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The Gap Into Madness: Chaos And Order (1994)

The Gap Into Madness: Chaos and Order (1994)

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4.11 of 5 Votes: 1
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0553071793 (ISBN13: 9780553071795)

About book The Gap Into Madness: Chaos And Order (1994)

I read "The Gap" series, a five-novel saga from Stephen R. Donaldson.I think Donaldson does better with SF than fantasy. The series is set in a future as created by something called the Gap Drive, an FTL travel method that sometimes drives people mad. It starts out with a complicated little minuet of a story involving the lives of three people who live on the fringes of space (the first novel), but over time the series becomes a complicated tale involving a terrible cold war between an alien race (the Amnion) and humanity, the dangers of human greed, and one man's attempt to make the universe safe for humans. It's based very loosely on -- or perhaps sort of inspired by -- Wagner's Ring Cycle. (What's up with SF based on the Ring Cycle? I know of one video game that's a SF take on it, and there's a Captain Harlock anime series based on it...)Anyhoo, I was told once regarding the Covenant the Unbeliever series that that if you can get past the rape scene in the first book, you're good. I think this is more literally more true of this series. If you can tolerate the (much nastier) rape scenes (that's multiple rape scenes, by the way) in the first book, you should be fine.I dunno what's up with Donaldson and rape, but the important thing is you'll know you'll be able to handle the series overall if you can take the first book, in particular if you can have a certain amount of sympathy, no matter how small and how overwhelmed by hatred and disgust, for a mass-murderer and rapist, as he transforms from villain to victim. If you're capable of viewing a very, very bad person as a human being worthy of a tiny drop of sympathy, even if you can't forgive him for what he did (and the text makes it clear you shouldn't), then you'll enjoy the first book, and what follows it.The first book is probably the best; while making it clear you should hate Angus Thermopile (the aforementioned rapist and mass murderer) for the things he's done, Donaldson deftly manages to make him seem human, which is vital as things totally fall apart for him, because otherwise you won't care when things go pear-shaped for him. The book starts with a listing of events as people understood them on a particular space station, followed by what REALLY happened.The second book is also very personal, following what happens to the various characters after the first book, and completing various transformations: While Thermopile went from villain to victim in the first book, in the second book someone who seemed a hero becomes a villain, and the victim transforms into a heroine of sorts.After that, the style of the books change, becoming less personal, even giving the occasional encyclopedia-like "supplemental data" entries on the universe, sort of like a reverse RPG sourcebook -- mostly fiction, with a little source material. However, this drawing back makes everything more epic, giving even more room for people to show themselves at heroes and villains. The last three books are a little overlong, but they keep you hooked.What makes the series work is that while it is highly nasty and gritty, despite the cynicism of all the characters and the compromises they make, by the end of the series humanity is better off than it was at the start of the series, and there's been redemption -- or damnation -- for all the major characters. This including several characters that don't even get introduced until the second or third book, but turn out to be very important, especially in terms of how they intersect with the three main characters of the first book. (Of those "later" characters, I particularly like Hashi. Watch for him.)

It's becoming increasingly difficult to effectively review this series without being either deliberately simple or spoiler-heavy. But I'll try.So far, I think this has been my favorite of the lot. This one is insane. The narrative and the stakes are immensely high, and I've rarely seen a group of characters who despise one another so immensely, or so justifiably. Perhaps "A Game of Thrones," but I've only read the first book and it didn't exactly blow me away. Although, interestingly, I've thought for a long time how much the Gap Series reminds me of "A Game of Thrones," at least in some part of the style and the sheer volume of relatively important cast members.At any rate, if you've stayed on this long, you're likely to finish the series. Donaldson again turns a corner here and accelerates through the curve.What works: this book has what I regard as the second-largest WTF Moment of the series, and this series has two of the best I've ever encountered. (Hat tip to "Second Foundation" and, if I'm honest with myself, "A Game of Thrones.") There are moments in this book that are massive, and that you will NOT be ready for.Weakness: Donaldson has a tendency to re-hash a lot of plot points, in the minds and conversations of his characters, constantly and endlessly. Which sort of works for me on one level, because the conspiracy is massive and can be confusing - but in another way it's even more confusing, because the characters are often dead wrong. (They're talking to themselves, or to one another, not to you.)At any rate, that manages to slide past, and I was able to keep track of the plot points, because I was not able to put this book down. I killed this one, absolutely killed it, a much faster and page-turning read than any of the others, I think so far.If you like pirates and space and space pirates and sacrifice and treason and courage and complete ethical terror - start at the beginning and see if you have the emotional strength to make it here. Great stuff.Finally, as always, the Dream Casting:Captain Angus Thermopyle.... Ron PerlmanMorn Hyland.... Olivia WildeDavies Hyland.... Liam HemsworthCaptain Nick Succorso.... Brad PittMikka Vasacsk.... Zoe SaldanaVector Shaheed.... J.K. SimmonsMilos Taverner.... Steve BuscemiWarden Dios.... Tom SelleckMin Donner.... Sigourney WeaverHashi Lebwohl.... Ben KingsleyHolt Fasner.... Kevin SpaceyCaptain Sorus Chatelaine.... Sharon StoneCaptain Dolph Ubikwe.... Idris ElbaKoina Hannish.... Charlize TheronDr. Deaner Beckmann.... Bryan CranstonCaptain Sixten Vertigus.... Patrick Stewart

Do You like book The Gap Into Madness: Chaos And Order (1994)?

Just as good as the others - except for the increasing time taken by characters trying to explain to each other what they think is going on - or explaining what has gone on...But other than that - excellent. Our trio have just destroyed Billingate, and are on the run. Min Donner (Police enforcement chief) is hunting them down - wanting to rescue Morn (captured police) but under orders to kill them all!Mutating alien virus, immunity drugs, human forces working at odds to each other, Alien warship on the prowl - and our three protagonists stuck in the middle of it all.

I really wanted to dislike the series. The beginning was rough to the point where it disturbed me more than the first books of the series"Bio of a Space Tyrant". I even went as far as to give fairly bad ratings to the individual books. I was horrified wondering what bad things would happen to the characters as I continued to read. I did notice that I wouldn't stop reading the series. Four better or worse, I got hooked by the story. This really is a good series and an enjoyable read. I have updated my ratings to reflect the my true feelings for the series.

Stephen Donaldson's "Gap" series is one my favorite series. My father handed me the first one, saying, "This first one is full of violence and rape and you'll probably hate all the characters in this first book, but the story just keeps getting better."He was right. The story begins with a space pirate attack on a police ship and the "rescue" of the last survivor on the police ship and concludes with the human race fighting the Amnion, an alien species capable of extreme genetic manipulation. Despite the ever-increasing complexity of the plot (which starts with a three main characters and ends with inter-galactic political intrigue) the characterization is what really makes this series worth reading. It is a masterful study of hero and anti-hero. (Review applies to the SERIES)

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