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Old 10-24-2009, 02:02 AM   #1
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Discussion: Verdant Skies by Steve Jordan (spoilers)

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Old 10-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #2
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OK... who else read this?

I thought it was a great book... however, I thought things were just to easy for the Verdant people.

Also, I thought the whole "data chip" thing was a bit 2002. Um, even in 2009 every computer in the world is connected to every other one. Carrying around files on a data chip sounds so 1990's sneaker net'ish.

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Old 10-26-2009, 02:12 PM   #3
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I'm just about done with his book, and I have to say that I am really enjoying it. The below post by mores, from another thread, gives a link to a "blueprint" Steve did of Verdant plus more background information.

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<SNIP>

Re:Verdant Skies: Steve was so nice and whip up a map of Verdant. I guess it was me just being thick, but I just couldn't visualize the satellite. All this talk of floors and axes and stuff was like a black hole in my brain ... whatever I pieced together just didn't work out.
Here's the "blueprint": http://www.stevejordanbooks.com/bg/verdant_bg.htm
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:35 PM   #4
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I really enjoyed it. My first question is when can I buy the sequel?


A few thoughts...

Steve did a good job of getting out the "hard" info without boring me to death which sometimes happens in SciFi.

I liked the multi character perspective he used in this book.

He did a good job of showing me a future that I can actually envision.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:33 AM   #5
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I am about 73.73% through ... they're currently retrofitting the freighter with a Silver Drive.

I really enjoy this book. It's really hard to put down, and I have decided to leave the TV off and read, which only happens with good books (My cookery programs are quite important ... they give me inspiration for dinner). I actually felt blood rush in my ears when that no-good president decided to annex Verdant and authorized assasionations. Whoa, man!!

So far, Steve, excellent job!

Now, the nagging: Some of the writing needs to be ironed out. It happens on a regular basis that you repeat words in a paragraph - sometimes even right in the next sentence.
The only thing that irks me with the characters is that they're so perfect, at least the protagonists.
Also, why are all the women in your future visions sluts? I mean, they're all willing to sleep with just about anybody.

But overall, even though I'm not finished yet, I must admit this is your best book yet. Even if I like the characters in Lambs Hide, Tigers Seek more due to their normalness, Verdant Skies just grabs you almost from page one and doesn't let you go.

Hope the last quarter won't let me down

Last edited by mores; 10-30-2009 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:13 AM   #6
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Hope the last quarter won't let me down
It won't. You will see why so many of us are clamouring for a sequel.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:02 PM   #7
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Okay I'm only 1/2 through the book but so far I'm enjoying it.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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Finished it a few nights ago.

I stand by my initial appraisal - it's a freakin' good book.
Since I'm not a typical sci-fi reader, I liked the fact that it was a "light" version of what I immagine hardcore science fiction can be like. It's easy to see the technology used in the book's future is based on today's tech, it doesn't require a "super invention" that explains all kinds of unfathomable gadgets. This makes it easy for me to read without rolling my eyes and saying "yeah ... sure".
Actually, the quantum drive potrayed in this book makes more sense to me than Star Trek's warp drive, subspace, hyperspace and what not.

The story is well thought out, it starts out interesting (lots of book have tedious beginnings, this one does not!) and won't let you go. A lokal crisis that turns global is something we're all afraid of, and again it's something real and conceivable.
I liked the characters immediately and got to know them pretty well, even if I wonder, why most of them are single and promiscuous. Maybe it's supposed to be an allusion to a more relaxed future where sex is not considered nasty and dirty and anything that is not missionary style is for deviants and must be prohibited by law. If so, this fact would be explained, somehow.

Now, the end is where it starts to get more and more complicated and sci-fi-ier, and I must say that a sequel will ultimately be some kind of star trek type of story, something I like to watch on TV, but not spend hours and hours reading.

The only "issue" I have is the way Steve keeps the reader in the dark, at times, only to reveal it was all a ploy. That way, while the revelation is a surprise (as intended), it does give the scene a manufactured feeling and the characters become über-smart. I think I'd prefer a more traditional narration.

Now that I've finished, I must admit this is Steve's best work yet and I'd give it an 8/10!

But before you think of a sequel, how about doing one for Lambs Hide, Tigers Seek?
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:00 PM   #9
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I finished this a few days ago, and I'm glad I allowed myself to be "peer-pressured" into reading it. It is as good, maybe a bit better than Flashforward.

I too was a little bothered by the fact that the men in powerful positions could just snap their fingers and attractive women would be doing whatever they wanted. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think it happens all that much (at least in the US) now, much less in the future when we're even more conservative and liability-concious.

The plot, I really liked, and especially the idea of the Verdant Drive when compared to the warp drives prevelant in other sci-fi. I didn't read through all the author's comments in the end, but it was evident that it was backed up by some research. I think he did a good job telling the reader just enough theory to make it believable, without going into enough detail to make it boring.

