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Joseph Mitchell came to New York City in 1929 from a small town in North Carolina. He was twenty-one years old. He worked as a reporter & feature writer--for "The World", "The Herald Tribune", & "The World Telegram"--for eight years, & then went to "The New Yorker", where he remained until his vis mere death in 1996. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Værker af Joseph Mitchell

Shard Mountain (2010) 7 eksemplarer

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Almen Viden

Pennsylvania, USA



This book was read on my Kindle, as a borrowed book, from

Science fiction has been my mainstay since I was nine years old (go Dig Allen!). Between time travel (oh, Robert Heinlein!) and apocalyptic, end of the world stories (Deathlands), it's hard to pick a favorite. I looked forward to seeing what Mr. Mitchell made of the future in his book, "Shard Mountain", as it definitely encompassed 'EOTW' and even brushed time travel, in a way.

Three unlikely heroes are catapulted over 500 years into the future. The 'mechanism' of this is explained and believable. We never do learn the back-story of the WHY of it. Why did they end up going from a prison bus accident, to becoming cryonically stored and cerebrally enhanced, to wake up in the future???

So, into the future, for whatever reason, three men from our present wake up to a brave, new world. Humans, mutant humans and mutant animals, psionic powers, wasted landscape and adventures, lasers, blasters and flintlocks. Oh, and drugs and alcohol.

Don't look for hard science fiction, rather, it's a fun jaunt through a post-nuclear warfare landscape, complete with unlikely mutations, HAZMAT areas, futuristic weapons and throwbacks all the way to the 'knights of old'. The writing is a little sophomoric, with a good helping of stoner counter-culture thrown in - drugs are not bad and should never have been outlawed in the past. That said, I can recommend this as an entertaining, if slightly long, read.

I am not a professional reviewer and did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
… (mere)
EC130John | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jul 5, 2011 |
I don't want to be too harsh, because this is the author's first effort. It took me a while to finally commit to reading it -- I don't remember if it was free or just reduced or cheap, which always encourages me to try new things. And in that sense, I am glad I was able to share the journeys of the protagonists, and experience the voice of a new author.

That said, it could used tighter editing. Ideas or thoughts were often repeated to distraction. Jake liked treeky bars. He loved the taste of treeky bars. Mmm, treeky bars. I get it.

I also thought the Jake character was a dude bro caricature -- and his backstory doesn't mesh with what he thinks about later -- how he was in trouble for jaywalking. Charles, the most sympathetic character is a stereotypical virgin geek saving himself, in trouble for unpaid parking tickets. Honestly, I'd *love* to have heard more about the society in which people were sent to prison for such minor offenses, if Jake's second backstory is true. Then there's Parker, the typical testosterone bossy prison guard.
They're in an accident, and when they wake up, they're more than 500 years in the future, preserved as a cryogenic / cyborg experiment forgotten when civilization collapsed. We never find out how it came to be that a prison bus accident came to be fodder for experiments, unless that was a cover to take people to experiment on.

The three characters also seem to blunder into a sort of idealized yet rough post-apocalyptic utopic town -- there are problems, for sure, but everyone is happy and working hard in their frontier gab. And the three cryotes, as they are called, assimilate more or less pretty easily. Apart from Charles' hypochondriac insistence on having them checked out medically because of headaches.

The plot meanders from little episode to episode, each fairly dramatic in its own right, but they mostly feel like they have no purpose. It was only at the end, in the climax, that I felt satisfied that something was really happening, and it still didn't seem sufficiently tied to the rest of the troubles -- which mostly seem to deal with ancient technology that is actually from the future of the cryotes.

I did enjoy the idea of all the mutants and sometimes mutant powers living together, sometimes in harmony and sometimes not. Would there really be enough time to evolve sentient mutants based off animals, though? Or did they take on animal characteristics? There's a suggestion there might've been interbreeding which seems more implausible/icky in the 500+ years given. Breeding with possums and ravens?

I think my major problem with this book really boils down to the repetitiveness of the thoughts of the characters, mentioned earlier. That, and the "he doth protest too much" attitude toward seeing another man's "junk." It wasn't homophobia, by any stretch, but just the protestations of "I'm so straight" were a bit annoying. I know these guys are from the past -- and actually 2010 past which doesn't really jibe with the whole "society puts people in prison for parking tickets vibe" -- but really, we can't get over accidentally seeing another man's junk without making a big deal out of it?

