Only Superhuman

Only Superhuman

4.2 11
by Christopher L. Bennett
     
 

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2107 AD: A generation ago, Earth and the cislunar colonies banned genetic and cybernetic modifications. But out in the Asteroid Belt, anything goes. Dozens of flourishing space habitats are spawning exotic new societies and strange new varieties of humans. It's a volatile situation that threatens the peace and stability of the entire solar system.

Emerald

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Overview

2107 AD: A generation ago, Earth and the cislunar colonies banned genetic and cybernetic modifications. But out in the Asteroid Belt, anything goes. Dozens of flourishing space habitats are spawning exotic new societies and strange new varieties of humans. It's a volatile situation that threatens the peace and stability of the entire solar system.

Emerald Blair is a Troubleshooter. Inspired by the classic superhero comics of the twentieth century, she's joined with other mods to try to police the unruly Asteroid Belt. But her loyalties are tested when she finds herself torn between rival factions of superhumans with very different agendas. Emerald wants to put her special abilities to good use, but what do you do when you can't tell the heroes from the villains?

Only Superhuman is a rollicking hard-SF adventure set in a complex and fascinating future.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Only Superhuman is a heady comic book fix for the discerning SF reader, filled with a sense of wonder and a sense of seriousness.” —Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Sisterhood of Dune

“Many writers have written about superheroes, but nobody does it like Christopher L. Bennett.” —Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog

Only Superhuman is, to my knowledge, the first hard science superhero story. And the story is the better for it.” —Mike W. Barr, author of Camelot 3000

“A tour de force that tells a fascinating story with flair, imagination, and weight.” —TV Zone on Star Trek: Ex Machina

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765378910
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
10/16/2012
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTOPHER L. BENNETT has had multiple works of short fiction published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact as well as the online magazines DayBreak and Alternative Coordinates, and has written critically acclaimed novels based on Star Trek, Spider-Man, and X-Men, all of them with a hard science slant. Only Superhuman is his first original novel. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Only Superhuman 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Ringo_Fan999 More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent blend of social commentary and action. Definitely for mature audiences, as there is a high level of sexuality involved. Bits and pieces of philosophy all over the place, but it won't hurt, I promise, and you will be entertained whilst absorbing it.
plappen More than 1 year ago
In the early 22nd Century, Mankind has expanded into the Asteroid Belt, allowing people to set up all sorts of societies. A major issue is the attitude concerning genetic and cybernetic modifications of people. Earth and its nearby colonies banned such practices many years ago, but, in the Belt, anything goes. Emerald Blair is one such "mod." Inspired by old-time comic books, she and other mods join together to form the Troubleshooters, policing the Belt as best they can. Emerald had a difficult home life, and strongly believes in not taking another human life, if at all possible. The Troubleshooters work for a powerful man named Gregory Tai, who feels that all the separate Belt societies (or, at least, the major ones) should be politically united, under his leadership. Emerald has a falling out with her colleagues, and meets an equally powerful man named Eliot Thorne. If there is such a thing as the "father" of genetic modifications, it's Eliot Thorne. He is also very handsome, and his daughter, Psyche, is beyond gorgeous. He is putting together a major conference, so that several of the major Belt societies can form an alliance. Emerald sees the rest of the Troubleshooters engage in some very questionable behavior (the Thorne's have convinced Emerald that Gregory Tai is the "enemy"). Are Eliot's motives really as innocent as they sound? Is Psyche more than just Eliot's daughter? Does Emerald rejoin the Troubleshooters? Inspired by comic books, this novel is pretty good. It feels plausible, both scientifically and socially. On the good, or bad, side, there is a lot of sex in this book, maybe a little too much. Yes, this book is worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got the deadtree version of this as a gift. To summerize, a solid start and an interesting premise are marred by numerous missteps. The main character is unlikable, the author tries and fails to squeeze two books into one, the villians are clearly of the Evul school of stupid villainly, and the "feminism" is clearly of the "I am making pseudo-intellfectual excuses for a cheap sexpot character" kind of writing. Bad, just bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imaginative. More please...
codylmartin More than 1 year ago
You may know Bennett from his Star Trek novels, like A Choice Of Futures, and Watching The Clock. Only Superhuman is his first original novel. Like all his work, it has a hard science slant to it. Comic book heroics and hard SF together? Believe it or not, it works. If you love the technobabble on Star Trek, you'll get it here too. But if you don't, it doesn't slow down the story. There is a glossary of terms to help shed light on concepts but when actually reading the story, you don't need to know them. Bennett takes us into a future where heroes are modified and literally made; no mutant genes cause laser blasting eyes in this universe. His genetic enhancements and cyborg add-ons are based on what we know today and creates a very plausible future. The tech and hardware are SF, the comic book sensibilities come in with the characters. Speaking of characters, Emerald Blair is great one. She is a fighter, but flawed also. She doesn't always make the right choices. The first time I read this book, I wasn't use to how sexual and uninhibited she is. Star Trek is fairly chaste, and it seems Bennett was rebelling against that at first. But upon a second reading, it seems more like an extension of today's society. Differing views and lifestyles are accepted in his universe. I'm sure our modern day society would seem immoral compared to 300 years ago. While Bennett was trying to comment on the overt sexuality of comics, here it seems more sexual than sexy. But this is also partly on me; I'm not a big fan of sex and nudity in books or movies when it serves no purpose. It half-works, half-doesn't in OS. That, however, is my biggest critique. I would have loved to have more descriptions of weapons an such, but that is a minor quibble. OS is a fun read with very detailed and well-thought out world building. Emery is tough, sexy, and fun (she loves using puns and I found myself laughing), and the future Bennett postulates is entertaining. The animal-human hybrids are a trip (I love Bast), and the villains are larger-than-life. I'm really hoping for a sequel. I'd love to see more comic-style action. This book is very dear to Bennett and I really hope he gets the chance to explore more of Emery's world. I highly recommend reading the glossary and the annotations on his website. It enriches the book and gives great behind-the-pages insights.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have been reading SF since Warlord of Mars. Tend to read authors I enjoy. Will definatelly look forward to more from this one.
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ODannyBoy More than 1 year ago
Genetic mutation has been done before (e.g., Sharon Shinn;s great Archangel series). This is grittier than even adult comics. The plot is complex yet ties together at the end. More.