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37 Bibliotheken, 1 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 8 Rezensionen

fantasy, teufel, gefährten, alexey pehov, philosophie

Schwarzer Dolch

Alexey Pehov , Christiane Pöhlmann
Flexibler Einband: 480 Seiten
Erschienen bei Piper, 02.05.2016
ISBN 9783492703963
Genre: Fantasy


Nur Menschen, die die Begabung als Seelenfänger in die Wiege gelegt bekommen haben, können Seelen erkennen, die nicht in die Hölle oder ins Paradies gehen, sondern in der Welt verbleiben. Seelenfänger bekommen die Ausbildung, solche Seelen mittels ihres magischen schwarzen Dolches zu beseitigen, vorzugsweise solche, die in der Hölle landen sollen. Dafür erhalten sie die Lebensenergie der Seele und verlängern minutenweise ihr eigenes Leben. Kein Wunder, dass Seelenfänger misstrauisch betrachtet werden, haben sie doch eine Stellung, die es ihnen erlaubt, jederzeit Forderungen an Bürgermeister oder wen auch immer zur Unterstützung zu stellen.

Der Protagonist Ludwig von Normayenn dieser neuen Serie von  Alexey Pehov reist von Kapitel zu Kapitel zu neuen Abenteuern im Kampf um dunkle Seelen und macht sich dabei allerlei Feinde. Begleitet wird er von der fluchenden und schwatzenden Seele Apostel, sowie einer stummen, dafür umso schaurigeren Vogelscheuche, die manchmal mit ihrer Sichel marodiert. Beide sorgen für amüsante Unterhaltung, wenn Ludwig sich auf Kämpfe in einem christlichen Pseudo-Europa vorbereitet.

Pehov mag sich offensichtlich nicht in den historischen Details verirren und verändert Namen und Beschreibungen derart, dass man als Leser nur noch ansatzweise vermuten kann, wo genau sich Ludwig nun in Europa aufhält: Frankreich hier, Venezien dort. Ebenso sprunghaft mutet die Handlung an, die zwar durchaus von einem roten Faden durchzogen wird, aber eher als eine Art Sammlung abgeschlossener Kurzgeschichten gelesen werden kann, als ein durchgängiger Roman. Ich empfand es als sehr angenehm, nach jedem solchen Abschnitt eine Pause einlegen zu können, um eine andere Kurzgeschichte zu lesen. Der Roman eignet sich aber ohne weiteres zum Durchlesen in einer Sitzung, denn langweilig wird es nie.

Der zweite Band „Dunkler Orden“ ist für den 4. Oktober angekündigt. Im Original ist die Serie abgeschlossen.




47 Bibliotheken, 2 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 4 Rezensionen

science fiction, gateway trilogie, frederik pohl, 2015, aliens

Die Gateway-Trilogie

Frederik Pohl , Tony Westermayr , Edda Petri , Rainer Michael Rahn
Flexibler Einband: 927 Seiten
Erschienen bei Heyne, 01.09.2004
ISBN 9783453879058
Genre: Science-Fiction


Meta: SF Masterworks #9. SF novel of Frederik Pohl published in 1977.

Synopsis: This novel is centered around a BDO - a Big Dumb Object, which its owners, the Heechees, have left some million years ago. It remembers me a bit of Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" which was published in the same decade. I also see a connection to the TV series "Stargate" which is based on a novel by Stephen Robinett, whose name is reflected in the main protagonist's name.

The eponymous "Gateway" is a kind of spaceport in the Venusian eclipse containing some 1000 small FTL spaceships, each of them pre-programmed to unknown targets. Prospectors on Gateway try their luck in a balance of Sense-of-Wonder and Angst, a kind of Russian Roulette - launched spaceships might end in a star's corona, a black hole or lead to far away to get back alive. If lucky, they end as multimillionaires when retrieving some Heechee artifacts or discover interesting new things.
There is a very high death rate which makes it a bit implausible for me that anyone would man such a suicidal cruise under normal circumstances.
But they aren't normal, they are very dystopian: Earth is overcrowded, polluted, just bad. People flee to Venus which isn't much better.

Main protagonist Robinette Broadhead isn't very likeable, he's even an anti-hero: Agressive, broken, heavily flawed. He came back as the only survivor from an accident which can only occur in a SF setting, and has to work through his survivor depression. In fact, this is a novel that shows you that the main protagonist doesn't need to be likeable at all to be worth reading, to suck you into the story.

