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1. Memory
2. Deception Well
3. Vast
4. Tech-Heaven
5. Limit of Vision
7. The Bohr Maker
8. Analog Science Fiction Science
9. Biography - Nagata, Linda (1960-):
10. Techno-orientalism, nanotechnology,
12. Götterfunke.
13. The Bohr Maker
14. Limit of Vision
15. Tech-Heaven (The Nanotech Succession)
16. Memory
17. The Magazine of Fantasy &
19. Analog Science Fiction and Fact,
20. The Magazine of Fantasy &

1. Memory
by Linda Nagata
Paperback: 416 Pages (2004-06-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765309009
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Acclaimed hard-SF author Linda Nagata intro-duces a new world, where the sky is bisected by an arch of light, and the mysterious 'silver' rises from the ground each night to completely transform the landscape-and erase from existence anything it touches. Young Jubilee is devastated when her brother Jolly is taken by the silver. But when a forbidding stranger with the power to control the silver comes seeking Jolly-and claiming that Jolly knows him-Jubilee flees. For she has learned an impossible secret: Jolly may still be alive! Jubilee's flight will lead her to discoveries she could never have imagined . . . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars World Wide Multiplayer game gone wrong = Great Story.
Jubilee and her younger brother Jolly live in a world that is constantly being changed due to a mysterious silver cloud that alters anything that is inanimate and kills anything that is flesh. One night when Jubilee is ten Jolly is lost to the silver in a freak accident... or so she thinks. Several years later rumors begin to circulate about a man that can come in and out of the mist without being affected. Disregarding the rumors as hopeful fantasy Jubilee tries to move on with her life until one day she comes face to face with the man, who wants her long lost brother. What follows is an adventure that will reunite brother and sister but in the process tear their idea of history and reality apart while they try to prevent a flood of silver that will drown the world once and for all.
-----some spoilers-----
This was a differnt kind of story and it was pretty good in looking at what might happen if a Massively Multiplayer Theme world was left to its own devices after a war of sorts killed one ceator and left the other brain damaged and incaple of repairing the world or doing anything besides keeping what was left running. Most of the back story is figurable out without the author trying to invent technical details and a chapter later in the book does spell out exactly what happened. I really liked this book. The author took a differnt idea and ran with it. Would recommned this to anyone who likes fantasy with a little scifi thrown in and also those who are interested in diffent takes on MMORPGs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Novel, engrossing, escapist
This was my first reading of anything by this author.I really enjoyed it because it was unpredictable, and the world created by the author was unlike anything I had come across before.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book, disappointed expectations
Okay, yeah, this is a great book, and I found every bit of it totally absorbing.The only trouble is that it raises, via hints and even via the cover blurb, the expectation that the world will be more fully explained than it is. A quarter of the way through, I was thinking maybe it's been too long since I read hard sf, and I'm missing clues.After I finished, I thought maybe this was part of a series, all set in this strange world.Neither of those things was true; what I was looking for just wasn't there.

For me, at least, a prologue -- just two paragraphs -- would have been a help, before we get into Jubilee's point of view.

If the book had been labeled fantasy instead of sf, if the blurb hadn't begun, "Acclaimed hard-sf author Linda Nagata," if the clues to the world's genesis had been omitted, the disappointment at the end might have been lessened.We never did find out what "silver" is and what it can do.

It's still a great book, but I felt as if a contract had been broken.Almost like reading a murder mystery and not finding out whodunnit.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful fantasy set in a science fiction setting.
I quite enjoyed this book - it is a lovely epic coming-of-age story set in a fantasy future. The language is enjoyable, the heroine goes through real adventures, the heros and villains are anything but monochromatic, and as the story advances the young heroine changes and grows and comes to understand the origins of her self and her world.

Some of the other reviews I've read here express disappointment in the book because it leaves quite a bit of the technology behind the magic unexplained. I think if you approach it hoping for some deep tech denoument, you will in fact be disappointed, but if you read it as a fantasy, you'll be less likely to fall into that trap. This is more the way someone from beyond a technological singularity might tell a story that happened in a post-singularity world to a person of our time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Future comes to life
This is the first book I have read by Linda Nagata, but I think I may look up more.The cover claims she tends to write hard sci-fi, but this book really read more like a fantasy, as the scientific elements are never really explained.However, because of the knowledge base of the players who inhabit this world, I believe this decision on Nagata's part makes sense: although they interact with this tech every day, they don't understand it.How, then, can they explain it to us, the readers?

This story is primarily about Jubilee Huacho, who at the start of the story is a child.One day she climbs down their kobald well and burns herself with silver, which is a creeping mist/fog that comes at irregular intervals in most places of the world and destroys any biologicals it takes into itself.It also changes the world when it comes - taking away parts, adding others, which the players call follies.We never really come to understand *what* the silver is, only that it is important to the world; for some reason, without it, the world's ecology collapses.This also is never explained - just said to be so.That night, the silver comes all the way into the temple and takes her older brother, Jolly.Jubilee is horrified.

Years later, she is a headstrong young woman and is somewhat in love with her uncle, Liam, although in this world there can only ever be a single lover for any given player, as determined by blood testing (this also is never explained - the lack of explanations becomes a bit frustrating, thus my rating this book at 4 stars rather than 5).She discovers she has a lover, half-way across the world.One night while outside on the temple wall, a stranger walks out of the silver, asking for her brother Jolly.She tells him that Jolly is gone, with no further explanation, and the stranger goes back into the silver, causing it to rise rapidly.Jubilee races inside, only to find out from her mother that her father was just taken by the silver.Was this coincidence?