I found it a bit hard to swallow that Calvin's wife was willing to leave both him AND their daughter just to go back to earth. (even if Earth was pristine, no mother would be willing to abandon BOTH of them like that) The fact that she had proof that Earth was all messed up due to global warming made it even less believable. Maybe I just didn't understand her enough...

As far as endings, I don't like the sudden, dramatic endings. This ending was a bit sudden, but he didn't just leave us hanging like many other authors do. (either to promote sequels or for dramatic effect)He took the time to write a couple short chapters to wrap it up properly and let us know how everything was going to turn out.

I give the book a 8.5/10.

I started The Trial now and am over 1/3 of the way through it. I'm still waiting for a plot to develop and for K. to stop being an arrogant jerk. I'm losing patience quickly. Good thing it is not too long, hehehe.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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I am really glad I read this one, I enjoyed it allot more than flashforward!

I did find it a bit surprising when Calvin's wife left, I think he will be happy with Valeria in the 'Verdant 2' though
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:10 PM   #11
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Okay Finished Steve Jordan “Verdant” over the weekend.

Overall
I enjoyed the book it had a good plot and a good story behind the book. I’m not sure if it was by design or just paned out but the main conflict of the books over immigration parallel closely to what the USA is going through today. He captures the desperation in what people are willing to sacrifice and resort to in order to provided a better living form themselves. Except the tables are turned here and it is US citizens that are desperately trying to get on the station. Unfortunately here is where Mr. Jordan didn’t expand on the topic, it was used more like a ploy to introduce conflict between USA and Verdant.

I think this book needs it’s own category called Soap-Fi, the sub plots felt more like a soap opera with betrayal, adultery, and dirty hidden pasts. All evolving around the main plot but with little influence on the story.

My main critique of the book was the climax of the book was not very climatic. It just didn’t work well. Here we have a satellite station that had no defense mechanism hold it’s own against a full onslaught offensive strike. True while the they where trying to refrain from hurting the station, they still could have disbanded with the Wasp very easily. The military today has pinpoint accuracy with it’s missiles, I would expect the future to have even more accuracy.

I also felt the climatic moment to just jump and never return was pretty anti-climatic essentially the story just came to a sizzle from that point.


On the style of Jordan, this is the fourth book/story I read from Jordan and do enjoy his style easy to read with a decent plot, humor and good character development. I guess the only negative I would add, and this is more a personal preference is that there is too much fluff added to his stories that do not enhance the plot or character development. Who knows maybe it’s a Jordan-ism, since another not so famous Jordan, author of Wheel of Time, tends add lots of fluff to his stories as well. This just tends to add to the size of the book and has the ill effect of dragging the story on.

Anyhow I did enjoy the book and wait the sequel


On a side note, I found out why I have a hard time enjoying Si-Fi, even though I have a scientific background… See its me!. What happens is once the author makes an error in the scientific explanation, I have a hard time focusing on the story and I start looking for more inconsistencies, which takes away from the book. In this particular book I had to suspend my knowledge and focus on the book. Yes I found myself grinding my teeth during the “Silver Drive” explanations and zip through it as fast as possible so I may not dwell on the science. This made the book enjoyable as I resulted on just enjoying the book.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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OK... who else read this?

I thought it was a great book... however, I thought things were just to easy for the Verdant people.
Yeah I agree, I wish the conflict was a little more tougher for the Verdant people to get out of instead of just jumping at the last minute from some secret technology.

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Old 11-22-2009, 03:04 PM   #13
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I liked the book a lot. The story was nicely conducted and it made me keep wanting to read more to find out what happened next. The story is also well balanced between the different characters, and I was able to follow it easily without getting lost between the different characters, which often happens for me.

I especially enjoyed the mistery about Dr. Silver before the first jump, when we find out she's up to something but don't know if she's a villain or not.
I also liked a lot the scene in which they first test the freighter equipped with the drive, when everybody's watching from inside the satellite. The way people cheer when the ship comes back was moving.

One thing that kept me from enjoying this book more was the women. There is an unnaturally high number of exceptionally beautiful women in this book, and lots of time are spent explaining how this particular woman is as hot as this other particular woman, even though they have very different types of beauty.
This made the book less believable, and I had a harder time caring about the characters because of that. Throughout my reading I had a hard time trying to figure out if the book was meant purely for enjoyment, like having a fun read and then forget about it, or if we were meant to empathise with the characters. I was able to empathise with the male characters (well, not Gordon!), but not most of the female ones.
In the same vein, one thing that I thought was out of place was when Reya suggested Julian should sleep with Kris on the first day she comes into CnC. I mean, there are tensions between Verdant and the US, and Kris is a diplomat/spy from the US, sleeping with her really does not seem like a casual, harmless thing to do!

Finally, I saw the movie 2012 on friday, and I found it reminiscent of this book. I don't know if it was because I'd just read it or not, but many details seemed familiar, in particular the Yellowstone eruption. But in the end the 'ships' designed to save humanity are not exactly satellites.
Did anyone else see the movie? (If you haven't seen it, don't take my post as a recommandation for it!
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #14
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I have just started reading Verdant Skies... Love what I've read so far...
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