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Seeds of Earth (Anglais) Poche – 25 septembre 2012

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Praise for the Humanity's Fire trilogy:

"Proper galaxy-spanning Space Opera ... a worthy addition to the genre"―Iain M. Banks

"A complex, finely detailed thriller-cum-space opera"

Présentation de l'éditeur

Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable.

The first intelligent species to encounter mankind attacked without warning. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invasion, Earth's last roll of the dice was to dispatch three colony ships, seeds of Earth, to different parts of the galaxy. The human race would live on ... somewhere.

150 years later, the planet Darien hosts a thriving human settlement, which enjoys a peaceful relationship with an indigenous race, the scholarly Uvovo. But there are secrets buried on Darien's forest moon. Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient races at the dawn of galactic civilization. Unknown to its colonists, Darien is about to become the focus of an intergalactic power struggle where the true stakes are beyond their comprehension. And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed and the skies grow dark with the enemy?

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31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A little bit of everything 29 octobre 2012
Par OHIO_SF_FAN - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
The UK reviews on this book are mixed. I admit, this book is not perfect and the story - not original. However, if you like Greg Bear, Larry Niven and Orson Scott Card, you should like this book. Those influences are omnipresent in this vast story. Darien will remind readers of Lamarckia from Bear's novel Legacy, a sequel to EON. Some the mechanicals and aliens could have been lifted right from Niven's Ringworld (one in particular reminds me of the puppeteer). The politics are oh so Ender in Exile and beyond from Card. Some people find their novel and reread it over and over. If that's you, stick with Bear, Niven and Card. I wouldn't recommend this one over any of the aforementioned. But, I do recommend this one, nevertheless.

I for one don't mind old themes, characters, and plots presented in a different manner. Cobley tells a great story that is immense in scope. He has this unique ability to introduce a tidbit of back story (the such and such war or the XYZ race) without wasting pages upon pages of filler when all that is needed is the reference to give the reader the ability to fill more with imagination. For the most part, the characters are rich and interesting and the prose is well paced. If you are looking for a familiar friend in the world of Space epics (i don't like the reference to Space Opera because everyone has a different definition of what that is), try this out.
36 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A clunky first effort 29 octobre 2011
Par Tghu Verd - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Call me churlish, but when a book has a quote from Iain M. Banks on the cover declaring "Proper galaxy-spanning Space Opera" then I'm going to expect something along the lines of a Banks novel.

But unfortunately, "Seeds of Earth" aint that.

Sure it's a weighty novel, chock full of characters - both alien and human - and a series of set piece chapters...but it is missing the subtle emotional threads that tie the mosaic together, and more importantly for me, it is missing the depth of vision that makes for outstanding science fiction.

Cobley populates the galaxy in what seems to be a near future timeline with dozens of alien species (one of which aggressively attacks Earth in the 'first contact' scenario that opens the book) that have come and gone with numerous wars over millenia. Given the energies involved in these wars, I had a continual niggle that surely, with all the telescopes trained on the skys, some boffin somewhere would have noticed said aliens. As I said, a niggle, but one of many that piled up as I waded my way through the book.

A more serious niggle was that each of the aliens we meet have essentially human motivations. It may be true that petty politics is indeed "galaxy spanning", but it ensures the plot stays ordinary. Basically, Cobley gives us good aliens and bad aliens (and indeed, good Human's and bad Human's). I prefer shades of gray with all the underlying uncertainty and corresponding tension it provides and was disapppinted that over 600-odd pages it was white hat and black hat and nothing in between.

And then there is the technology....or lack of it This is where Cobley seriously lets the side down. This is a future devoid of any serious consideration for impact and consequence. That opening sequence of first contact shows Humanity as possessing FTL drives, yet strangely we can't have used them because we've not really left Earth yet. Hmmm... And many characters have an embedded AI including one of the main characters, yet a simulcrum of this guys dead daughter needs a seperate player so he can see her. Why? Surely if you can load an AI in your skull, you can load a simulcrum of your dead daughter as well? The same character, a diplomat who routinely goes FTL between planets, can't seem to get his head around there beings "layers" to the universe. Oh and he goes potty all to readily for no apparent reason. Work stress perhaps, but it seemed very unlikely to me and sadly, missed steps like this abound.

All of which is small potatoes to the main problem I had with "Seeds of Earth". The Universe shattering premise - which I won't spoil, don't worry - made no sense to me. It all seemed so pedestrian, a kind of 'Gaia is Good' (or God perhaps) stance for no obvious reason. Indeed, many sections of the novel reminded me uncomfortably of "Avatar", to the point that I had to check authorship of "Avatar" just to reassure myself Cobley was not the original source of Cameron's epic. He's not, that I could find at least, but the themes in "Seeds of Earth" are strikingly similar and not in a good way.

So, I'm definitely a disappointed reader. I purchased this for a flight to Indonesia, and normally I'll munch through a good novel on the plane, forgoing sleep and the inflight entertainment both. This time I crunched my way through a few chapters then gave up and watched a movie instead. It ultimately took me three weeks to finish the novel, which is a powerfully long time for me.