Not much more I can tell you about the general plot - from that point on Jubilee travels the world, searching for her brother and a way to stop the silver floods.She learns about herself and her past lives.

The idea is quite intriguing, though I would have been happier had some of the ideas been further explained.But, as I said, perhaps they were not explained because Nagata wanted to show just how ignorant the players are of their world and how it works. ... Read more

2. Deception Well
by Linda Nagata
 Hardcover: 358 Pages (1997)
-- used & new: US$22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001B3VDSI
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Deception Well is a powerful planet, able to fend off the deadly nanotech plagues of an age-old war, but also hostile to the would-be settlers who have come here seeking safe haven. After building the orbital city Silk, the first colonists of the Well were killed by a mysterious plague. The new Silkens refuse to descend to the planet's surface, except for Jupiter and his rebel forces who are seeking a communion with the planet. Although Jupiter fails, his cult-like followers take up the cause again with his son Lot, a natural-born leader who might not be so natural after all. From Publishers WeeklyFans of hard SF will find a rich and complex world in this third novel by Locus Award-winning author Nagata (The Bohr Maker). Charismatic prophet Jupiter Apolinario leads his army of fanatic followers to the world of Deception Well in the hope of finding some spiritual and physical form of communal ecstasy. He fails, leaving his son, Lot, to be raised in that world's only habitable environment, the sky city of Silk. Years later, as an adolescent, Lot leads a rebellion of youths against the city's elders. What makes Lot so powerful is his natural ability, his inbred political acumen and the nano-technology that causes Lot's body to exude psychoactive enzymes that can transform anyone into his willing and loving supplicant. Nagata skewers organized religion, the democratic process and youth culture in scenes where the senseless crowd gives in to its chemically induced love for the young hero. While Lot's quest to be reunited with his father ultimately lacks any dramatic payoff, readers who are comfortable juggling terms such as "Dyson spheres" will also be satisfied by the action-packed battle between generations. Predictably, the outcome leads to grudging mutual understanding as well as a more intelligent and reverential attitude toward the planet itself. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful extrapolation + good storytelling. 4.5 stars
There's a fine story here, but the plot-outline I read put me off, so I'll
start with the backstory:3,000 yrs have passed since "Bohr Maker" (her
1st novel).Humanity has spread thru much of the galaxy, but
interstellar contact is limited to sublight ships.There are dreadful
Chenzeme war machines loose, still fighting the war which destroyed
that species long ago.Much of humanity lives in the Hallowed Vasties
- huge Dyson-spheres.Nanotechnology permeates everyday life, and
permits people to live for centuries.

The novel is set on Silk, a sealed habitat atop a space elevator on the
strange & isolated world ofDeception Well.Silk was resettled by
refugees from Heyertori, a world sterilized by a rogue Chenzeme swan
burster.The city was deserted when they arrived, but full of human
bones.The refugees thought the Old Silken were killed by a plague
from the planet.They sealed off the beanstalk and live in comfort, but
supplies are running low & they have no way to leave - they were
dumped after a contract dispute with their sentient greatship.

Silk is attacked by followers of the prophet Jupiter, who believe they
can attain ecstatic Communion on the planet's surface.Many of the
cultists are killed, apparently including Jupiter.His son Lot survives,
and the surface of the novel is Lot's struggle to accept his father's
legacy, and to discover the true nature of the Deception Well.

The novel is a fine combination of top-notch tech-speculation and
traditional storytelling.It has a couple of sags that could have been cut,
but I'm nitpicking. If you haven't yet tried Linda Nagata, "Deception
Well" would be an excellent place to start. Nagata's website at www.maui.net/~nagata
is also worth checking out.IIRC it
has a sample chapter of "DW".

Happy reading!
Pete Tillman

3-0 out of 5 stars A very slow read
Given the Helpful/Not Helpful ratings of previous posts, Ms. Nagata seemsto have fans who will punish any dissent, but dissent I must.

I amgiving this book an average rating because I liked it but it has seriousflaws. First and foremost, was an extremely slow, laborious read. Hercharacters were moderately interesting but they did not really grow orchange in any significant fashion. For all his introspection, not even Lotchanges so much as he moves around and lets events dictate what will happento him. Urban's big surprise decision at the end was uetterly predictablesince his character moved not one iota the entire novel. Other majourcharacters seem to act capriciously or randomly; one minute they're goingone way, the other they've reversed themselves and while Lot seems to havea clue why (we are told anyway), Nagata never makes it terribly clear tous.

So, too the very creative society Nagata has envisioned. I found itintriguing, but it was so diffusely and haphazardly described that I neverfelt terribly invested in the conflicts that arose from it. And therein,perhaps lies the real problem with the book. The setting, concepts andcentral idea are all marvelous but the execution is second-rate. The realconflict arises so much from the setting, and so little from deep andconvincing characterization, that Nagata is forced, again and again, toassert that events make sense or that a character's actions are reasonable- but I rarely felt that way simply from reading what happened. A trulygreat book would not need so much explanation and assertion.

