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Cowboy Angels (Gollancz S.F.) de Paul…
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Cowboy Angels (Gollancz S.F.) (2007 original; edició 2008)

de Paul McAuley

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2201395,994 (3.4)10
"The first Turing gate, no bigger than a fleck of dust, is forced open in 1963, at the high-energy physics laboratory in Brookhaven; three years later, the first man to enter an alternate history is sent through a much larger version, and an empire is born." "For fifteen years, the version of America that calls itself the Real has used Turing gates to infiltrate a wide variety of alternate Americas, rebuilding those wrecked by nuclear war, and fomenting revolutions to free others from Communist or Fascist rule, establishing a Pan-American Alliance. Then a nation exhausted by endless strife elects Jimmy Carter on a reconstruction and reconciliation ticket, and the Real begins to wage peace instead of war." "But some people believe that it is the Real's manifest destiny to impose its idea of truth, justice and the American way in every known alternate history, and they're prepared to do anything to reverse Carter's peacenik doctrine. Adam Stone, one of the CIG's covert field agents, or Cowboy Angels, volunteers for reactivation after an old friend begins a killing spree across alternate histories. His mission uncovers a startling secret about the operation of the Turing gates, and leads him into the heart of an audacious conspiracy to change the history of every America in the multiverse - including our own."--BOOK JACKET.… (més)
Membre:drumcondra
Títol:Cowboy Angels (Gollancz S.F.)
Autors:Paul McAuley
Informació:Gollancz (2008), Paperback, 416 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Science fiction

Detalls de l'obra

Cowboy Angels de Paul McAuley (2007)

  1. 10
    The Family Trade de Charles Stross (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both novels explore alternate USA's but the Merchant Princes series is much better.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 13 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Good story telling and average writing. I really got into it at about page 200 but that took too long. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
A real page-turner. I had glimpsed a somewhat negative review of this a few weeks ago and went into it with lowered expectations, so I liked it a bit more than I thought I would. Parallel universe adventure with more than a slight nod to Jack Womack's Ambient novels. The relentless violence had me thinking Hollywood action movie at times, but that might have been part of the point, given that it's also a novel of American imperialism taken to a whole new extreme. Ending felt like the set up for a series, which I wouldn't be unwelcome to. ( )
  ronhenry | Nov 17, 2015 |
Cowboy Angels
Author: Paul McAuley
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Published In: Amherst, NY
Date: 2011
Pgs: 363

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
Alternate worlds. Alternate Americas. Just a gate crossing away. Turing Gates opened the multiverse to America. The Real, the first America to open the gates, has used the technology to infiltrate a variety of Americas, rebuilding nuclear wracked ones, freeing the communist or fascist ruled, and creating a Pan-American Alliance bringing alternate Americas together. Trains run through the stable gates. Invasions and individual crossing through others. Since 1963, America has not been alone. But endless wars have exhausted the country. Jimmy Carter comes to the White House with election promises of reconstruction, reconciliation, and an end to alternate wars and CIA adventurism across the multiverse. The CIA’s Cowboy Angels, those agents specializing in multiversal intervention, assassination, and covert action have been retired. Adam Stone has found a universe where America is largely pastoral. New York is a bunch of farms and ranches. His retirement is interrupted when he is drawn back in because an old friend and fellow Angel has gone on a killing spree across multiple alternate worlds, on each one he is killing a woman, the same woman, her alternate counterparts, anyway. A secret about the Turing Gates lays at the center of the plot against this woman. And he is being drawn back into the life of the Cowboy Angel because retired Angels don’t always get to put away their wings.

Genre:
Adventure
Alternate History
Espionage
Fiction
Military
Multiverse
Science fiction
War

Why this book:
Alternate worlds.

______________________________________________________________________________

Favorite Character:
Jack Walker, warlord in the McBride sheaf, alternate world, leading his people in a bastardized version of the Pueblo Indian lifestyle. Crazy and monstrous, but a well defined character.

Susan Nichols, country girl, farmer in the First Foot Sheaf. The widow that Adam Stone loved but they hadn’t had the talk yet. They both knew. Who gave an accounting of herself that the two agents sent after her never expected.

Funny how, sometimes, my favorite characters in some of the books I read only appear for a handful of pages.

Adam Stone is a good character. He’s a retired James Bond tired of the grind, a Bond who has done his business across multiple sheafs. He’s overthrown governments, fomented revolution, and carried out assassinations. He found a life beyond The Company...before it sucked him back in for “one more mission.” And, then, that life reached back and destroyed the retired life that he was looking forward to. He’s a tragic figure with a hand cannon hanging in his shoulder holster.

