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The Practice Effect (1984)

by David Brin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,36499,622 (3.58)31
From one of the most critically acclaimed and well-loved authors of contemporary science fiction, a highly imaginative and exciting story as only David Brin can write . . .  "High spirits and inventiveness . . . Dennis's adventures, which can only be called rollicking, are legion."--Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Physicist Dennis Nuel was the first human to probe the strange realms called anomaly worlds--alternate universes where the laws of science were unpredictably changed. But the world Dennis discovered seemed almost like our own--with one perplexing difference. To his astonishment, he was hailed as a wizard and found himself fighting beside a beautiful woman with strange powers against a mysterious warlord as he struggled to solve the riddle of this baffling world. "A delightful, often very witty story, with the underlying thoughtfulness we expect from David Brin."--Poul Anderson… (more)

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» See also 31 mentions

English (8)  German (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Language: not subtle
Characters: flat
Plot: ludicrous, Isamoor wrote "old school", very pulp
if you want "cheap" undemanding entertainment it's ok -
if you are 14 it's ok
if you want more food for thought . drop it
i managed to read 50 pages.... ( )
1 vote pulpfraction | Dec 5, 2011 |
i thought this book was very clever. The basis for how things work on this particular world is based on practice and repetition - what if you could really 'practice up' and get better at things, or make tools better by using them or sharpening them over and over? Someone who discovers this and masters it can use it to great effect.... ( )
  Karlstar | Oct 16, 2009 |
Sep09: Old school science fiction. I mean that in a kind way.

Characters: Yea, they were likable, but flat as shit. It wasn't about the characters.
Plot: Well, it was a wild romp. Nothing really made much sense; cause and effect were out the window. Exploring the 'practice effect' was pretty much the whole point.
Style: Totally old school sci-fi. Felt just like 'Flash Gordon'. Sometimes that is what you want. And if so, this is a pretty good version of it. ( )
  Isamoor | Sep 8, 2009 |
This book reads like an odd combination of a trite young adult fantasy and a science fiction novel of planetary exploration hung on a truly intriguing concept. A physics experiment gone wrong leaves our protagonist stranded on an earth like planet inhabited by human like people where one important law of physics works quite differently: things that are used don’t wear down, they instead improve towards perfection (i.e., as they get “practice”).

The Practice Effect is a decent yarn, but not really in the same league with Startide Rising or The Uplift War. I found the feudal politics and economics of the world to be superficial, and none of the characters to be particularly compelling (the love-interest princess and the evil villain both felt particularly thin). The strategy and tactics of the climactic battle are unconvincing, and completely ignore the profound implications of the planet's reverse entropy physics to boot.

Not a great novel, but I found it moderately satisfying in a guilty pleasure kind of way. ( )
  clong | Mar 19, 2009 |
This is absolutely one of my favorite Brin novels - and I have every one he has written to date. The premise is so unique that I (still) think it would make an outstanding movie! Anyone a screen writer out there??? ( )
  pjasion | Feb 28, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Brinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bauer, JerrryAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bauman, JillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow,PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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