A Short, Sharp Shock

A Short, Sharp Shock

by Kim Stanley Robinson


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A man tumbles through wild surf, half drowned, to collapse on a moonlit beach. When he regains consciousness, he has no memory of who he is or where he came from. He knows only that the woman who washed ashore with him has disappeared sometime in the night, and that he has awakened in a surreal landscape of savage beauty-a mysterious watery world encircled by a thin spine of land. Aided by strange tribesmen, he will journey to the cove of the spine kings, a brutal race that has enslaved the woman and several of the tribesmen. That is only the beginning of his quest, as he struggles to find his identity in this cruel and dreamlike land-and seeks out the woman whose grip on his imagination is both unfathomable and unshakable. Haunting and lyrical, filled with uncommon beauty and terrific peril, A SHORT, SHARP SHOCK is an ambitious and enthralling story by one of science fiction's most respected talents.

Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of over twenty books and has won every major award in the science fiction genre. Originally published in 1990, A SHORT, SHARP SHOCK remains a singular work in his canon that engages his interests in the evironment and plumbs the absurdities of the human condition while charting unique narrative terrain. This anti-oedipal edition includes an insightful introduction by esteemed science fiction scholar and critic Robert Crossley as well as a study guide, both of which encourage readers to explore the literary prowess that makes this novel a rare gem of twentieth century American literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990573340
Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press
Publication date: 05/01/2015
Pages: 154
Sales rank: 1,178,635
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.36(d)

About the Author

Bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson is widely recognized as one of the foremost living writers of science fiction. His work has been described as "humanist science fiction" and "literary science fiction". The winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, he is the author of more than 20 books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars) as well as Forty Signs of Rain, 2312, Aurora, Fifty Degrees Below, and Shaman.

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A Short, Sharp Shock 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a strange book, it was completely science fiction. The story is about a man, and a woman who wash up on a strange shore with no memory of thier past, they travel over this world trying to remember where they come from, who they are and how to get back to there old lives. Along the way Thel(the man) and The Swimmer(the woman) meet strange species and find a mirror that on certain days can transport you to another relm where you can supposably see the truth. Thel and The Swimmer must befriend, or escape the native creatures of this strange world. This is a story that fantasy and science fiction fans would enjoy.
Harlan879 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book, a quasi-magical quasi-SF novel about a man with no memory, finding his way on a bizarre planet, was totally enthralling and absorbing. After finishing it, my perceptions of reality had changed, and it took a while before I was able to relate to the real world again! Robinson's writing in this work, more than most of his other novels, is artistic and literary, almost Kafka-esque. I would also compare A Short, Sharp Shock to a similar book, also a surrealistic fantasy written by an SF author -- The Bridge, by Iain Banks. Aside from their superficial similarities (fish-out-of-water protagonist traveling on a trip of land/bridge on an endless sea), both are astonishingly thought-provoking and deep. Very highly recommended for those willing to challenge themselves.
PortiaLong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very different style than Robinson's other works I have read. Surreal fantasy. Not my cup of tea.
iftyzaidi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting read, very different in flavour from the Mars books. A surrealist quest where Robinson experiments (successfully in my opinion) with his writing style and with a more metaphysical approach to his narrative. I'm not certain that it even qualifies as science fiction, though that doesn't detract from the book at all.
igor.kh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A strange, at times violent, and at times idyllic tale of two lost people. They wander the single rocky land belt of an ocean world, seemingly without purpose.That last sentiment sums up the book for me pretty well. This is one of KSR's earlier novels, written before the award winning Mars Trilogy. One can clearly see the development of KSR as a stylist and a ponderer of big questions. The story and characters, unfortunately, are not as engaging as in his later works.
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