I really hada hard time "getting into" this book even after I was halfwaythrough it - so much so that, when I took it on a plane, I bought anotherbook to read in flight because this one was too difficult to read steadily.Still, I liked the book. As an intellectual exercise, it was plentyinteresting. It is written intelligently and fairly sparkles with the kindof imagination and creativity about ideas, cultures and settings that marksthe very best SF produced today. The problem is, that isn't enough to setit above so much other quality work being produced.

In short: I won'thesitate to recommend that you buy and read this book if you have some freetime, but if time constraints limit you to only reading the best, you'd bebest served by looking elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars By the end I didn't care anymore.
When I first started reading this book I had some hope that it would be an interesting story with interesting characters.By the third chapter I had an idea that I had been wrong. By the fifth I was sure. The book's pace isunbelievably slow, and the characters are unconvincing, as is most of theplot-line (what little there is).The society the author has created ispoorly formed and very sketchy.The author also has an annoying habit ofleaving physical descriptions out, or even worse not describing somethinguntil chapters later when the reader already has a completely differentmental image formed.The robot (or whatever it was) Ord, is a perfectexample.Another problem I had with the book is the lack of logic behindmany of the plot points and character behaviors.The character or Kona forexample; If he is so concerned about what Lot might do, particularly underthe influence of Kona's son Urban why hasn't he (or any of the othercharacter's) done anything to keep Urban away from Lot? Considering Lot'ssituation in the beginning I wouldn't think that would be too hard.Thewhole development of Lot's character is a little hard to swallow anyway,but unlike the rest of the characters at least he has some (and I do meansome) development.When the reader finally reaches the end it isanticlimactic.It was bad enough spending the major part of the bookfeeling I had been dropped into a story that had already begun, but at theend I felt I was left with out a real conclusion.But looking back overthe story I don't know what could have concluded it satisfactorily when ithad so little cohesion as a story to begin with.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but complicated book
I really liked this book.It had action rightfrom the start but the plot took a long time to become clear and there are multiple clashes going on simultaneously.A planet that assimilateseverything and a sattelitecity up in the clouds where millions live and have problems of their own. And mammoth ships and weapons of destruction which are sentient beings.Ithought it was Nagata's best book yet.

1-0 out of 5 stars Blah!
I've just finished reading Mrs Nagata's Deception Well and I'm absolutely disgusted with myself for buying it. I mean, this must be the worst book I've read since... come to think of it, I can't remember any other novelthat left me such a bad impression.

I'd like to be able to say somethingpositive about it, but I can't. Even the artwork is sloppy! (I would haverated DW 0 star, only you can't.) As for the content, the hero, name of Lot(ring a bell?) grieves the death of his father/prophet/god, named Jupiter(of course, Yaweh would have been a bit obvious, wouldn't it ?). Forreasons which are totally impossible to understand for anybody but MrsNagata, he takes about 200 pages to get himself ready to descend into thewell where his father disappeared. (Yes, there's this well, see, only wedon't know how it came to be or why - pretty convenient, in fact.) Anyway,Lot and his friends go down and, when they arrive, they discover that theyhave to go back up presto. When they do, the novel ends. Wow! Talk about anintricate storyline!

Well, that's about it. The characters are allone-dimensional, and the only thing that the reader discovers along the wayis that the poor humans are persecuted by a race of mysterious aliens, theChemzene (and the only thing we now about them is that nobody's even surethey ever existed - talk about mysterious, people!).

That sums it up,really. More than lives up to its French title (in French,"déception" means disappointment - and as for the disappointment,well... DW delivers in spades!).

Maybe the book should have been titled"Dejection Well"... ... Read more

3. Vast
by Linda Nagata
Mass Market Paperback: 359 Pages (2001-02-08)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$1.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1857987454
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
VAST takes science to the very edges of human knowledge and Science Fiction to a new level of wonder.An impossibly advanced bio-tech ship and its crew are being pursued by an alien craft.They have been hunted for decades and will be hunted for decades more.If they survive.Bio-engineering has given man near immortality but it has also allowed him the time to meet the alien Chenzeme.But perhaps not long enough to understand them.And so mankind’s greatest and most desperate war has flared across known space.He fights in ships he has been engineered into – melding his consciousness and his physical form seamlessly into the bio-walls and nerve systems of the craft.But bio-engineering cannot remove fear and the suspicion of betrayal.Amazon.com Review
The Vast curtain opens with four crew members on the vessel NullBoundary making their centuries-long journey towards the star system ofAlpha Cygni. More refugees from a broken civilization than explorers, theyseek the Chenzeme, murderers of the human race, whose 30-million-year-oldwarships prowl the near and far reaches of space, destroying all theyencounter.

Linda Nagata is remarkably adept at introducing new concepts without disturbingthe flow of the narrative. Vast molds human figures out of a clay ofgenetic, nano, and virtual technology, allowing their humanityto take primacy: "It came without warning, making no sound. Lot firstsensed its presence as a flash of motion in the central tunnel. He lookedaround, to see a flood spiraling down on him, white water sluicing throughan invisible pipe, a snake made of water. It swept into the chamber; itcoiled around him, an arm's length away. The coils of the snake meltedtogether, and he was encased in a glistening shell. Charismata ofexhilaration rained against his sensory tears, a strange foreign sense ofgreeting. Tendrils reached out to him from the shell's shimmering whitesurface, a thousand slender white tendrils brushing him. Faint touches.Where they contacted his skin suit they retracted, but where they touchedhis bruised face they stayed. Familiarity flooded him, a warm sense ofunion that eased the black pressure of the cult [virus] forever burningunder his skin. A voice whispered in his ear, produced by a tremblingmembrane on the end of a tendril. 'You know us?'"

