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Michelle

Gary Gibson

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Has anyone read any of his books? I was sent a review copy of Extinction Game, and I rather liked it! :)

 

 

Science Fiction is an area I dip into occasionally, and Gary Gibson was a new author to me, but when I was offered a copy of Extinction Game to review, something caught my attention, and so I agreed. I wasn’t sure how quickly I’d get to it, but I took a quick peek, and was soon hooked.

 

The story begins with Jerry Beche, who has managed to survive a deadly viral attack, and as far as he knows, he’s the only survivor on Earth. Until one day when he’s ‘rescued’, and taken to an island where there are others who have also survived the end of their own alternative Earth. He learns that there an infinite number of alternative Earths, and many of them have had their own apocalyptic event. A small group of survivors have been brought together and trained, and their role is to enter these Earths and rescue data, records, technology etc.

 

There’s a lot going on from this point – each world the teams visit has it’s own ending or strange future, and Gibson describes each one vividly, including the events leading up to the end of Jerry’s Earth. This was fascinating enough in itself, but we also explore the relationships within the team members, during their visits and in between. They’re an interesting group, with some handling events far better than others.

 

As well as this, they have to deal with the Authority, the organisation who brought them all together. Who exactly are they, and why do they need the data and technology? Also, where exactly did the ability to enter these other timelines come from?

 

The mix within this book was just right for me, and I read it within a couple of days. I wanted to find out as much as I could about the alternative worlds, and how it was possible to visit them, but I also found myself invested in the individuals involved, including Jerry. The balance is good, the SF aspect is there, but never weighs down the overall story, and it’s good to see characters being just as important as plot.

 

I’m going to recommend this one, but maybe especially to those, like me, may be a little wary of Science Fiction. I’m definitely putting some of his other books on my wishlist, and will wait rather impatiently for the sequel.

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Funny you should bring him up - I read Stealing Light a few years back and didn't like it enough to read the sequels.  Similar happened to me with Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space, but now that I've gone back to his work and become a fan I was thinking only recently of trying Stealing Light again to see if I enjoy that more, too.  The other books in 'The Shoal Sequence' have had better reviews, which is encouraging!

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Maybe his books don't have enough SF in them, if it's a genre you read a lot of? But then again, looking at the description of Stealing Light, that does seem to have more SF. Having enjoyed this one, I think Final Days would be my next choice....

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Maybe his books don't have enough SF in them, if it's a genre you read a lot of?

 

No, not at all.  It doesn't bother me if it's hard SF or not, I just didn't think the writing was particularly great.

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Well I certainly enjoyed his writing in this one. I'd be interested to hear if you go back to his books, and I'll also let you know what I think if I get to Final Days.

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Please do!  I'm almost certain to go back as I've heard good things about the other Shoal books, especially Nova War and Marauder   :smile:

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