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Hardcover The God Engines Book

ISBN: 1596062991

ISBN13: 9781596062993

The God Engines

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Book Overview

Captain Ean Tephe is a man of faith, whose allegiance to his lord and to his ship is uncontested. The Bishopry Militant knows this -- and so, when it needs a ship and crew to undertake a secret,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Technology & Religion Collide

John Scalzi's best known for a lot of things: his blog, Whatever, where he talks about whatever's on his mind at the moment, and his Science Fiction series, Old Man's War, are only a couple. When he announced his upcoming Fantasy debut in 2009 I was surprised and quickly realized I needed to read a copy as soon as I could. Not to mention, the cover art for the Subterranean Press hardcover is only a glimpse of the artwork inside. The God Engines is a fascinating take on Fantasy that really overlaps with Science Fiction enough to please Scalzi fans approaching the book familiar with only Old Man's War. Captain Ean Tephe and his crew are on their way back from a failure at Ament Cour aboard the Righteous. When the book opens, readers are hit with one of the most eye-catching first lines I've ever read: "It was time to whip the god" (p. 7). From there on, there's little I can say that wouldn't ruin the book for you, but I'll try not to; the beauty of this book is in reading it for yourself. As the title suggests, The God Engines is going to be about something to do with the latter two words: gods and engines; as the first line suggests: the god has done something reproachable. Scalzi quite literally imagines a time far into our future where the science of space travel has transcended the boundaries between what is quantifiable and what is not. Space travel is possible on a level entirely different from what we know or typically imagine today; the journeys we still aspire to between and among the stars has transformed and evolved (this is probably not the best word) into the nebulous and almost magical realm of religion. The gods of Tephe's universe are given human form as they have been broken and anchored to the only thing that keeps them under control: iron. With methods unknown to mortals, the gods can draw on the faith of their followers to become the engine of the ships built around their iron prisons. It's the particular god on Tephe's ship that's gotten a little out of control and begun attacking members of the crew that has him, and the Priest Andso, worried. Tephe's god is creepy, demented, and viciously feral and cruel. It refers to itself in the plural, uttering "we" and "us" in place of "I" and "me." It grins and giggles savagely with the blood of its victims caught still between its gleaming teeth. This god is deranged. Not all gods are so disturbed--Tephe relates the past assignments he's had on various ships with gods as varied and with as many different personalities as you'd expect any mortal to have. It's only Tephe's dumb luck he's been stuck with this one. Of interest to note is the subtext Scalzi weaves into The God Engines. There are questions over Faith being metaphorical or literal and whether one definition has any advantage over the other. One thing is true: Faith has become the science of this book so much that The God Engines comes dangerously close to being Science Fiction itself. It's a new marriage

The God Engines by John Scalzi

John Scalzi treads new domains with this dark Gothic Opera of star travel, faith, living gods, sex, violence and space battles which channels the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft. Plot You have to have faith to be a starship captain, since your engine is a captured and defiled god. The first line of the book is "It was time to whip the god" - just like that. Captain Ean Tephe has a strong faith and his religious superiors uses it and him when their god come under assault from new and strong gods. They send him on a mission to find converts to strengthen his god with new faith. A mission that will challenge his faith and his grasp of reality in unexpected and sinister ways. Idea The main focus of the story is faith. How strong faith might move mountains, but also the difference between reflecting and challenged faith compared to blind faith that doesn't allow challenges. I am not sure that is what John intended, but I feel it has something to tell us all about the follies of blind faith. I should add that this is not a religious book even if it is about faith, there are no identifiable religions in it. Characterization One of John Scalzi's strength is his vivid characters and his uncanny ability to make you feel what they do. I like Ean, I understand his motivations and I chill to the bone like he does. World building There is something gothic over the world John Scalzi conjure. A dystropic interstellar empire run by a militaristic church, serving one God that has conquered and captured other gods to be used to power the starships that keeps it together. It is not a world I would like to live in but it is an interesting world I would like to read more about. My View The God Engines is a chilling horror story set in a world with living manifested gods, so it has to be fantasy? Well, maybe, there is a lot of Space Opera and science fiction in this fantasy story. I think it's magnificent and I love the inventiveness of the story, using gods as engines! I am just sorry it is so short, the plot could easily have been made into a full length novel. I say convinced that it would be easy for John Scalzi, him being such a fantastic writer (nudge, nudge).

Utterly engrossing

Scazli completely surprised me with the settings, characters, and stark darkness he created. I've always found his work very entertaining with an often lighthearted bent not found in most other Sci-Fi. Who else would have the impetuous of a story center around a fart joke? Yet with The God Engines he clearly wanted to try not only a different genre, but an entirely new mindset. Scalzi still manages to sneak in some wonderful Sci-Fi elements into his Fantasy such as setting the story mainly in space, which I haven't seen before but it works beautifully. I've already seen The God Engines on some lists being nominated for the Nebula award and it would certainly get my vote if I were eligible. If Scalzi doesn't write more stories in this universe it would truly be a crime against Fantasy.

Scalzi tries something new

Scalzi tries something new with this long novella. He calls it dark fantasy, but it's really more science-fantasy -- the action is largely aboard an FTL starship, and the setting is an interstellar religious empire. The title is literally true -- I'm treading lightly here to avoid spoilers. The Empire is ruled by the Bishopry Militant, a rather unsavory theocracy, and the religious supernatural is at the forefront of the tale. The God Engines is a story along the lines of Harlan Ellison's "The Deathbird " (in Deathbird Stories), although it's less directly tied to Christianity than Ellison's classic. Scalzi does some very effective society and religion-building here. His writing is as good as ever, the tale moves along briskly, sex, violence and spaceship-battles are featured. The story becomes darker with each revelatory twist, and ends up very dark and bloody indeed. Recommended, with a caveat for the easily-squicked. I'd be surprised if Scalzi doesn't revisit this intriguing new universe. Happy reading-- Peter D. Tillman Review first published at SF Site, 2009

Very entertaining tale

It's a page-turner from the start, where you meet the captain and the trapped god, to the end, when . . . well, you'll have to read it! I read it in one sitting. Scalzi's created a highly creative universe, where mankind relies on "godpower" to power their spacecraft. There's some interesting commentary on religion, including some great stuff from a sort of "avenging god" near the end, on page 133 - but I won't spoil it for you. -Larry Hodges
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