Basically, Iain M. Banks notwithstanding, for me this was less a space opera and more a sci-fi train wreck and I certainly won't be buying the next volume for a long haul flight any time soon...or at all!
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Book 1: Almost too much to absorb 15 septembre 2011
Par 2theD - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is my first Michael Cobley novel as I'm sure it's the first of many who choose to begin this trilogy of Humanity's Fire. Like other trilogies (Cosmonaut Keep (The Engines of Light, Book 1) to name one) or quadrilogies (Lords of the Middle Dark (Rings of the Master, Book 1) to name another) I've completed, Seeds of Earth has the same problem of getting the plot off the launchpad when weighed down with a load of new characters, a shipment of proper nouns and crates full of exotic aliens, planets, flora, fauna, honorific titles... I could go on. It's one of those books which is difficult to find a toehold. It's also one of those books which lends itself to be read in one week in order for the reader to fully understand the setting Cobley has just placed.

The 9-page prologue of Seeds of Earth takes place on Mars when the Solar System is under attack by the Achorga Swarm. Plans have been made to launch fifteen arks to save humanity in case the Swarm prevails. The Swarm has been virulently persistent to only allow humanity to construct and launch three arks. Chapter One opens 150-years after the ark Hyperion has made landfall on the planet Darien. The mix of Scots, Scandinavians and Russians settle the hospitable planet and befriend a race of intelligent bipeds who inhabit the breathable atmosphere of moon.

Living in ignorance about the fate of the earth and the two other arks, the tiny outpost somewhat flourishes. Politics plays a big role in Book One, but not to the extent of what MacLeod includes in his novels (but you can bet they both emphasis the Scottish accent!). I'm not sure why a small outpost needs eight-story building with elevators. I ask the question: Did they strip the ark of the elevator of did they manufacture it? And if they stripped the ark, why did they put the elevator in something as unimportant as an apartment building? Much of the description of the infrastructure of the colony seems unrealistic for only be in operation for 150 years. The citizens also travel by dirigible. I'm getting sick of dirigibles.

Lemme see... only two of the cast have idiosyncrasies enough to be sympathetic with:
There's Kao Chih who's on a long, long journey from his domain (no plot spoiler here) and keeps running into difficulties including a menacing human, menacing pirates and menacing droids. Seems like deep space is a scary place to traverse... honest enough Kao Chih just keeps going in honor of his ancestors. However, one niggling detail remained: when the craft left its main port, it had six days of food for the two crew members. Later, it's quoted as having enough food for three months and nine days at quarter rations for one person. I can't massage those numbers!
Then there's Earthspace ambassador who carries around a virtual simulation of his dead daughter and plays chess with her, even when there's company around. Sounds kind of a disappointment to the government of Earth.

The writing style isn't as grandiose as Banks or as techy as Hamilton... it lays somewhere in between, but I much prefer the lengthy prose of Banks above all others. That said, Seeds of Earth doesn't have loquacious paragraphs like much of modern British Space Opera uses. The vocabulary isn't as challenging as Revelation Space or The Algebraist, but still maintains a certain sophistication. One more niggling point was the 3-time use of the word "concertaed" when describing the operation of a door (which fondly reminds me of Delanay's "the door dilated").

It's definitely NOT bad. It's just unfortunate the the trilogy has to start somewhere! Judging from the conclusion of Book One, I predict that books two and three will be at least 4-star reads. I've already bought Book Two and I've pre-ordered Book Three. How's that for eager!
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Weak 14 juin 2010
Par Jacob Glicklich - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
By the numbers space opera. The type of story where everything is driven by political intrigue and the level of politics show themselves to be pretty rigidly defined in the end. There's some ambivalence among squabbling but well-intentioned factions in the 'good polity', but the evil polities lack any such nuance and it becomes distressingly clear which argument is serving the greater good far too early and forcefully.

Beyond that we have the list of modern space opera points to checklist off in a matter similar to Wheel of Time running through a checklist on post-Tolkien fantasy---gesture at huge scales involved in interstellar war, make a small group of heroes feature decisively in this conflict, have those characters have pencil-thin personalities, make the first book of the trilogy push through big revelations for a sequel hook, show advanced tech for weapons but have little substantive change in daily human life.

It's been done a lot before and it's been done better, and there seems little point to even work up much disappointment over it. To be fair, the ultimate plot did turn out to better I was expecting from the initial setup and on a page by page level it's quite readable. Still, it's not great or even good fiction and it provides compelling demonstration that science fiction can be just as stale, unambitious and over-familiar as fantasy can.

Better than: Titan by Stephen Baxter

Worse than: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
22 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I Need An Editor - Help Me Before I Write Again 13 avril 2010
Par D. Grant - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This story is really a clever idea, and reminds me of space opera's I used to read at age 14. Pretty much because everyone it the book acts like they are 14. Unlike the writers then, who had grown up professionally paid by the word (and were harshly edited in the process) this book screams on every page for a fast forward button. As one example, a lengthy bit of business is played out, in front of people who give first person accounts and explain the context and importance - cool. Shortly afterwards, another character calls a third on the phone, who has nothing to do with it, and REPEATS the whole story. A character takes a zeppelin ride at night, alone, from A to B. Instead we learn that the pilot is chatty, tells sarcastic jokes, is a Finn, and the name of his hometown and where it is - and we NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN. In a scene in a hotel, where it could say, we went up to his room, instead its we climbed the spiraling staircase, and at the landing an attendant clad in a green uniform seated in a booth pointed us down the corridor. AAAUUGHHHH. This is a good solid book trapped inside a doorstop, a scary exercise promising two more volumes to come that could be... Well you get the idea, six or seven chapters apiece. Save your money.
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