Make sure you're in a comfortable position when you start reading: LindaNagata is light years ahead of her contemporaries in writing heart-racing,hard-science SF. Once this story sinks its teeth into you, you won't hear the phone ringing or care that it's way past bedtime until the last page is turned. --Jhana Bach ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent sci-fi
I was at a complete disadvantage with this book because I had not read the previous books in the series.Still, the characters were well developed, the plot was decent, and the scenarios were well-imagined.My advice is to read the other books first; I imagine I would have enjoyed this one much more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard SF that strikes an impressionist nerve - great effect
I remember a professor in an undergrad English course telling us, as we worried about being lukewarm about various famous bits of poetry we were studying, that one shouldn't expect a big aesthetic ah-ha from everything one reads. There is the occasional union between the artist and the reader that transcends the story or the technique or the characters. "Vast" did that for me. I read it about 8 years ago and while there is a lot I do not remember, I vividly remember a sort of growing delayed response after I put it down. It lasted for a quite a while and gave me the intellectual sensation of being a rung bell.

Nagata's workmanship is fine. She tells a good story. That is what sucked me in: I really like it when a writer can render everything else, including herself, invisible. I think the characters are well-enough drawn and the plot engaging enough. IMHO - journeyman stuff. By overlaying this unassuming narrative style with a real onslaught of hard SF extrapolation that is pretty outrageous, she gets the reader engaged on many levels. I agree with the several reviewers who have applauded her range.

Nagata gets this really fun space opera thing going (think Farscape) and within it, in ways big and small, obvious and subtle, relentlessly pounds home the really startling and terrifying notion of centuries (millenia!) of vacuum.When the story ends, the vertigo remains ... it's so cool when the insight is so much more than the sum of the words.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like Alastair Reynolds, but sharper
Vast reminded me of Alastair Reyonld's Redemption Ark series (far future setting, ancient robot killers, ancient opposition to robot killers, humans caught in the middle), but I liked it better than Reynold's books.Here's why.

1) The focus is much narrower.The scene always stays with the 5 inhabitants of a single ship, which keeps the story more, well, story-like.Reynolds work is more "a bunch of related, interesting events," and Nagata's book is more like a single story.I prefer the latter, if you like the former you'll like Reynolds better.

2) I thought her imagination of future tech was more creative.She does more with less--No FTL, next to nothing about weaponry, but an amazing job exploring the various ancient entities (slowly enough to preserve dramatic interest but quickly enough that there are no deus ex machinas).In particular, I loved the way she played with how cognition appears in clouds of nanoentities.

3) Other reviewers complain that it is the second book in a series.I didn't read the first book, and I had no trouble--she leaves enough clues that you can piece together what happened without the annoyance of information dumps that slow down the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vastly Entertaining
Vast was the first book by Nagata I read, a sequel to Deception Well. I know, out of order. I'm strange about series books. I feel (as a reviewer and a bookseller, not to mention as a recreational reader) that writers should make each and every book stand on its own, accessible to readers who pick it up "out
of order." I try not to get too obsessive about this, but I'm likely to read a series out of order if I happen to pick them up that way, as I did here.

I thought Vast was wonderful. Now, I grew up with Asimov and Andre Norton (as in Galactic Derelict, were the protagonists' odyssey took them to many different and exotic alien worlds); I like to roamed galaxies with the crews of Edmond Hamilton's starships. I love this kind of stuff. But, yes, I'm older now, and some of the old space operas don't seem as plausible, some of the characters don't seem like much more than paper cut outs who declaim obsolete science lectures. So an interstellar novel with convincing characters and realistic (but awesome) science is exciting.

If Nagata's story is similar to Edmond Hamilton in the way it zooms from star to star -- realistically dealing with the limitations of the speed of light, I must add -- then she also borrows a note from Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series. I don't want to detract a bit from Saberhagen's ideas, which were creative, innovative and entertaining, but Nagata makes her interstellar weapons, left over from a long ago war and now seeking new sentient victims, seem more powerful, yet limited by their design. She reveals much more about their structure and make up, yet makes them all the more mysterious. As for how well the two books stand on there own, Vast did a good job. I didn't feel like I had missed a lot by jumping in at the middle of the story. I liked Vast so much that there wasn't any question about reading the first book: I started it right away. On the other hand, if Deception Well had to stand on its own, I'd have to say it didn't reach as strong a climax. It did
establish a lot of back story and character development for the series. So go ahead, read them in the correct order. Or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars World-class, take-no-prisoners SF
At one point in this story someone's life is in danger. Usually this would be a major inconvenience, but at this particular moment it's a terrifying risk, because he "doesn't have a backup."

If that sentence makes sense to you, you can probably understand this book. If it doesn't, maybe you can't.

No, this is not an easy book. But if you can follow it, it will take you on a hair-raising and deeply thought-provoking journey across the stars.

The scale is -- mm-hm -- vast, and the characters are fascinating. (They are all various degrees removed from what would presently be considered human -- one has a space-hardened body, for example; one exists only in software.)

