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Home Fires av Gene Wolfe
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Home Fires (utgåvan 2011)

av Gene Wolfe

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2491383,981 (3.04)9
Chelle and Skip have been separated by Chelle's tour of duty in a war against aliens from distant solar systems. They find their relationship complicated by time differentials that cause an injured and war-weary Chelle to age only a few months while Skip reaches his forties.
Medlem:AndrewWheeler
Titel:Home Fires
Författare:Gene Wolfe
Info:Tor Books (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Home Fires av Gene Wolfe

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This novel was a scattered collection of a few good lines and ideas, lost in a tattered mess of an unnecessarily overwrought structure. To add insult to injury, Wolfe adds a few sh*tstains of crackpot conservativism: e.g. the EU of the future is offhandedly described as being governed by sharia law. Other aspects are simply archaic: racial minorities all speak in stereotypical 'funny accents' and every adult female character save one speaks in the same irritating childlike voice. It doesn't even work well as science fiction, since very little is described (the book is mostly dialogue) and what is described ranges from the derivative (e.g. differences in ages due to travel at relativistic velocity) to the laughably implausible (e.g. a former soldier who did a tour of duty in deep space expresses dislike and unfamiliarity with this who newfangled 'email' thing.)

Overall, this was a disappointingly weak work from an otherwise strong author. ( )
  ralphpalm | Nov 11, 2019 |
I picked up a copy of the signed and numbered PS Publishing edition of this novel for much cheapness a couple of years ago, although not being an especially big fan of Wolfe’s fiction I’ve no real idea why I did so. His The Fifth Head of Cerberus is a classic work of sf, The Book of the New Sun is a remarkable work but its sensibilities have not aged well, and everything else he has written I’ve found more or less meh. Except his short fiction – that I really don’t like at all, bar one or two stories. But Wolfe has a reputation for tricksiness and cleverness, as if the two things are the same, and his profile within genre remains extremely high, even if few people seem to read him these days. Home Fires does nothing to change my current opinion of Wolfe. It’s set a century or so hence. Skip Grison is a wealthy lawyer in his fifties. Twenty-something years before, he contracted (civil partnership) with Chelle Sea Blue (yes, really), who then left Earth to fight the Os. She is due to return home. Although she has been away decades, it has only been a handful of years for her. He is worried for their partnership, although he still loves her dearly. As a present for her return, Skip arranges for Chelle’s mother to be resurrected – ie, a brain scan of her is imprinted onto the mind of a volunteer. Skip and Chelle then go on a cruise on a sailing ship (the cover art depicts a motor cruise liner with masts and sails badly photoshopped on top, which is annoying). Things happen aboard the sailing ship – hijackers seize it, attempts are made on the life of Shelle’s mother, Wolfe plays his usual wordgames with the reader… But it all seems a bit, well, a bit feeble. Some of the puzzles presented in the narrative are easy enough to solve, and are indeed explained, but don’t seem to add much to the story. Those which are left unexplained, add even less. I can live with the mix-n-match worldbuilding, and while the old-fashioned sexual politics are uncomfortable they don’t actually overwhelm the narrative, but… it all feels like a pointless exercise. It doesn’t feel like a story, it feels like half a puzzle with no reward for solving it. I had expected some intellectual gratification from identifying the puzzles and then solving them, or failing to solve them, but to be honest I didn’t really care. Home Fires reads like a forgettable sf novel with a heavy reputation it doesn’t deserve hanging over it. Avoidable. ( )
  iansales | Sep 17, 2017 |
This one has many of Wolfe's hallmarks: a clever protagonist who figures things out without telling us all his thoughts; a setting that is revealed gradually, with no infodumps or other tricks to tell us what is different; themes of memory, identity, loyalty, and courage; loose ends that are not all wrapped up. The story line is thinner than in Wolfe's best books, and the characters, beyond the three primary ones, do not have the distinctive voices and dialects that we see in, say, The Book of the Long Sun. Wolfe sucked me in with the initial premise, a middle-aged man meeting his young bride, who was his age before travelling to and from the interstellar war. We quickly learn of reanimation, in which a brain scan of a person who has died is copied into the brain of a volunteer. We learn of other new technologies, as well as political alliances, gradually and casually; they are spoken of as between individuals who are familiar with them. The main plot concerns the hijacking of the cruise that the man and his bride take. Second-grade Wolfe is better than a lot of writing that's available, but I wonder if we'll get another great book from him. ( )
1 rösta Jim53 | May 31, 2017 |
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would from the reviews I was seeing on the web. It's something of a mishmash (I presume intentionally) of tropes: science fiction, mystery, spy story, love story, all cuisinarted into one tale, spiced up with the usual Wolfean trickery of important detail conveyed in casual dialogue and characters who may not be who they appear or claim to be. ( )
  ronhenry | Nov 17, 2015 |
A disappointment from a stellar writer. The premise is intriguing, and there are great ideas in there, but Wolfe doesn't do much with them. The book opens with the return of a soldier from an interstellar war; the relativistic travel involved means she returns, a young woman after a two-year stint, to a lover who has aged decades in her absence. Wolfe's usual subtle incluing is in force here; this is a post-oil future, as we learn from the offhand notes about elevators and the discussion of sails on a huge cruise ship. The technology is oddly off in ways that aren't explained by this situation, particularly communications, which isn't ever explained. Wolfe plays it straight; the characters don't mention anything that they wouldn't mention to someone from their world, there is no "As you know, Bob" here. Since this is, despite its flaws, a Wolfe novel, themes of memory and identity pervade the book, with brain scans and wipes (partial or total) pervading the book.

The weakest part of the novel is its plot; after their reunion, Chelle (the veteran) and Skip (her partner) go off on a cruise, which is attacked by hijackers. And that's pretty much it. The characters all sound the same, speaking in very careful, educated sentences at all times. They all have Wolfe's own voice (and he is capable of writing otherwise). ( )
  lorax | Jan 6, 2014 |
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Chelle and Skip have been separated by Chelle's tour of duty in a war against aliens from distant solar systems. They find their relationship complicated by time differentials that cause an injured and war-weary Chelle to age only a few months while Skip reaches his forties.

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