Character I Most Identified With:
Adam Stone, the man...not the universe hopping, super spy. He’s normal. He wants to do the right thing by his friends. He wants to get back to his real life. He wants revenge on those who have screwed him and his friends over.

The Feel:
This has that really good sci fi buzz in the background. Maybe it’s just the other sheafs vibrating in the pages of the book trying to impinge on your world through your imagination.

Favorite Scene:
The almost Bondian elements of Stone’s actions when he is brought back from Waverly’s hometown. His methodical preparations to return to the Real for debriefing. His coldly adrenal reactions to the news about Susan.

The failed snatch and distraction on the train platform in the Johnson sheaf with the apemen and the fight on the train. Nice stuff.

Pacing:
The pace of the story is great. There is flow and movement to the story.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
The replay of Stone’s going after Waverly in the book’s open and him having to do it again hits a sour note. My take is that Stone wouldn’t have gone after him a second time. He would have taken the debt from Waverly’s saving his life paid by his having pulled his fat out of the fire at gunpoint the time before and left him to his own devices. Unless we play the card that Stone wants back into the life, wants one more throw of the dice, even though he seemed happy in his pastoral idyll of a life in the First Foot sheaf. In any event, Stone is much too trusting of Waverly considering that he had to shoot him to rescue him from himself in their previous encounter.

Hmm Moments:
Finding a sheaf, alternate world, populated by the survivors of a full scale nuclear war and then, because a computer said so, declaring some douche President because he is “next in line of succession”, like 577th in line of succession, and then standing by him as he loses his mind and his men go on rampages against refugees; stealing, raping, killing, struck me as horrible but in the time frame of the novel, it is probably what America would have done in the 60s and 70s. Picked who we thought could hold things together regardless of morality and backed them to the hilt, even though they were all warlords and petty tyrants fighting over the corpse of a radioactive wasteland that used to be the breadbasket of America.

The explanation that all the sheafs that had been contacted were close in nature and convergence to the Real history. The Real being the America that originated the Turing Gates. The idea that the wilder sheafs would be further afield and that eventually those would begin to be contacted as the network spread. But topologically, the sheafs closest together would be those with the most in common having separated in recent, comparative, history. Hence, no Americas that are still British colonies or part of a Pan Roman Empire that survives to the present day, but multiple Soviet or Nazi or nuclear devastated versions.

No explanation on where the white furred apemen on the train platform came from, but it’s amazing what you will accept in an alternate reality novel, especially when you are given an infinity of possibilities spread over an infinity of worlds….sheafs.

When I started the book, I thought that the Real was us, the real world. Now, I’m beginning to suspect that the Nixon Sheaf may be us...or we may not be anywhere in the book. The real world could be one of those undiscovered worlds that are close enough to be reflected in the sheafs that they have discovered beyond their Turing Gates, but not actually touched by one of the gates.

The squiggle in the middle of the story is a confusing piece. I didn’t see that coming.

Whenever the time key is switched on and Stone starts describing its effects on him, I think of Cthulhu. :/ Not sure why. Alternate worlds and time travel...why not Cthulhu.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Could make a helluva movie or a Syfy series.

Casting call:
Hayden Christensen would make a helluva Cowboy Angel. I could see him as Adam Stone.

For Linda Waverly...maybe Lily Collins. I liked her in Priest and The Blind Side. Emma Watson would be great too.

Joe Pantoliano as Walter Lipscombe, gangster in the American Bund Sheaf, revolutionary, player in the post Nazi America that exists after the revolution.

Woody Harrelson could play the crazy that comes off of Tom Waverly in a really good way.

Dennis Hopper would have been great as Dick Knightly, CIA heavy hitter and big shot...and traitor. He could absolutely have chewed this role up.
______________________________________________________________________________

Last Page Sound:
Great final line. If it were a movie, the screen would go black, you’d hear the gun go off, and a song by Rage Against the Machine would come blasting through the theater speakers.

Author Assessment:
I like the way this book is written. The text flows well. I’d definitely read more by Paul McAuley..

Editorial Assessment:
The title is odd and probably caused more than a few potential readers to glance, make a snap judgement and move on. Glad I didn’t. Seems an editor would have brought that up to the author. Though as you read deeper into the book and see Adam Stone and Tom Waverly in action, Cowboy Angels makes sense.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
instant classic, real classic, real genre classic, really good book, glad I read it, it’s alright, meh!, why did I read this, not as good as I was lead to believe

Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library - South Campus
Irving, TX

Would recommend to:
friends, family, kids, colleagues, everyone, genre fans, no one
______________________________________________________________________________

Errata:
I loved Sliders and Fringe. I love alternate history, parallel earths, multiverses, counterparts, doppelgangers, the whole smear.