Nagata uses many concepts from the farthest edges of contemporary science. The resulting story is way, way out there, but it's still "hard" science fiction, meant to be more or less plausible. There's nothing like fantasy or magic in it.

Vast drops you without preparation into the far, far, far future. There's a lot to learn for a visitor from the 21st century (that's you!). You have to be a fast learner. It helps if you've kept up with recent developments in nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and astrophysics. And it helps if you ENJOY being put into an intellectual "sink or swim" kind of situation. As you may infer, I enjoy it tremendously --

-- with the result that by the end of this book, I don't think there's any other way to describe it, I was in love with the author. An extremely smart, perceptive, and independent woman had shared with me some small part of her soul. So I googled her. She's already married, darn it. ... Read more

4. Tech-Heaven
by Linda Nagata
Mass Market Paperback: 357 Pages (1995-11-01)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553569260
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Against the wishes of her family and the laws banning cryonics, a woman arranges to have her late husband preserved in liquid nitrogen and becomes a fugitive in South America, where she contemplates the price of cheating death. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely food for thought
I believe that I have all of Linda's available works (except for Memory which is in the mail).

However, I found this book disturbing; _Tech_Heaven_ is my least favorite of hers (but still 4 stars).Mostly it was due to the story that results from when Kate puts Tom in cryonic suspension.The daughters are confused -- Daddy's not dead, but there was a funeral, Grandma is furious at Mommy for not letting Daddy die?

Because I found it disturbing, I think I was less forgiving of the imperfections in the plot & characters.And frankly, the "spiritual netherworld" didn't sit well with me either.

BUT - I would recommend the book, if only as serious food for thought or a precursor to LoV and her (excellent!) NanoTech books.

So the book is good, but it's not a a "feel good" read.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent tale
Forget ideas and extrapolation (wich this book has plenty of).This is just a good story, hands down.Nagata has a gift for crafting engrossing, vivid stories.A personal favorite of mine, highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Linda Nagata gets it right.
The book opens in a near-future America more vividly realized than evenmost contemporary fiction, and sets off from there.It doesn't fall intothe easy ruts of "cautionary tale" or escapist "freezeyourself into the future" type fiction, but dares to explore cryonicsand futurism in a personal, pragmatic sort of way; like it or not, thefuture is where we're headed.With action and great characters, too!

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the postage
This book is amazing. It takes some veryinteresting ideas about cryonics and whips them up with poor characters and shallow conversation to come out to a rather poor novel. I'd hoped for more, but instead I found the main character to be someone so far from a person I could identify with that I almost cheered at the obstacles set in her way. I haven't read other Nagata works, but I hope that they are better than this. ... Read more

5. Limit of Vision
by Linda Nagata
Hardcover: 349 Pages (2001-02)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$2.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312876882
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A beautiful young scientist lies dead in a top-secret laboratory, a victim of an illegal experiment with the forbidden nanotechnology known as "LoVs"- intelligent organisms that live at the limits of human vision. In Vietnam's Mekong Delta, a daring journalist probes mysterious cult rumored to have awesome powers. As factions across the globe race to control this strange creation, in orbit high above Earth, an awesome new stage in evolution is about to begin....
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting sf thriller with a slow start but for the most a great, brisk pace
_Limit of Vision_ by Linda Nagata is an interesting relatively near future science fiction thriller, one that was a little slow going and perhaps even choppy at first, with disparate storylines and at least at first with characters fairly light on detail, but about a quarter of the way into the book became a riveting narrative with a brisk pace, great tension, and a wonderful sense of escalation. Though at least one of the main characters remained to me at least not as well formed as I would have liked and I thought the opening was a bit too open-ended, revolving some but not all (or even most) of the story's problems, it was all in all an enjoyable book.

What is it about? I will try to avoid spoilers, but here goes. At first, we have two entirely unconnected storylines. The first plotline introduces the reader to two daring young researchers (so daring in fact that they are conducting experiments in violation of international law). These two men, Randall Panwar and Virgil Copeland, employees of a company called EquaSys based in Honolulu, are illegally experimenting with something called an LOV (acronym for limit of vision), a tiny symbiotic synthetic species that is basically comprised of an artificially-created neuron called an asterid housed in a transparent silicate shell (the shell not only protecting the asterid but also permitting optical communication, as the colonial asterids communicate with pulses of visible light). Originally developed to be transplanted onto humans (where they would be visible on the host's head - generally the forehead - as glowing gemlike structures, easily concealed in a person's hair) who suffered from unbalanced brain chemistries, the LOVs would help stabilize the neurochemistry and emotions of those that possess them.It was found however that the semi-sentient LOVs could mutate and produce unwanted results, including deadly ones. After a mysterious event which we never learn anything about (referred to as the "Van Nuys Incident"), the LOVs were confined to a low-earth-orbit research facility called the _Hammer_ so that they could not escape into the environment and possibly pose a threat to people or animals.

Unfortunately, Panwar, Virgil, and their friend Gabrielle Villanti illegally removed some LOVs and transplanted them on to their persons. Conducting experiments in secret, they are discovered when Gabrielle dies (this happens during the first few pages of the book so I am not giving away any big secret here). Though I thought it quite remarkable that their bosses did not recognize the LOVs that they implanted on themselves (later this is explained away by the fact that Panwar, Virgil, and Gabrielle worked in a very loose administrative environment with fairly minimal supervision), the reader is not given much time to ponder this as their actions set into event a chain of events that includes the public discovery of LOVs on Earth, knowledge of a mutation of an LOV colony on the station to something approaching real sentience, and its escape from the station to avoid destruction.

