The God Engines

The God Engines

by John Scalzi, Vincent Chong

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596063464
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication date: 12/31/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 233,477
File size: 562 KB

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God Engines 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
"The God Engines" is dark, heavy, and richly textured beneath a gauze of foreboding. John Scalzi's novella is a severe departure from the tone and wit of his popular "Old Man's War" series. But it's equally as awesome. The title is quite literal. Superhuman god-like beings are the engines that drive human interstellar travel. While they have the power to move humans and ships across enormous amounts of space, their powers are much more vast. The story moves at a rapid pace, and the characters are well drawn despite the books' length. The universe of "The God Engines" is creatively conceived. Scalzi's story, which sits somewhere between scifi and fantasy, takes an compelling look at religion, faith and what they can really mean to individuals and societies. The foundation of characters are military, like much of Scalzi's "Old Man's War", but this military and this universe is much more frightening. Everything is drawn with muted colors. Scalzi's writing is very clear, and always crisp, but one can't help but feel a little suffocated in reading this story. Scalzi is also a master at forwarding a plot through well-worded and well-timed dialogue. This is not your father's John Scalzi. And this is very good.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing 7 months ago
An interesting read with haunting illustrations, this is a dark novella that has some striking scenes and language. With powerful writing and characterizations, Scalzi's work comes together into a quick and multi-leveled read that provides both entertainment and thought based off of a fascinating concept. For this reader, the work does move a bit too fast, but that's my primary complaint: simply, I wanted more from the characters and the narrative because I felt like it was worth more time and concern. The depth of thought was here to back up a fuller commitment, but it ended up feeling less thought out than it might have because of the small rushed package. Still, for science fiction fans, I'd definately recommend this work, and I may very well reread it myself. Certainly, I'll look out for more of Scalzi's work--the concept here was amazing, and again, I can't say enough for the illustrations by Vincent Chong that brought this work to another level entirely.
andreas.wpv on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Easy and quick, good read. Nothing exceptional, but a nice afternoon lecture - full of atheism, criticism of religious believes.
geekpoet on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Well written and interesting. I very much enjoyed the set up of the universe this takes place in, and I enjoyed the way gods were both reduced to servants of man subjugating them to serve as everything from the basis of technology and space travel, and that men were in fact pawns of another god who used them to keep the other gods subjugated. The characters were the strongest part of the book, well rounded and dynamic.As much as I enjoyed the book, I was disappointed at the end. It felt quickly ended and I was left with the feeling of a great set up and not much resolution.
felius on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This is a dark fantasy that happens to be set in space. It's currently in the running for a Hugo (Best Novella 2010), and in my opinion it's a worthy nominee.The story describes a space-faring civilisation whose technology is completely dependent on devine power. It's only about 130 pages long, but I thought it was wonderful. I'd love to see Scalzi do more with this universe!
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing 7 months ago
It's hard to say anything about this book without revealing the whole story. It's a kind of fantasy/science fiction mix. There is space travel using captured gods to power the ships and prayer and rituals have tangible effects, but things may not be quite as they seem.This was an interesting book and well-written as always, but definitely not one my favorites Scalzi books.
HokieGeek on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Another Scalzi page turner, this dark science fictional fantasy is set in a universe where a totalitarian theocracy rules the stars and all men.The richness and detail of the universe which Scalzi was able to convey in the few pages of this novella is nothing short of impressive. The characters are engaging, lovable and terrifying.I would go into more detail but it is very difficult to review this book without major spoilers. Suffice to say, I loved every word and recommend this to any lover of SF as long as they don't mind some blood and gore!
RBeffa on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The God Engines is an amazing short novella. I read this a few days ago and was rather stunned. Then, like a penitent with a need to scourge myself I read it again. This is science fiction, horror and fantasy all in one small package. It is a dark story that may offend some. No, actually, I am sure it will offend some people. Scalzi's imagination knocked this one out of the park. How do people dream up stories like this? Imagine a future civilization so devout in the worship, faith and belief in their God that they have the power to subdue and torture other gods, and the power of these subdued gods is used to drive their starships across the universe and spread their own true religion. This is only part of the story however.It may take only two or three hours to read this but it will haunt you for many hours more. It begins with one of the best opening lines I have read in years ... "It was time to whip the god." Subterranean Press books seem overly prone to typo/typesetter/editor errors and this one is no exception. They make beautiful books (the cover on this is stunning) but seem to mess up the proofreading time and again. The first paragraph of this book is simply awkward and I think that may be the author at work however.This is a book about Faith. John Scalzi is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.
pstotts on LibraryThing 7 months ago
