“Over the top” – By alsq (Fort Collins, CO USA) Amazon.com
Imagine mankind endowed with a level of technological expertise that is almost transcendent. Imagine curiosity fatally unprejudiced to the point of unrelenting nonsense. Imagine passion supported by money in quantities beyond understanding. Their combination is this explosively exuberant novel, the point of which is to help us remember yet again that power is a fabulous servant, but a terrible master. And this story is a search for that other elusive good master, perhaps eventually found, perhaps not found, ultimately showing us that mankind is always the same throughout the ages. The props of daily life–from destitution to demi-godness–are only accessories to the grandiosity of our destiny, or to the depth of our personal miseries.
The books starts like an over-the-top sci-fi noir, with a hero in the gutter who meets a fatal dame. The circumstances are trite, and yet the cliche is broken because it is handled with so much tongue-in-cheek excess it becomes captivating. The language is powerful: I re-read some of the descriptions two or three times because they are so beautiful and essential, bare and resounding, that I felt the wind described in the pages as if tousling my hair. And I was wondering, at that time, if the tone could keep up through the book after such a loud bang at the start… already imagining my disappointment. Of course it did not, but there was no disappointment either.
The Mustached Crusader Review
So I finished this book, (yes I do read real books) and wanted to write a review right away. However I was still not sure what I wanted to say about the book. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book. I really liked the book. The problem was that I liked it so much I didn’t know what I wanted to say. But I have taken some time to step away from the book and gather my thoughts. So with out further ado here is my review of John Patrick Lowrie’s Dancing with Eternity.
By Dr. Wesley Britton – BookPleasures.com
Every once in a while, a new novel comes along that is both epic in scope and, at the same time, focused on a very personal, human drama. John Patrick Lowrie’s characters do indeed dance with eternity in a universe where humankind thinks it has mastered immortality. They believe technology has solved all problems. However . . .
The narrator of Dancing with Eternity is Mohandas, an unemployed actor who’s thousands of years old. He’s old enough to remember a time when humans could die, when they lived in monogamous relationships and bore children. But a telekinetic net has been created where individuals can re-boot over and over and even enhance themselves—especially with the ability to delete memories. Interstellar travel is common although a handful of planets are off limits. Then, “Mo” meets the beautiful Steel, a ship captain with a secret mission. After Mo joins the crew consisting of very memorable fellow travelers, he learns Steel’s quest involves a deadly plague, a planet called Eden where the residents refuse to join the immortality net, and a plan that is more than illegal. Steel is seeking a cure for a daughter that cannot, like her mother, be immortal. What price will Steel pay, and ask her team to pay, to change the destiny of but one human female?
This dense story is far richer than a capsule summary can suggest. In the best tradition of the best science fiction, the galactic setting is painted with vivid, believable detail. Recounting the history of a far-flung species over thousands of millennia is no mean feat, especially while raising a plethora of questions and issues throughout the narrative. In order to earn those re-boots, humans must often serve decades of indentured servitude to pay their bill. Without biological families, how do humans make lasting relationships, particularly when space travel means people age at very different rates? Everyone may be alive, but decades or centuries will have zipped by in between meetings. And how does one handle haunted memories thousands of years in your nightmares?
All of this is a lot to ask for in one volume, even one as lengthy as Dancing with Eternity. When the reader reaches the epilogue, we’ve traveled long and far with one disappointment to face. This is a self-contained opus with no apparent clues or cues to signal any sequels are coming, at least featuring this cast of characters. Then again, I suspect many readers will find themselves holding on to their copy so they can return to this adventure at least one more time. Dancing with Eternity can’t be fully absorbed in one go. You’ll want to re-boot yourself—back to the first page.
By nemesis2497 – Amazon.com
A superior work in all aspects, Humorous, eye opening, and insightful. Makes you think without a whole bunch of technobabble to get in the way. The author paints a reality that is amazingly rich and diverse. You actually feel that you were there. The characters are fully 3 dimensional whos histories you learn slowly throughout the story, so by the end you are fully invested in each and everyone. No last minute heroics, as so often tossed into a story for mass appeal. This is one that even non scifi fans can enjoy. Adult Science Fiction at its very best.
By Colleen F. – Amazon.com Review
I confess, I picked up this book because I’m a huge fan of Team Fortress 2 and John Patrick Lowrie’s voice work as the Sniper. (The Team Fortress 2 character reviews of this book also helped sell it to me. Seriously brilliant.) Nonetheless, I intend to push this book onto many people and make them read it because it was fascinating!
I’m not a scientist by any stretch, so I’m not sure if the many, many technological doings and happenings in the book are possible, but they were written in a very convincing way, so that assuaged me. The level of detail and thought put into the aforementioned doings was also beautiful, and well thought out. (I’m a sucker for detail.)
I loved the speculative future history. With the, “War of Liberation,” the syndicates, the immortality of the human race, the fact that only one other alien race has ever been found… it subverts many sci-fi tropes and makes them unique and new. It’s many things I would have never imagined.