The second plot thread at first seemed to have nothing to do with the one involving the LOVs, Virgil, Panwar, etc. The reader meets Elsa Suvanatat, a roving freelance Thai reporter, connected to a distant agent online (Else, like nearly everyone else in the setting, uses a sunglasses-shaped and sized item of headgear called a farsight, a device that allows one to be online all the time, pull up large amounts of information, make use of a personalized nearly sentient and individually customized computer program called a ROving Silicon Agent or ROSA, and even see in the dark). Virtually broke, she comes across a strange story covering a cult-like, locally feared group of kids in Vietnam called the Roi Nuoc (a Vietnamese name that means "Water Puppets"). The Roi Nuoc are a group of orphans and street kids who are fiercely independent, leery of authority, nonviolent but not exactly working within the law, united by a ROSA that is both motherly and aggressive by the name of Mother Tiger. Elsa also meets an another important individual in the book, a Vietnamese man by the name of Ky Xuan Nguyen, a locally influential businessmen who she thinks is either the head of (or a head of) the Roi Nuoc or possibly one of their members grown into adulthood (as apparently all Roi Nuoc members are kids and teens).

I don't think I am giving away too much when I say that the escaping LOV colony ends up in Vietnam and the events surrounding it entangle the Roi Nuoc, Elsa, and Ky. At this point in the book the separate plot threads unite and the story becomes fast and very interesting.

All in all a pretty good book. As I mentioned, I don't think all of the story elements were resolved and while it doesn't necessarily beg for a sequel, it did have an unfinished feel to it at the end. The LOVs themselves are very interesting and it was fun to read about their evolution. I also liked the fact that the book was set in Vietnam, not exactly a common locale for science fiction stories. I also like the title, which on one level simply mentioned the subject of the book, the artificial lifeforms, but at another level addressed the main problem of the authorities and the powers that be of the book's setting; their limited vision of the potential uses and benefits of the LOVs as well asan appreciation for the LOVs for their own sake.

4-0 out of 5 stars Different from Nagata's earlier work, but a great read
I've read all of Linda Nagata's previous books.As a group, all of her previous books were enjoyable and reasonably well written.The characters were well described and the plots were interesting.The only complaint that I had was that the books really weren't that accessible because of the level of technical detail.While I enjoyed her "hard science" approach in her earlier books, I think it also kept her from getting a wider audience.From that perspective, I think that _Limit of Vision_ is an excellent attempt to broaden her audience while still remaining true to her original "hard science" roots.In addition, I think that with each book, Nagata's ability to create a thought provoking and challenging story has increased.

_Limit of Vision_ is set in the near future.A trio of scientists has been working on a project for a corporation basically exploring the feasibility of using organisms named LOVs (since they exist at the limit of human vision) for any practical purposes.Unfortunately, the scientists are hampered because all biotechnology is strictly regulated b/c of a horrible sounding accident caused by biotech gone awry.So, their LOV experiment actually lives on a space station in orbit around Earth.Before the LOVs were taken to the space station, the scientists stole some of them and implanted them on their foreheads.

This book is about the unexpected and unpredictable consequences of that action.Some of the questions that were raised in the book include:what defines consciousness?At what point does an organism stop being "animal" and start being something else?If an organism has consciousness, then do we have the right to just destroy it?And if we don't destroy it, does it pose a threat to the very things that define us as humans?

It's not a perfect book.It does leave some loose ends.It might even be missing some details throughout the book.But, that said, I absolutely had a GREAT time reading this book.It read almost like a thriller rather than some dry biotech story.In my mind, it encompassed many of the things that make sci-fi fun to read - a fast moving plot, lots of technology well used, a real concern about what might happen in the future.With a little stretching, I could absolutely see the vision Nagata created in _Limit of Vision_ as being a realistic possibility of what our future might look like.I was also really impressed by the strides that Nagata has made in creating realistic characters.

I also want to stress that Nagata is not some "new SF author" attempting to re-write Bear's _Blood Music_.First of all, she's been around for quite a while.She has several other books out there that are really well written, although in a much different style than _Limit of Vision_.Second, Nagata has written about nanotechnology in basically ALL of her earlier books.She's not attempting to re-write _Blood Music_, she's continuing in exploring a subject that she's been talking about for quite a while.In my opinion, even if you just look at the quality of the WRITING, _Limit of Vision_ is a far superior novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fine Effort from One of Nanotech SF's Best Writers
I concur with a previous reviewer who finds Nagata's "Limit of Vision" to be an inferior repetition of Greg Bear's splendid "Blood Music". Although Nagata does an excellent job describing LOVs and the politics of the mid 21st Century, her writing never seems as sharp or as lyrical as Bear's. Still I must commend Nagata for writing a fine debut hardcover novel. Fans of nanotechnological science fiction and hard science fiction will unable embrace Nagata's latest novel.