Review: Pohl combines interior and exterior world in a marvelous way, bridging pulpish Space Opera and New Wave subgenres:

Structural, the novel switches between psychotherapy session chapters ("Sigfrid" being a reference to Sigmund Freud) reflecting the interior world of Rob and chapters around exterior, space opera adventures. Both concentrate on the main protagonist. They are interleaved with lots of vignettes containing classifieds, mission reports, scientific articles which represent a world view independent of Rob.
There is no clear linear narrative structure, destruction the adventerous tension arc with those psychoanalytical sessions.

This structure reminds me a lot of Brunner's dystopian New Wave novel "Stand on Zanzibar", published in 1968 - although it doesn't reach that novel's literary quality.
The setting is great and mostly believable: the SF part isn't an accessory for the psychoanalytical findings as in many other works - it is absolutely necessary and also creative.

I highly recommend it.




13 Bibliotheken, 0 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 7 Rezensionen

kevin hearn, die hetzjagd, mythologie, die chroniken des eisernen druide, vampir

Die Hetzjagd

Kevin Hearne , Alexander Wagner , Stefan Kaminski
Audio CD
Erschienen bei Hörbuch Hamburg, 28.02.2013
ISBN 9783899038606
Genre: Fantasy


Hearne's story "The Chapel Perilous" in Unfettered was one of the few in that anthology that I liked and I saw that I could come back to Hearne if I were in need of some entertaining popcorn read. Hounded fulfills this promise. It is the start of a Urban Fantasy series "Iron Druid Chronicles" set in the author's home area of Arizona, which he fills in with many detailed landscape portraits. Meaning, you won't find action only here but also some fluff to lots of meat.

Main protagonist is the last Gaelic druid Atticus O’Sullivan. He is older than Christianity but well adapted to contemporary times, hides in Arizona to evade the wrath of a Tuatha Dé Danann god which wants back a magical sword. His sidekick - an intelligent mind-speaking dog - is a bit too dumb-funny for my taste. Emphasis is on interactions with several Tuatha Dé Danann who use him as a playball in their schemes. In addition there is a vampire, who is Atticus's night-time lawyer; a werewolf who is his day-time lawyer and a circle of Polish witches and an additional one with Indian background.

I found the style with mythology, action and good bite of comedy refreshing. It is short enough with its less than 300 pages that I didn't need to bother because I shut off my brain and let the page-turning flow. Pacing never lets up, sometimes there was a bit of info dumping but never too much. Of course, the plot is a bit predictable. Don't expect philosophical deep dives, this is the book you want to go if you're in need of some greasy finger-food stuff instead of fine French cuisine.

As a debut novel I found this work entirely fitting my current needs and I'll come back for the second installation of the series Hexed sooner or later. 




34 Bibliotheken, 1 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 4 Rezensionen

science-fiction, science fiction, diaspar, erde, science-fiction-klassiker

Die Stadt und die Sterne

Arthur C. Clarke , Tony Westermayr
Flexibler Einband: 326 Seiten
Erschienen bei Heyne, 11.07.2011
ISBN 9783453533974
Genre: Science-Fiction


Meta: isfdb. SF Master works #39. SF novel of Arthur C. Clarke published in 1956.

It takes place in the neighboring cities of Diaspar and Lys on Earth a billion years in the future. They are the only inhabitants of Earth, the Solar system and galaxy. Out of fear of some invaders, they gave up and completely forgot travelling into space or even outside their city.
Both cities are completely separated and developed different cultures: Diaspar depending on machines, Lys on nature. Diaspar inhabitants live forever and are kind of recycled only to return after some 100,000 years in a new body, whereas Lys inhabitants live for short time spans but mastered telepathy.
The novel follows the mystery of one Diaspar man Alvin who learns about his special role: He is the first one to be able to get outside of the city and explore its surroundings and the whereabouts of humanity.

First half is description heavy - nearly no action or dialogues at all, reflecting the insular conversatism and setting the atmosphere of Diaspar in a very good way. In the second half, Alvin's quest is narrated through a bit more action and dialogues, and he even gets a somewhat shallow sidekick from Lys. I'd say it reads far more pulpish than the first half which I found better.
The work is quite old - from 1956 - but in contrast to many classic SF titles it aged very well: You'll find no ridiculous artefacts concerning computers, phones, cars or similar items that the authors weren't able to extrapolate correctly. Instead, you can even get a glimpse on relatively new innovations like MMORPGs called "adventures" in the novel.
Clarke explores isolationism of neighboring cultures and how to break them up, which you'll find very modern. He touches utopian versions of perilous growth versus survival.
On the negative side, I didn't like the notions of telepathy, disembodied intelligence - I generally don't need them included in SF. Additionally, I didn't need the mentioning of "1000 of million years" nearly every odd page and the accompanying gigantomanism.
Character development - especially of Alvin - was homeopathic, if existent at all.

I liked the novel but wouldn't consider it as his best work.

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