West of Eden

West of Eden

by Harry Harrison

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West of Eden is a novel by Harry Harrison, author of innumerable science fiction novels and stories.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466822832
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 07/03/2012
Series: West of Eden Series , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 500
Sales rank: 467,735
File size: 492 KB

About the Author

Harry Harrison, author of innumerable science fiction novels and stories, divides his time between Ireland and California.

HARRY HARRISON was the Hugo Award-nominated, Nebula Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of the Stainless Steel Rat, Deathworld, and West of Eden series, as well as Make Room! Make Room!which was turned into the cult classic movie, Soylent Green starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson. In 2009 Harrison was awarded the Damon Knight SF Grand Master Award by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He died in 2012.

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West of Eden (West of Eden Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up on vacation and it took over. I couldn't put it down! Infact, this is one of three in a trilogy. The other 2 are out of print. If you are lucky enough to find them you're in for a treat. The Eden series was one of the rare reading experiences where I felt sad after the journey was over, much like the great Lord of the Rings. You take such a grand, complex and interesting journey. I only wish more people knew that this one was out there. Please give this book a try!
chrisod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So what if that meteor never hit earth, and man didn't evolve as the dominant species? What if the dominant species was a reptile with more advanced technology than man, and they were out to wipe humans off the face of the planet? A very entertaining story.
stephlee_77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On my quest to broaden my horizons and expand to the world of Science Fiction, I picked up West of Eden by Harry Harrison. It is the first book in the Eden trilogy and I'd have to say, somewhat of a masterpiece. Harrison managed to not only create a wonderful story, but an entirely new planet Earth as well. As we know, sixty-five million years ago something happened and the ice age occurred. All the dinosaurs became extinct, and the age of the mammals began. The premise behind this book ask the question: "What if history had been different? What if the reptiles survived to evolve into intelligent life?" This story tells the tale of the Yilane, a super-intelligent form of dinosaur, and the Tanu, another name for Humans. The Yilane live in cities, are intelligent, and have an incredibly structured hierarchy. They are also a completely matriarchal society, ruled solely by females and where the males are only used for breeding. They have taken genetic engineering to a whole new level. Everything they need is engineered from a living organism to something of use to them. This includes their weapons, their transportation, and even the trees they live in. The Tanu on the other hand, are more nomadic, living in small villages called Sammads. They move to find food and plentiful hunting, and return to the cold mountains in the winter months. When a small group of hunters venture farther South than they've ever been, they happen across a couple of Yilane. Knowing the danger of all cold-blooded creatures, they kill the small group of reptiles. When the slaughter of their kind is uncovered, the Yilane, led by their ruler Vainte, sets out to destroy the "animals" that did this. During the Yilane attack, a young boy named Kerrick is captured. Kerrick is taken to live with the Yilane so they can study his kind. He eventually is taught the language and is able to communicate with the reptiles. He spends years with the Yilane, learning all their ways. When an attack on another sammad occurs, Kerrick escapes and goes back to live again with other Tanu. There are a lot of different topics that Harrison explores in this book. He has created an incredible new world with a new language and many new species. The politics of the Yilane and their desire to rid the planet of the Tanu makes for a great story, albeit one that we have seen in our own world. There is even a faction of the Yilane, called the Daughters of Life, that protest against the destruction of other creatures. Not my normal fare, but a great book!!
Emidawg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The comet that wiped out the dinosaurs never came, allowing them to evolve into a sentient race called the Yilané who inhabit the continent of Africa. When a team of the Yilané come to build a settlement in the new world they find that mammals dominate the continent, including small groups of hunter-gatherer humans. To the dinosaurs these "ustuzou" are vermin and must be wiped out to ensure the safety of their city. The humans feel the same way about the dinosaurs and attack some of the colonists, beginning a war between the two species. The dinosaurs capture a young human and teach him to speak in their language, but he eventually escapes and rejoins his own kind, using his knowledge of the dinosaurs' ways against them.There was a good deal of world building in this book, at first I had trouble grasping what was going on because so many alien terms were being tossed around. Luckily the book had a dictionary of Yilané and Human terms in the back for reference. There is also some information on biology and language in the appendices that help flesh out the story.I really liked this and look forward to reading the next in the series.
RandyStafford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harrison, science fiction¿s most prolific practioneer of the alternate history sub-genre before Harry Turtledove came along, uses not a pivot point involving human social history but an alternate version of the Earth¿s geologic past ¿ a comet does not wipe out the dinosaurs ¿ as the grounding premise of this novel.This is Harrison¿s most ambitious work and was marketed originally to appeal to readers of Jean Auel who was new on the scene at the time. Biologist Jack Cohen, who also helped develop the aliens of Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes¿ The Legacy of Heorot, helped Harrison develop the Yilane, the intelligent descendents of reptiles. They are masters of this world and biological engineering. Their boats, cities, and even microscopes are all modified organisms. (Given what seems to be their limited idea of DNA, I find this somewhat implausible but still interesting.)Their language, developed by Thomas Shippey, professor of literature and an academic critic of science fiction, is so complex many Yilane never learn to speak it, and body gestures are an integral part. Physiology is so tied up with it that Yilane ca not lie. At best, they can only keep their body very still while talking. The very act of being exiled is, for most, a psychosomatic sentence of death.Most of the these biological and linguistic details are explained in an appendix amusingly written in sort of a prudish Victorian scientist tone.While a proud race with cities throughout the world, things are not going well with the Yilane. An encroaching ice age is causing some abandonment of their cities in the northern zones of earth, and an effort is being undertaken to migrate from the eastern hemisphere to the western hemisphere. The building of the western colony is directed by Vainte, a Yilante with political ambitions. However, the nesting grounds where the species¿ docile, somewhat silly, and definitely disposable males hang out, is found by a group of hunting Tanu ¿ Stone Age but anatomically modern humans. The old enmity between lizard and human awakens; the nesting grounds are destroyed; the Yilante retaliate by hunting down the hunting party, killing all except a young boy named Kerrick.Kerrick¿s story is at the heart of this novel. He becomes useful in Vainte¿s schemes ¿ his innate human ability to lie aids in an assassination. He even becomes a sexual plaything to her (all Yilante leaders are female) though this is not handled in a prurient manner but in a way that seems a bit inspired by the 1980s¿ obsession with the effects of childhood sexual abuse. By the time he escapes the Yilane as a man and returns to his people, he has a unique ability to aid the humans in their war against the reptiles. But he also sees some worth and value in Yilane ways, has friends there he left.It¿s a relatively thick book but Harrison keeps the story moving and develops his background well (you really don¿t have to read that appendix to understand things). Kerrick is the classic caught-between-two-worlds figure.Though Harrison wrote two more novels in this series, this feels like a self-contained work which is not true of the others.
apatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love parallel world stories, the idea of a version of our world that is a bit off in some interesting details. West of Eden posits a world similar to ours but very off! This is an Earth where dinosaurs did not die off but evolved into the dominant intelligent species with their own weird bio-technology. In this world mankind is an up and coming species but still at a very primitive state of development. Clearly the reptiles are going to give our upstart species us a hard time because nobody likes a competitor. This is a fascinating, entertaining and memorable book. You can even pick up some biology factoids from reading it. Well worth anybody's time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom suggested these to me. I could not put them down. So imaginative. I am on my fourth read through of the trilogy and feel like I am more immersed in the fabricated environment each time. I agree that these should be more well known than they are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those who are not big sci fans might not enjoy it but I really enjoy the setting creatures and characters. My favorite book
RobertJohnson779 More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book. I can recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago