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The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman
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The Half-Made World (edition 2011)

by Felix Gilman

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6574026,280 (3.87)36
A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared--the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they're just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope. To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping theGun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.… (more)
Member:psutto
Title:The Half-Made World
Authors:Felix Gilman
Info:Tor Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 479 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:2013 Challenge

Work details

The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman

  1. 00
    Iron Council by China Miéville (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: Two somewhat-westerns featuring political unrest and gorgeously unusual aesthetics, neither book reducible to mere fantastic wish-fulfillment.
  2. 00
    A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (amobogio)
    amobogio: A different kind of gunslinging, western fantasy...
  3. 00
    The Sixth Gun Volume 1: Cold Dead Fingers by Cullen Bunn (Strict31)
    Strict31: Though set in two different worlds, there is a similar idea of desolation just on the edge of established society, along with a supernatural flair added to the concept of the western
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Surprisingly engaging, if a bit more open-ended/inconclusive than expected ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
I don't know how to categorize this. It was kind of a steampunk fantasy western novel about the problems with modern civilization. The world is a world much like this one, only the west is not only untamed, but un-made: the rules of physics don't yet apply there; there are monsters, and magic, and half-human (or twice-human, depending on your perspective) natives, and the world kind of ends at some point beyond which is only a sea of churning and undifferentiated matter. There are guns, and then there are Guns, with demons riding them; there is the Line, sort of a monstrous railroad that turns everything in its path into an industrialized wasteland; and there is the Republic, cowering in the shadows of them both. The heroine is an eastern psychologist with an opium habit.

It's almost meta-fiction, with the degree to which the author has taken points of history and philosphy and analogized them using solid concrete metaphors (eg. the Line and the Gun). If I know you in real life, expect me to tell you to read this one. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
This book was mechanically adequate, but I just found myself completely uninterested in finding out how it was going to turn out. Perhaps unfortunately, I finished it because I only realised how little I cared about what happened next about two thirds of the way through. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Great world, not particularly sympathetic characters, and an ending that never properly resolves. Still, worth reading. ( )
  ilanderz | Aug 24, 2017 |
The American West meets steampunk.
Doctor of psychology Liv Alverhuysen is caught between the forces of the Line and the Gun, seeking out the mental wreck who might be the fabled General of the Red Republic, who may hold the secret to a weapon which can bring victory to its user.

( )
  orkydd | Feb 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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The General lay flat on his back, arms outflung, watching the stars.
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A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared--the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they're just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope. To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping theGun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.

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