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The Alien Years (English Edition)
 
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The Alien Years (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Robert Silverberg

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Présentation de l'éditeur

“Sobering and frightening…. Silverberg’s rich characters, his dead-on-target vision of modern society, his mastery at building tension—all are in evidence in this notable outing from one of the very best.” —Publishers Weekly

The Entities have arrived on Earth, fifteen feet tall with impenetrable defenses and inscrutable motives. As conquerors, they have no demands, no explanations, simply harsh consequences should they be challenged. Releasing a plague and plunging the world into a new Dark Age, the Entities seem unbeatable. But, one family at least—the Carmichael clan led by Colonel Anson Carmichael—will never give up the resistance.

THE ALIEN YEARS is an epic story told over multiple generations by master of thoughtful science fiction Robert Silverberg. Can ideas of freedom survive in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful enemy? “A remarkable study of human endurance and patience that belongs in most SF collections.” —The Library Journal

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 955 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 464 pages
  • Editeur : Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (1 avril 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00J90F458
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Amazon.com: 3.0 étoiles sur 5  75 commentaires
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Didn't live up to its potential 18 juillet 2005
Par Book Reader 222 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Hi! I'm an avid book reader of old who fell away from the habit during college. I recently decided to go back to my old hobby, and bought a bunch of books from my local new and used book store. I decided I might as well share my thoughts.

My first was "The Alien Years," by Robert Silverberg. I read some of his collaborations with Isaac Asimov years ago, and so maybe my expectations were a little high. The concept was great. Aliens come down and take over, but instead of blowing us all away like in "War of the Worlds" or "Independence Day," they set themselves up as unstoppable tyrants and, directly or indirectly, enslave us as a race. A medium-long book covering years and years of time. Plenty of time to explore this concept. Sounded great.

Sadly, in my eyes, the book did not live up to its potential. I enjoyed the second half better than the first, but overall, it kept feeling as though the best parts of the story were taking place ... "off stage?" "Between acts?" Something. Imagine having a forty page chapter build and build toward an event ... and then the event itself is summarized in the last page or two. Next chapter, seven years later.

Again, I feel that the book DID get better as it moved along, so I do not regret sticking with it. More and more action started taking place DURING the chapters instead of between them.

Over all, I guess the book was "just OK." It had the potential to BE "War of the Worlds" stretched out over fifty years, but instead, it just became something else entirely, something else not as exciting as it could have been.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Some good ideas, weak points, but too long for the payoff 21 octobre 2005
Par Dave Deubler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Considering the plethora of evil alien invasions in the science fiction genre, Silverberg comes upon what strikes this reviewer as a significant revelation: that the behaviors and motivations of any truly alien race will most likely be wholly incomprehensible to us. Slaughter, slavery, and colonialism are entirely human concepts, and the notion that aliens would share these concepts is sheer anthropomorphism. So the seemingly invincible creatures who take over the Earth in this unusual novel engage in activities which are largely clandestine, and are never explained either to humanity or the reader. Convincing as this idea is, it's by its nature not a very good recipe for an adventure. Absent any weaknesses, or even motivation, on the part of the villains, the story focuses on how the alien occupation affects the lives of ordinary human beings. Some die immediately, unable to adapt to extraterrestrial rule. Others become collaborators, willing to work for whoever is in charge, without regard for the heritage of their race. And one isolated group, the unlucky Carmichael family, tries to maintain an attitude of resistance, even though such is clearly futile. This story should be a tribute to the perseverance of the human spirit, but instead winds up as more of a meditation on stubbornness, showing how various members of the Carmichael clan fare against the so-called Entities.

The conclusion to this book is certainly one of its more problematic elements. Although this reviewer has derided similar types of endings in other novels, given the context of this story's implicit assumptions discussed above, the ending really makes a lot of sense here. And however unsatisfying it may be to the average reader, it's just as unsatisfying for the protagonists. But many will be sorely disappointed.

A bigger problem is the novel's sheer length, which is truly excessive given the amount of action described. We sit through intimate psychological portraits of a number of characters, none of whom are really all that important in the bigger picture, while the story moves on at a glacial pace. It's perhaps the extent of the setup, more than anything, that makes the ending seem so weak. It's hard to see why the same story could not have been told in half as many pages with just as much impact, making it a distinctly better book.

