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The Half-Made World Reviewed By Lois Henderson of Bookpleasures.com
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Lois C. Henderson

Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.





 
By Lois C. Henderson
Published on November 13, 2010
 

Author: Gilman, Felix
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2552-5
 
Psychological insights into the functioning of those living in the mythical old and new world are key to understanding the progression of The Half-Made World.


Author: Gilman, Felix
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2552-5

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 Psychological insights into the functioning of those living in the mythical old and new world are key to understanding the progression of The Half-Made World. When Dr. Liv Alverhausen, with a doctorate in abnormal psychology, who is based in the Faculty of Psychological Sciences at Koenigswald Academy in the old world, receives a letter that is addressed to her recently deceased husband, she opens it to find an invitation to bring the latest learning about mental science to the House Dolorous nestled in the Flint Hills of the new world. In brief, she finds the invitation so compelling that she leaves her post at the Academy to venture into fields new and mindsets as yet incompletely explored. House Dolorous tends to those who have been physically or mentally wounded in the Great War, and especially “by the mind-shattering noise-bombs of the Line.” As the opening scenes of The Half-Made World reveal the aftermath of a battle between the Hill People and the Linesmen, in which we see the devastation wrought by such inventions, we are immediately pulled into the action and start to feel great empathy for the heroine of this tale. Having a female protagonist in the midst of grisly and disturbing battle scenes is a major draw card of this well-written and insightful foray into the genre of steampunk.
 
Steampunk is a genre in which the creations of an ‘other’ world are rationally bound together in a way that has both intellectual and imaginative dimensions. The inventions, such as the war machinery that is wielded by The Gun of The Half-Made World, have a meaning and tangibility, as well as possible repercussions, that spread far past the story that is told in any one particular text. Instead, they are grounded in a world of possibility that is likely to have frightening repercussions for our own futures. The tale is the medium in which elements of our increasingly mechanized and automated existence are brought to bear on intelligently wrought and imaginatively conceived characters, so that we are inspired to think about where our own world is likely to end, no matter whether that ending is a bang or a whimper.
 
With war seeming to be an inevitable component of our human existence, and the impact of the ongoing conflict in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan being felt on our nation as a whole, the central themes of The Half-Made World should be close to each one of us.  Felix Gilman, a nominee for the John W. Campbell award and the Locus Award for best new writer, has done himself proud in this outstanding work of science fiction. As such, it is a must for any supporter of the genre.  

Click Here To Purchase The Half-Made World