It may be difficult, when first reading it, to catch up on everything that’s going on. The history of the book is revealed in bits and pieces along the way, but it all eventually ties together. I imagine rereading it now, with all the information already in my head will making the reading experience even more amazing, as I’m able to catch up on the little bits and pieces I may have missed before.
I loved the characters of Alice, Steel, Yuri, Archie, Mo, and Ham. I found myself drawn to Alice, much like the other characters, and wanting to “protect” her, and wanting to see her happy. Steel really surprised me, and I’m glad what direction her character took. (I’m also a sucker for tragic characters…) I love to imagine John Patrick Lowrie’s wife, Ellen McLain, reading her lines. It’s just fantastic. Yuri was just bloody adorable, and I loved his enthusiasm. I’m so glad to see Archie treated with a great respect, even if her Yin/feminist view points were questionable. In the end, she was treated as a human being, capable of making mistakes and more importantly, redeeming herself. Mo was a wonderful narrator and I would love to meet someone awesome like him. Ham was just adorable.
(The entire above paragraph can be condensed into, “The characters were awesome, and at the end of the day, I felt like I really knew them as people.”)
I loved this book, this story, and anyone who enjoys adventure, sci-fi, human relationships, or just a great sense of humor when writing should read this book. (Seriously, Lowrie is hilarious and his book was filled with some great lines.)
Now, this book does leave me with some important questions? Like, would I choose to reboot and live, essentially, forever? And what kind of genetic modifications would I get? I would love to have a prehensile tale… And wings…
An amazing read. It gives me, someone who aspires to be an actor and a writer like John Patrick Lowrie, hope.
Stellar debut; this is science fiction at its best
Dancing with Eternity … the first mind blowing 2011 sff novel …pitch perfect … (A++, top 10 novel of 2011) is a stellar debut that shows why science fiction is still the most interesting genre of today.
-Liviu Suciu, Fantasy Book Critic
If you aren’t 100% satisfied with this book, you can take it up with me!
… one of my favorite pastimes is … curling up with a good sci-fi novel, and “Dancing
with Eternity” is one of those gems!
… literary majesty
A book of ages
The only thing this book is missing is a recording of it being read by JPL in the Sniper’s
voice. I’d pay a few keys for that one.
Let’s just say I have this fine piece of literature tucked away in my toolbox. A mighty fine
-Dell Conagher “Engineer”
This is a thoroughly compelling read …
Ingenious tale of the 40th Century that’s also about today
… This is a wonderful, “can’t stop reading” book for both dreamers and hard science
This book, from new author John Patrick Lowrie, is a page turner. Not only does it
succeed in its genre of science-fiction, it is a multi-layered treat, delving into ethics,
morality, [quantum] physics, and love with insight and humor. This is such a page turner
that I finished it in less than two days. My only hope is that [Lowrie] puts out another
book soon, because he is an author with great skills and a strong voice.
Jerry Stubblefield, Author, Playwright
“Two thousand years from now, people don’t die; they just reboot, choosing what to remember, what to forget. The results are not always what they – or we – expect. In Dancing with Eternity, John Lowrie has imagined a richly detailed world of space travel among colonized planets by characters whose minds and bodies alike are malleable, the specs stored on the “net” and retrievable when necessary. The storytelling in this novel is lush and highly imaginative, and backed by the author’s encyclopedic knowledge of our world and his deep understanding of what makes us human.”
“An utterly believable depiction of other worlds and races, imagination drips from every page. John Patrick Lowrie has more talent than any human being has a right to possess. A triumph of science fiction. I only wish I’d written it!”
– M J Elliott, Editor of The Whisperer in Darkness, The Horror in the Museum, The Right Hand of Doom, The Haunter of the Ring
“At a time in which we are increasingly uncertain about our future, Lowrie creates a plausible scenario in which there is no death as we now experience it, and explores how such a world would play out. In the process he challenges our traditional beliefs about love, sex and spirituality.” Janet Pliske, D.D.
Not only is this book an excellent read, I found the advanced computer concepts assembling themselves in the “real” world while I was reading it!
Chuck Pliske, former NASA Computer Engineer.
As an ex-NASA tether specialist and consultant on the Shuttle tether missions, I found this a refreshingly accurate narrative of what it might be like to experience such life and related activities that (are) outside our normal realms.
“In Dancing With Eternity John has constructed the idyllic science fiction novel with all the elements that real fans crave: adventure, mystery, space travel, alien worlds, hard science projections, and a wonderful cast of characters from a future society. But, more important, the book dances with timeless philosophical questions which may require hard-thinking, real-life answers much sooner than we realize.”
—– Frank Simcoe, author, Ridiculous Destiny
Dancing With Eternity by John Patrick Lowrie is not only a terrific E-ticket ride of speculative fiction, it is also a very thought-provoking novel of ideas. I got swept away by the scope of the story, and spent many hours contemplating the moral, ethical and social challenges of “rebooting.” Anyone who enjoys reading either Kim Stanley Robinson or Neal Stephenson will get a big kick out of this book!