2-0 out of 5 stars A weak version of "Blood Music".
It seems rewriting Greg Bear's excellent "Blood Music" has become madatory for every new SF author to come along.This kind of recycling normally wouldn't bother me because it's a great plot worth revisiting from another author's perspective.What does bother me is they never get it right.An escaped biotech, nanotech, whatever-tech agent which alters people's minds and threatens a new order of human evolution should be scary.But though it's touted as hard SF "Limit of Vision" reads like a juvenile adventure novel and rarely generates anything more than mild suspense.It doesn't help that Nagata saddles her rogue whatever-tech agents with the unfortunate acronym "LOVs" --a name I can't help but associate with either Barney the Dinosaur or disposable diapers.But these LOVs are serious things which atain sentience (surprise), tear up a space station and start reproducing themselves after outgrowing their chemical-dependence safeguards (yep, JUST like in Jurassic Park).

You'd think people would be a little hesitant to infect themselves with these LOVs (cute name notwithstanding), but not in this strange world where all natural human instincts are sacrificed to further the plot.Nope, in this world people can't wait to get their brains on the LOVs because LOVs "intensify your mood".Exaclty what "intensifying your mood" really gets you is never really nailed down, but it's a pale second compared to the host of freakish super powers imbued in "Blood Music" --or for that matter in any of the various Star Trek episodes of a similar plot.People may be willing to scrap The World As They Know It for an evolutionary upgrade, but it's gotta be a killer deal--imortality at the very least. I found myself rooting for the "bad guys" who spend the novel trying to stop the idiotic "heroes" from thoughtlessly passing out LOVs like M&Ms even as they're mutating into that thing on the book cover.In the real world our response to such an outbreak could be summed up in two words: Daisy Cutter, and we'd be right. But who am I to question the author's assumption that "intensifying your mood" is worth the risk of having your world overrun by giant spiders a thousand times smarter than you who just outgrew what they used to eat.

2-0 out of 5 stars a hot start with a cold follow-up
I was riveted for the first 60 pages or so... the implications of the story at this point are profound, a thriller which places the contest of ethics and science on stage.Then, inexplicably, Nagata changes pace and it slows considerably.

After losing the science/thriller pace, the story leaves doesn't drive to a full examination of the theme; other central characters, including the enigmatic "Mother Tiger," remain forever obscured by mystery.

Entertaining, but the utterly profound examination of the central question, having been abandoned, the novel languishes.After almost finishing, I left the remaining 40 pages or so many days before I summoned up the gumption to finish it. ... Read more

6. FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION - Volume 84, number 6 - June 1993: Guest of Honor; Liberator; Touched by the Bomb; Sanctuary; Rising Star; The Black Ferry; Metastasis; Good Wishes
by Kristine Kathryn (editor) (Robert Reed; Linda Nagata; Sarah Smith; Mary R Rusch
 Paperback: Pages (1993)

Asin: B003H5PYHO
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7. The Bohr Maker
by Linda Nagata
 Hardcover: 325 Pages (1995-04)
-- used & new: US$3.99
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Asin: B000UC78OY
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Nearly Perfect First Novel
This novel was published in 1995, and is the author's first. Considering that novels may take years to write and that Windows 95 came out in, let me think, 1995, this is a very compelling and creative novel. First and foremost it never lags. Once started you not want to put it down. If you must put it down you can't wait to get back to it. It is driven by the story. Nevertheless, the science moves into biotechnology far ahead of most other science fiction of 1995, but it does not feel dated at all. It has elements of nanotechnology and computation as well. This novel is hard SF. However, it does not have the overwhelming and sometimes distracting jargon that can be the downfall of a poorly written hard SF novel. The characters are deftly drawn without a running commentary on their inner thoughts. The plot is complex, but not overly so and has sufficient levels of plot and subplot to engage your interest as you turn the page to find out what comes next. I want to emphasize that I just finished reading in 2010 and and it was not dated or "reverse derivative."

I just found this author. I am definitely going to look at your other books she has written since this first novel is next on my list for science fiction. I don't even like to read the blurbs on the jackets so if you find this review sparse on what the novel is about, well there you go. All I can say is read it. Unfortunately the publisher is dumb enough not to make the first couple of chapters available to Amazon to look inside. Most science fiction readers would find that enough to purchase the novel. I seriously do not understand the publisher's antithesis to e-books. They're always in print. There's no storage or transportation costs. It's easier to make enough of the content available that people will buy the books if they are any good. They can't be lent to friends (not like I think this is a good thing) so it means word-of-mouth is more likely to be translated into revenue instead of just passing the book around. And for that the publishers still insist on full hardbound prices (although admittedly, no longer the cover price) for brand-new e-books. You just scratch your head and wonder when they go under and their customers turn on them they will moan and groan, complain about technology, and act as if they understand nothing. Maybe they don't.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
enjoyed the book from the first chapter till the very end. fun read & definitely worth it

5-0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking
I really enjoyed this story -

Sci-Fi is at its best to me when it combines "real" people, a good story and lots of "it might happen sooner than you think" technologys/situations

I found the characters both otherworldy and understandable - I didnt understand thier motivation at all at the beginning, but by the end I had got "into thier heads" - I have thought about them a bit afterwards and wonder if they would seem more natural to a japanese reader, coming from a culture which emphasises self control and etiquette.

The story itself was a great yarn, but filled with many enriching observations/details - I have not felt this many times, but on closing the book I thought "This would make a great movie"

The ideas are also really intriguing - essentially a projection of how genetic engineering will manifest itselves in future generations. Since reading it (combined with a nearer-term vision presented in the movie "Gattaca") I find the subject fascinating - both in a happy "futuristic" way, but also with some sadness for my children that will have to navigate through a more complex world as these technologies increasingly influence our lives.