Still, this really wasn't a bad book; it's got some good ideas, and it's a pretty easy read. And it's hard not to get involved in the fate of the resistance movement. Though the odds are inevitably stacked against them, they never give up the good fight - even when it's hard to say what the best course of action is. But Silverberg has written much better stories than this.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Rich and Insightful Meditations 9 septembre 2006
Par Billyjack D'Urberville - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
This extraordinary science fiction novel is only ostensibly about a long period of alien occupation of Earth. It packs more dead-on social observation into the first 25 pages than vast truckfuls of our current baleful crop of "literary fiction," and without either the pretension or constipated phrase-making. Silverberg writes straightforwardly clear modern English, supple, gracefully colorful, never missing significant detail but always smoothly moving the narrative ahead. There are several very well rounded, complex characters, and few minor characters pass without something important observed about them. Truth is, this is not just a science fiction novel: an alien invasion circa right now simply serves as the platform for rich and insightful meditations upon America, the sort of people that inhabit it, California in particular, and the direction of what we call freedom.

Always wry and sometimes satirical, Silverberg's give away comes early when we see the aliens land and disembark. Their curved, needle-like ships that land upright are straight out of every 1950s black and white B science fiction movie matinee. The tripod-like aliens are also common currency, and a sort of tip of the hat to H.g. Wells, who the book is partial tribute and payback to. The extraordinary thing is the aliens' sublime detatchment and disinterest in us. They start no wars, just occasionally retaliate against us as we do against yellow jackets on our patios with a can of Raid in our hands, and about as randomly. There's nothing wrong with the story's ending either, and even though the book is 480 pages you will move there very quickly.

I picked this book up as a break from more serious things, and met a dimension of my fellow countrymen and the current pulse of our nation that has all but disappeared from American fiction. From old military types to new age babes, occasional heros, computer geeks, perverts, Islamists, ordinary people caught up in bigger things, everyday malcontents, moms and dads, kids in love -- a big bite of who we are and what we are about is miraculously preserved here.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 I guess I'm one of the few who liked it. 2 septembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
I've read tons of science fiction, but this is my first Silverberg. It did take me some time to get into it, but maybe because I went at it as an entertaining summer read, I found it extremely hard to put down. If you haven't read the short stories referred to previously, on its own it's an exciting story, which really transports you to a future earth dominated by aliens--and I feel that the ending was perfect: it would have been too predictable if the Carmichaels had succeeded in their plot against Prime. I think he was trying to illustrate the irrationality and inhumanity of domination--whether by humans or aliens. Although some of the Carmichael characters were confusing (I think this book would benefit from a family tree at the beginning a la "Lord of the Rings"), the main characters, such as Ronnie, Khalid, and Andy, kept the story moving. I think this would make a great mini-series. Give it a chance!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Anti-Campbell 3 janvier 2002
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
John W. Campbell would have hated this novel. Campbell, the editor of Astounding SF magazine who published many of Silverberg's early work, and launched the careers of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, had a hard-and-fast rule that aliens and mutants must always be defeated by humans. No matter how powerful the creature, humans must win out. This caused him to reject a lot of great SF that probed gray areas --- what if there's something out there that (to quote Star Trek's "Errand of Mercy" episode) "are as far above us as we are above the amoeba."
The Alien Years is about an invasion by aliens whose physical and technological superiority to humans is so great that they treat the conquered species with complete and utter contempt. They probe human minds only to learn how people can be put to work. They don't bother to speak to us. We never learn what they want, and despite numerous efforts at resistance, we are never able to achieve anything.
Readers looking for a fast paced adventure story a la Campbell, in which humans triumph over the bug-eyed monsters, will be disappointed in The Alien Years. It's often engrossing, and Silverberg's luminous prose creates strong suspense, but many readers will feel cheated by the oblique ending (just as one of the main characters feels cheated by the end of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds).
This is a "fix-up" novel; that is, it's put together from a series of short stories published by Silverberg over the last 15 years, beginning with "Against Babylon" in 1986 and the Nebula winning "The Pardoner's Tale" a few years later, followed in the late 90s by several installments published in Science Fiction Age magazine. (Oddly the credits make no mention of the fact that much of this material has been previously published, albeit in different form.) This accounts for the episodic structure of the story, which covers a fifty-year period; in spite of this the pieces fit together well.
My only criticisms are a lack of character development, and occasional sloppiness in the editing. (Silverberg has an annoying habit of adding "yes" to almost anything: i.e., "He was afraid, yes, but..."). Even the characters talk this way. Perhaps this is to be expected, yes, from an author in his 70s who has written more than 100 books, but some light editing could have weeded out some of those 'yeses'.
Silverberg is a brilliant writer, yes, but The Alien Years is hardly his best work, and while I recommend it to those who are already fans of his work, if you haven't read Silverberg before I'd start with a stronger piece, such as "Dying Inside", "The Book of Skulls", or "Downward to the Earth."
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