The sheafs, alternate worlds, seem to be named after the major players when they are discovered, usually whoever the American President is. Though considering that there would be multiples sheafs where the same person is President when they are discovered, I wonder what that would do to the naming convention. ( )
  texascheeseman | Apr 23, 2015 |
I have a love-hate relationship with alternative history novels. I think most of them are crap. This one was pretty good. The concept of one world discovering the means to travel to alternative worlds and then subverting those worlds for its own ends is not new. But I thought that McAuley handled it well. I had some problems with the characters, especially the main character, Agent Adam Stone. Stone is a retired CIA agent, one of the first Cowboy Angels, who was known as a tough and decisive character back in the day. I wish McAuley had written about that Adam Stone. Retired Adam Stone seems to be confused most of the time and often doesn't know what to do.

The main characters are all searching for Hitchcock's McGuffin, which in this case turns out to be a mysterious device which not only allows you to travel to an alternate history but time travel as well. Once this found, and the characters began using it, the story really got confusing. McAuley creates a number of time loops and didn't do a good job of explaining what was happening.

I started reading another McAuley book last year called The Quiet War. This had gotten off to a promising start but about half way into it I had to give it up. I didn't understand what was going on and worse, didn't care. I'd say that Cowboy Angels is a better book. Although I was confused I did want to see how it ended. ( )
  capewood | Dec 8, 2014 |
If you aren’t paying attention, you might forget that Paul McAuley’s new novel, Cowboy Angels, is science fiction. Don’t get me wrong: there’s no doubt that it is science fiction. But McAuley has written a clever, quick, and fast moving novel that has all the elements of a great spy thriller, too. It’s a blend of genres that McAuley pulls off brilliantly, and it makes for an exciting and fast ride, a page turner perfect for a summer vacation or a rainy weekend indoors.

Before I found science fiction as a teenager, I read cold war thrillers and spy novels. John le Carre, Tom Clancy, and Robert Ludlum were standard fare, my favorite scenes included dead drops, femme fatales, secret codes, and high speed car chases. There were few things I enjoyed more than watching a frantic Jason Bourne lethally and methodically evade assassins or Jack Ryan foil an international plot to destroy the President. I like my spies smart, decisive, and one step ahead of the chase.

Adam Stone, McAuley’s lead spy, is just that kind of spy. He lives in a parallel universe to our own, and he is one of the “cowboy angels” CIA officers that are sent to the Americas in parallel universes to help promote democracy and “the American way.” But now, Stone has retired, moved to an unpopulated version of the island Manhattan in one of the many parallel universes he has access to, and lives a rural life hunting prehistoric saber tooth tigers and giant sloths. He’s even fallen in love. Then, in a day, his past comes back to haunt him, suddenly he is on the run, hunting rogue agents, and being hunted by deadly assassins. It’s spy-versus-spy at its best. I loved it.

Nary a page passes without the action building, the plot twisting, and complications mounting. As another review put it, it’s helter-skelter, and our heroes have no chance to stop. The pages almost turn themselves. It’s great fiction, it’s exciting fiction, and I loved every moment of it.
( )
  publiusdb | Aug 22, 2013 |
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"The first Turing gate, no bigger than a fleck of dust, is forced open in 1963, at the high-energy physics laboratory in Brookhaven; three years later, the first man to enter an alternate history is sent through a much larger version, and an empire is born." "For fifteen years, the version of America that calls itself the Real has used Turing gates to infiltrate a wide variety of alternate Americas, rebuilding those wrecked by nuclear war, and fomenting revolutions to free others from Communist or Fascist rule, establishing a Pan-American Alliance. Then a nation exhausted by endless strife elects Jimmy Carter on a reconstruction and reconciliation ticket, and the Real begins to wage peace instead of war." "But some people believe that it is the Real's manifest destiny to impose its idea of truth, justice and the American way in every known alternate history, and they're prepared to do anything to reverse Carter's peacenik doctrine. Adam Stone, one of the CIG's covert field agents, or Cowboy Angels, volunteers for reactivation after an old friend begins a killing spree across alternate histories. His mission uncovers a startling secret about the operation of the Turing gates, and leads him into the heart of an audacious conspiracy to change the history of every America in the multiverse - including our own."--BOOK JACKET.

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