One of my favorite things about John Scalzi¿s books is that the man is funny. Along the lines of I-barfed-a-pink-gelatinous-quivering-lung-out kind of funny, which is an incredibly hard thing to accomplish when you are dealing with only the written word. His signature mixture of humor and space opera have always made for entertaining and vastly enjoyable reads. (Especially if killing someone with your flatulence is your idea of high comedy.)But my absolute favorite John Scalzi scene is the first chapter of an Old Man¿s War, where John Perry visits the grave of his wife, realizing this would be the last time he would visit. The writing is so poignant, and heartfelt, and touchingly human. There is so much soulfulness and life bursting from that scene. It¿s utterly unforgettable. But it is also a scene that has been singular in nature; a high that Scalzi has never reproduced in my eyes in subsequent novels. Humor has seemingly won the day in his most recent books, and those moments of profound gravitas have slowly dwindled away, winking out faster than cupcakes at a Jenny Craig meeting. Which is disappointing, since that first chapter of an Old Man¿s War showed so much potential for sci-fi greatness. If only he could re-ignite that spark once again.In The God Engines, a new limited edition novella from Subterranean Press, that¿s exactly what John Scalzi has done, re-igniting that spark with an arsonist¿s glee. The God Engines is unlike anything he¿s done before, shockingly different, both new and completely unexpected. It¿s the book Scalzi needed to write in order to mature as a writer and to take his considerable talents to the next level. It¿s the book that shows he¿s more than just a writer of humorous space operas; he¿s also one of the best science fiction writers currently working.A vastly rich tale set in a theocratic universe, The God Engines is a modern sci-fi classic, an intriguing examination of faith and worship and godhood. Intelligent and provocative, the narrative reminds me of a classic Twilight Zone episode, well-written, multi-leveled and rich with ideas. The God Engines is the best thing yet from John Scalzi and worthy of award consideration.I can¿t recommend it highly enough.Final Grade: 87 out of 100
JGolomb on LibraryThing 7 months ago
"The God Engines" is dark, heavy, and richly textured beneath a gauze of foreboding. John Scalzi's novella is a severe departure from the tone and wit of his popular "Old Man's War" series. But it's equally as awesome.The title is quite literal. Superhuman god-like beings are the engines that drive human interstellar travel. While they have the power to move humans and ships across enormous amounts of space, their powers are much more vast. The story moves at a rapid pace, and the characters are well drawn despite the books' length. The universe of "The God Engines" is creatively conceived.Scalzi's story, which sits somewhere between scifi and fantasy, takes an compelling look at religion, faith and what they can really mean to individuals and societies. The foundation of characters are military, like much of Scalzi's "Old Man's War", but this military and this universe is much more frightening.Everything is drawn with muted colors. Scalzi's writing is very clear, and always crisp, but one can't help but feel a little suffocated in reading this story. Scalzi is also a master at forwarding a plot through well-worded and well-timed dialogue.This is not your father's John Scalzi. And this is very good.
richardderus on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Rating: 4.5 horrified, terrified, vindicated stars of fiveThe Book Report: The Power of God...the Power of Faith...these are concrete, actual things, not powerless mouthings, in John Scalzi's 136-page gut-punch and goolie-kick of a novella. Captain Ean Tephe, commanding the Righteous, is fresh from a stinging defeat (in his mind) that, in the view of his superiors, is a victory so signal that he's summoned to HQ and given the most astonishing order: Go to a planet of those who have not heard of Our Lord, convert them, and offer the nourishment of their worship to Our Lord in this difficult war we're waging against the gods whose brother-gods are enslaved as the star drives of the Faithful.He does. The scene that follows is so revolting, so truly disturbing, and so exactly what I believe to be the case regarding religion, that I wasn't at all sure which of my equally strong emotional responses to give pride of place to.The last words on p136 are: "Pray," he said.Excellent advice. Won't help, but it's still excellent advice.My Review: It took about three hours for this book to enthrall, fascinate, frighten, and disgust me. I'm left, here at the end of the experience, wondering what is to become of me now. How will I find a story that will help me feel clean and whole in my bruised and abused mind again? What balm can be applied to a beaten psyche? I was never the most chirpily sanguine of men, I truly always believed that humanity was made up of scum, pond scum, and scum-sucking pond scum, then below that conservatives.And now that seems the most giddily upbeat and Pollyanna-ish codswallop. Scalzi has stared unflinchingly into the black heart of reality, the place that Lovecraft was scared to go, and brought back this eyewitness account.Lift your snouts from the trough, humans! This is exactly where you're headed if you don't side-step now!How lonely John Scalzi must be, having that one eye in this kingdom of the blind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only 168 pages. Well written short story. Thought it was a full length novel. It is not. Too much for a short
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a fan of John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" books, I was left very disappointed in "The God Engines". The book feels like it begins in medias res, but it never circles back around to fill in much of the backstory. The characters are never fleshed out to the point that you care for them. In the end, I was left with more questions than answers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The God Engines was a very interesting read. I had previously read the Old Man's War series and Redshirts and found myself to be quite the Scalzi fan, so when it was time for a new read I went straight to him. The description of The God Engines was intriguing, so I bought it and read it in aboit a day. It was short, but definitely not too short. As is typical of Scalzi, the characterization was fantastic and the story compelling. I recomend this. The only reasons I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 were that I thought ir should be a buck cheaper because of the length and I didn't find the ending completely satisfying, though that is just my personal taste. Good read. Buy it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting novella, putting gods in space and humans at their mercy. The writing is tight (though I was surprised at the number of typos) and keeps the reader engaged throughout. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly entertaining, but very short. I agree with an earlier review stating the concept of this novella being a worthwhile series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago