Item description for Eclipse (A Song Called Youth - Book One) (Song Called Youth) by John Shirley...
Book one of John Shirley's pre-holocaust series, A Song Called Youth.
The Russians didn't use the big nukes.
The ongoing Third World War leaves parts of Europe in ruins. Into the chaos steps the Second Alliance, a multinational eager to impose its own kind of New World Order.
In the United States ... in FirStep, the vast space colony ... and on the artificial island Freezone -- the SA shoulders its way to power, spinning a dark web of media manipulation, propaganda, and infiltration.
Only the New Resistance recognizes the SA for what it really is: a racist theocracy hiding a cult of eugenics.
Enter Rick Rickenharp, a former rock'n'roll cult hero: a rock classicist -- out of place in Europe's underground club scene, populated by "wiredancers" and "minimonos" ... but destined to play a Song Called Youth that will shake the world.
Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at promiseangels.com!
John Shirley considers himself a scientist interested in educating himself and others on the use of software tools to analyze and present scientific data. He has developed software and documentation while consulting for companies that include Digital Equipment Corporation, Concurrent Computer Corporation, Inset Systems, NASDAQ, and Tandem Computers. John's work has included the development of C programs to demonstrate not only the use of DCE remote procedure calls but also multithreaded programming, an application interface for the GEM graphics environment, and storing scientific data. These projects have spanned many operating systems, including OSF/1, UNIX, MS-DOS, and VMS. John earned a B.A. from Alfred University with a dual major in Mathematics and Geology, an M.S. in Geology from Miami University with a specialty in Structural Geology, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Pace University. Prior to consulting, John's career included six years in the oil industry as a geophysicist and international explorationist. His work included the analysis of seismic data from New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Norway, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the United States. John also worked as a software engineer developing programs for scientific instrument manufacturers. John lives in Newtown, Connecticut, where he maintains a consulting business specializing in documenting and demonstrating complex software.
John Shirley currently resides in Pinole, in the state of California. John Shirley was born in 1953.
Reviews - What do customers think about Eclipse (A Song Called Youth - Book One) (Song Called Youth)?
FANTASTIC CYBERPUNK Aug 24, 2006
Shirley hits the ground running on this 1st novel of the series. You have great action, good plot, and some nice twist- all set in a future that looks scary close to the present world what more could you ask for!?! Love all the little details that make up the future - the desolve depression which has recently whipped out key banking info from a EMP burst causing a run on banks and ruining the American economy, to the worship of the Grid (internet), the rise of a new militant Russia who has started conventional warfare to solve its resource issue, and throw into that a new nationalist/fascist movement that is way more powerful than anyone realizes and you have the makings for a great series. Since I am waiting on the 2nd and 3rd book I have no idea if Shirley will carry this thru but all seems to start GREAT! Few critiques- where is China?!? With all heck breaking lose you think a superpower like China would be more involved- maybe he will touch on this in future books or I missed the explanation in this book? Shirley tends to almost write in "cliffnote" fashion giving you just enough brushed in character information to briefly understand many different people in his stories. Sometimes it works sometimes you have to remember who this character is and what their motivations are. But these are minor issues- get these books and have a BLAST! Also check out some of the other Shirley books- his Horror stuff is almost as good :)
Dated but enjoyable. Jan 4, 2003
I've not got the patience to write a long, coherent review, so I will state only that fond readers of cyberpunk will enjoy -Eclipse-. Although the World War III setting makes -Eclipse- seem very dated (as speculative fiction, this book fails completely), the story is always exciting and very enjoyable. Worth spending an afternoon reading, if only as a light amusement.
Gripping possible future novel Aug 21, 2002
After discovering John Shirley through his short horror fiction, I bought a copy of Eclipse and sat motionless for days to read it. In other words, I could not put it down. While this would be shelved in a store's science fiction section, it really is more than typical spaceships and lasergun fare. It falls more towards cyberpunk but exceeds it with a focus on characters instead of technology.
The basic premise of the rise of a neo-fascist "security" corporation during the starts of a limited nuclear war between the USA and Russia sets the background for the very believable characters, each with distinct personalities and flaws that come to life from the printed page. Mr. Shirley weaves a complex and intertwined tale of guerilla mercenaries, fading rock stars, and fasicst powermongers that would stand proudly with the great works on science fiction. If not for any other reason, his interpretation of developing cultural trends is at the same time illuminating and frightening.
Having only read the first book*, I am anticipating no less enjoyment from Penumbra and Corona, the second and third works in the series.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a complicated read where each page yields a small reward.
* Sometimes I do need to spend a little time reading my college textbooks, too.
Shocking, intense, visionary: a work of genius Sep 3, 2001
World War III started but no one used the big nukes. While the USA and the New Soviets agreed to fight on European battlegrounds (and on a space station halfway between Earth and Moon), fascist fundamentalist Christian forces - under the name Second Alliance - are gaining in influence worldwide. Only the New Resistance sees the destructive power of the Fascists and starts a bitter and seemingly hopeless fight. As this is only the first part of the recently reissued trilogy, I don't know yet the outcome of the War, but one thing is for sure: John Shirley wrote one of the most intense future histories I have ever come across. The plot is based in the year 2029, and as this is a revised edition (the original version was released about 15 years ago), a lot of the historical background is real and does not only paint an imaginative dark future, but also shows the frightening doings of some actual American congressmen (Trent Lott and the racist Council of Conservative Citizens). Shirley apparently has a strong dislike for WASPs (understandably), and together with the malleability of people's minds, he paints us a visionary picture of the future that could happen only just too easily. Very graphic violence (nothing for the faint hearted), strong language and a shockingly surreal glimpse into the future will make sure that this book will have an everlasting imprint to your neurons. Only one small point of criticism: for a "revised and updated" version, there were awfully many typos and especially misplaced periods and commas, but that doesn't take away one ounce of the intensity of this groundbreaking novel.
One of the finest cyberpunk novels May 16, 2001
John Shirley belongs to the generation of science fiction writers led by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling who are known as cyberpunks. Shirley was one of the early proponents of cyberpunk fiction. "Eclipse", the first in his "A Song Called Youth" trilogy, is a vivid, stylistically hip mix of politics, rock and roll and computers. His lean prose is almost as elegant as Gibson's; here he depicts a near future in which Europe falls under the sway of a Neo-Nazi Christian fundamentalist tyranny, the Second Alliance (SA), in the aftermath of a limited nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Opposing the SA are a motley band of rock musicians and socialist guerrillas known as the New Resistance. Those interested in reading some great cyberpunk fiction should acquire John Shirley's "A Song Called Youth" trilogy.