I dont think this book would be to everyones taste, but I loved it!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing.
My favorite authors include Larry Niven, Neal Stephenson, and Linda Nagata. Actually, the last few books by Neal (and I have autographed copies) have been a distinct disappointments.

But in all the mass-market books that I have been able to locate, Linda Nagata has consistently written excellent work.This is the second in the Nanotech series (w/Tech Heaven, Deception Well, and Vast), and perhaps the best.

The thrust of the book centers on the attempt to access the Bohr Maker, a "maker" that can alter the (human) host's physiology at a cellular level, and more. The technological evolution is handled very well, and some ramifications of such a technology are presented as facets of the narrative. The social situation she presents is not as well framed, but that deficiency does little to reduce the joy in reading this book.

The last 3 books of this series would certainly make it on my list of top 50, proably top 25 books.

Find it, buy it and read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, sophisticated speculation + charming heroine
It's too bad this novel is currently out of print, since it packages intricate and imaginative speculation about nanotechnology and its impacts on humanity with lively action, exotic local color, a social conscience *and* a charming heroine with an unbeatable combination of vulnerability and clout.Phousita is an impoverished and uneducated but gentle, clever and (by the way) "beautifully proportioned" ex-prostitute who stands less than four feet tall. Accidentally infected with the "Bohr maker," a new and awesomely powerful nanotechnological device, she acquires magical, superhuman powers of life and death.Her adventures take her from the slums of an unnamed city (apparently in Java or Malaya) to artificial habitats in outer space and back again, more or less.Along the way Nagata details a vivid series of technological wonders, from trees (and humans) genetically engineered to flourish in the near-vacuum of space, to organic self-sustaining space habitats that disperse through spores (call them spaceships).Nor does she neglect the political dynamics and cultural shifts that result from such technological developments.Significant weaknesses include rather flat rendering of most characters and occasional lags in the plot's pacing.Nagata's next two books (Tech Heaven and Deception Well) do not live up to the promise of this one, in my view, but I look forward to checking out Vast and Limit of Vision. ... Read more

8. Analog Science Fiction Science Fact April 1987 (Vol. 107, No. 4)
by Larry Niven, Roger MacBride Allen, Eric Vinicoff, Linda Nagata, Gregory Kusnick
Paperback: 192 Pages (1987-04)

Asin: B00171713U
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Science Fiction Magazine ... Read more

9. Biography - Nagata, Linda (1960-): An article from: Contemporary Authors Online
by Gale Reference Team
Digital: 7 Pages (2005-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007SI80Y
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Editorial Review

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Word count: 2017. ... Read more

10. Techno-orientalism, nanotechnology, posthumans, and post-posthumans in Neal Stephenson's and Linda Nagata's science fiction.(Critical essay): An article from: MELUS
by Greta Aiyu Niu
 Digital: 37 Pages (2008-12-22)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0031QZBTA
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document is an article from MELUS, published by The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnics Literature of the United States on December 22, 2008. The length of the article is 10831 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: Techno-orientalism, nanotechnology, posthumans, and post-posthumans in Neal Stephenson's and Linda Nagata's science fiction.(Critical essay)
Author: Greta Aiyu Niu
Publication: MELUS (Magazine/Journal)
Date: December 22, 2008
Publisher: The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnics Literature of the United States
Volume: 33Issue: 4Page: 73(24)

Article Type: Critical essay

Distributed by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning ... Read more


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12. Götterfunke.
by Linda Nagata
Paperback: Pages (2003-03-01)

Isbn: 3404243129
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13. The Bohr Maker
by Linda Nagata
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1995)

Asin: B001586JRY
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14. Limit of Vision
by Linda Nagata
 Library Binding: Pages (2001)

Asin: B0049H15E0
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15. Tech-Heaven (The Nanotech Succession)
by Linda Nagata
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-10-27)
list price: US$7.99
Asin: B0049U48XC
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16. Memory
by Linda Nagata
 Paperback: Pages (2003)

Asin: B000OTYP6C
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17. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction April 1995 (volume 88)
by ray bradbury, maureen f. mchugh, marcos donnelly, robert reed, ray vukcevich, linda nagata
 Paperback: Pages (1995)

Asin: B000N8D2N6
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18. FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION - Volume 92, number 1 - January Jan 1997: The King of Seventh Avenue; The Bird Catcher's Children; Longing for Blood; No Planets Strike; What the Dormouse Said; Faster Than A Speeding Bullet; The Santa Trap; Being Warm-Blooded
by Kristine Kathryn (editor) (Carroll Brown; Linda Nagata; Vilma Kadleckova; Rusch
 Paperback: Pages (1997-01-01)

Asin: B001ERHN2Q
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19. Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Vol. 109, No. 9 September, 1989)
by Jerry Oltion, Eric Vinikoff, Linda Nagata, Julia Ecklar
 Paperback: 191 Pages (1989-09-01)

Asin: B000G9UV7W
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20. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction: April 1995, Volume 88, No. 4
by Ray Bradbury, Maureen F. McHugh, Robert Reed, Linda Nagata
 Paperback: Pages (1995-04-01)

Asin: B001F0OL4K
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