Overall, a good effort for a first-time author, but I'd suggest a tighter edit. A little long, too, which could've been fixed by not having so many repetitive dudes and treeky bar exclamations.
… (mere)
mbmeadow | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jun 13, 2011 |
Article first published as Book Review:Shard Mountain by Joseph Mitchell on Blogcritics.

On his way to prison for a crime as simple as excess parking tickets created a nightmare for Charles Rogers. A computer geek to his bones he still does not understand the process that put him in this place at this time. Along with a few other prisoners and guards his life is about to take a turn into the ‘Twilight Zone.’

The accident came out of nowhere, as the prison van moved to pass a military convoy, a tanker lost control veering into the bus. The last thing Charles remembered was the jarring feeling and a sudden burst of some form of silver liquid covering everything. Hitting his head, he did not remember anything else, never dreaming he slept, unaware of time passing.

Charles first burst of conscious thought came with a painful light. Blinking against the sudden pain, he felt uncomfortable. Hearing a voice, but not understanding the message, he hears that he would be very stiff from the amount of time that passed. Finding a voice that sounds familiar, he finally opens his eyes, only to realize that he is in a nightmare. Some sort of giant pink humanoid creature was looking at him. As he backed up against the bed quickly, a human reminded him to take it easy. Moosh was a friend and had helped to rescue him and his friends. But who or what is Moosh?

The surroundings were unreal, all metal pieces and parts domed off, with wires and technology everywhere. Although is all seemed surreal, he could see the damage to the equipment and lab, which is what they appeared to be in. As he began to get a grip, he saw there were two others with him from the prison van. A young man named Jake and one of the prison guards, Parker Boll. The human rescuer said his name was Brother Kevin and reminded them they must get away. Apparently, Moosh had found this bunker and killed the two mutants that were intent on killing them.

Hurriedly pulling themselves together, this ragtag group of humans with their mutant rescuer prepares to leave the area. Not prepared for the devastation he finds outside the dome, Charles is horrified. The world is not as he remembered it. It is barren and hostile, with one definitive wonder that stood above it all, a mountain of glass. Known as Shard Mountain, it contained secrets sill not known after hundreds of years. Looking again in surprise at Brother Kevin, he finds out that he and his friends have been sleeping for 500 years. The world as they knew it is not the same, it is a dangerous world and they will have to make their place in it.

In Shard Mountain, Joseph Mitchell has fabricated an apocalyptic world. It is full of danger and surprise. Both human and mutants inhabit the earth, but there is more––much more. Charles, Jake and Parker must find a place in this world; most of the cryotes (the awakened) are not so adaptable. Waking in the year 2581 has both its advantages and disadvantages, weapons are few, drugs are easily accessible, transportation is with stagles, and a mind speak exists that only a few are capable of. Having been asleep for all these years our heroes find their minds have been experimented with, but have no idea how.

This is a story of challenges and changes, of finding your place and your courage in a world different from anything you have ever known. It is full of savage predators, mutants, living machines and just about everything you can imagine from an ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ nightmare. The characters are much as you would expect and yet they grow and expand to fit the rising needs. Love is in store as well, and we will follow this group of individuals on their journey to find their place.

This is a novel of extremes, but has a story line quite in keeping with the expectations of those that predict these very things happening. Sometimes fiction is stranger the truth and Mitchell has brought us a world of the future. Come and visit a world that is bold and crazy, but be prepared for a long journey. This book is not for the faint of heart, but is full of incredible experience.

I would recommend this book to the science fiction aficionada. Be prepared as this is a book so filled with story and challenges it is quite long. At over 400 pages, be prepared to bury yourself in time, to dig into the volume of material. It is fun and has vivid depiction; the words transport you to the very time. Mitchell has done a great job of fictional prose, with such remarkable detail as to make you find yourself in this future. Hang on for the ride.

This book was received as a free e-book from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.
… (mere)
wrighton-time | 2 andre anmeldelser | Mar 26, 2011 |

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