret enterprises of which they were otherwise completely unaware?

Unfortunately, the motive for this venture is a risky and usually unsuccessful one in a work of fiction. I arrive at this motive, after several hundred pages and seemingly as many hours, and I can do nothing but bury my head in my hands. And try not to cry. ( )
2 vote stellarexplorer | Jul 6, 2008 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Foster, M. A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crass, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ehemann, SigridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eisele, MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CarlCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Underwood, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Ler (2: prequel)

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The ler had been genetically created to be a new race of supermen, and the experiment had not been entirely successful. They were superior to normal humans in certain ways, but all too human in others. Grudgingly the overpopulated billions of Earth alloted the families of the ler a special reservation - a last wilderness where they could live their odd lives, contribute their talents to humanitiy's desperate needs - and yet be under constant surveillance.
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