West of Eden

West of Eden

by Harry Harrison

Overnight, the ago of dinosaurs ended.

The age of dinosaurs ended.

What if the reptiles had survived to evolve intelligent life?In West of Eden, bestselling author Harry Harrison has created a rich, dramatic saga of a world where the descendents of the dinosaurs struggled with a clan of humans in a battle for survival.Here is the story of Kerrick, a young hunter who grows to manhood among the dinosaurs, escaping at last to rejoin his own kind.

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So whether you choose to go east or west of Eden you would be on to a very good thing in either direction. The first half of the book tells the story of young Kerrick, a human boy captured by the Yilanè for research purposes, in order to find the most effective way of annihilating mankind. The second half of the book tells of the aftermath of Kerricks escape and warfare between the two species. The Yilanès language includes voice, body and tail movements, plus skin colour changes, the very sort of thing I read sci-fi for. Even more astonishing is Kerricks adaptation of this language for which he must compensate for a lack of tail and inability to change skin colours. The second half of the book is less fascinating than the first as the story leaves the exploration of the Yilanès language and culture, but the pacing of the story is quite rapid in this part and there is not really time for anything to drag. The central Yilanè and human characters are very well developed enabling the reader to appreciate both species perspectives. I kind of wish the Yilanè and humanity would learn to get along and coexist and perhaps they will do in the sequels which I have not read yet.

Amazing portrayal of Yileni culture and advanced biotechnology. 2. Vast differences of Tanu (humans) and the Yileni (reptiles) made the extreme xenophobia of both species very much understandable. I could even argue that it was the human who started it all.

Gostei mais da primeira parte (a vida de Kerrick entre as Yilané) do que da segunda (a guerra entre os Tanu e as Yilané), mas vale seguramente as 4 estrelas, pela imaginação do autor e pelo desafio aos conceitos estabelecidos, que competem no mesmo nível com os melhores autores de ficção científica.

Someone mentioned West of Eden by Harry Harrison which recently came out and asked if anyone liked it. In style, Harry Edison was basically a pulp science fiction writer mainly known for his Stainless Steel Rat series.

Harrison has created a stunning what-if scenario what if the dinosaurs had not become extinct, but had gone on over millions of years to create a civilisation based on bioengineering? He learns about them from the inside, and after escaping uses his knowledge to rally the scattered Ustuzou tribes and destroy the Yilane and their city. The conflict between the Yilane and the Ustuzou can, of course, also be read as a sort of fable, and you could draw parallels with the Spanish conquest of Peru, the European colonisation of North America, and the expansion of Germany in the 1930s as it sought more living space.

Ele não é mais o mesmo, mas o ódio pelas Yilanè vence, levando-o a vingar a destruição de vários sammad e a respectiva morte dos seus membros, até á destruição da cidade onde cresceu. Por outro lado a sociedade muitíssimo desenvolvida das Yilanè que dominam magistralmente vários campos da biologia e outras ciências. Ainda a ambiguidade dos sentimentos em Kerrick, que se sente preso a um povo, o seu, mas que ao mesmo tempo se sente deslumbrado pela evolução e conforto que o mundo das Yilanè lhe proporcionam. A zoologia incrível que o autor cria e apresenta num conjunto de seres, em que alguns mais reais são antepassados dos existentes nos nossos dias, mas outros que são mutações genéticas oriundas do desenvolvimento das Yilanè e que servem para a sua subsistência.

The world-building is extreme, and the nerdy payoff is even more enormous; the kind of 'What If?' I've been thinking about, unconsciously, ever since I was a little boy snuggled beneath my dinosaur bedsheets trying to read books by flashlight. The story unfolds through the eyes of the hunter-gatherers (Tanu) being pushed south to look for more plentiful game, and the race of lizard creatures (Yilane) who use genetic manipulation to mutate creatures into amazing things; transport, mounts, tools, weapons, even warping and shaping entire forests into gigantic tree cities, complete with defenses, nurseries, laboratories, and fields full of grazing dinosaurs to be used as beef cattle. The languages are rich, although the words unfamiliar and at first the reading was slow-going due to the tough pronunciations, after a while it became clear just how much research and work went into this book, and it set my head spinning for the duration.

Once you've more or less resigned yourself to a bumpy ride, he introduces the Yilanè, a race so proud, arrogant, and cruel that the first half of the book provides few redeeming features - and the handful of deviant (read: compassionate) elements are rendered nearly inconsequential. Everything I like to see in a book is there - a rebellious faction in an autocratic society, a perspective on social ossification as a weakness when chaotic elements are introduced, a meditation on the morality of total war - but so downplayed that the causal reader has to dig for them.

Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room!