Read Ivory by Mike Resnick Free Online
Book Title: Ivory|
The author of the book: Mike Resnick
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 18.88 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.2
Edition: Tor Books
Date of issue: December 1st 1989
ISBN 13: 9780812500424
Read full description of the books:
Brisk, effortless story-telling that engages you with its pleasing SF wrapper and then gradually fills up your core with its powerful central message of loss, pain, folly and hope. Resnick is one of my favorite story-tellers, especially when he touches on the exploration/exploitation of the continent of Africa, for which his passion is evident on every page. This book is one of his ABSOLUTE BEST.
I’ve previously touched on Resnick’s Africa esteem in my reviews of Paradise Review and Kirinyaga Review and his deep fascination and admiration for Africa in general and Kenya in particular shines through with such clarity in this work. While I have enjoyed many of Resnick’s novels and short stories and find him generally enjoyable, he is at his most moving and thought-provoking in these works where his love and respect for the source material is so “on the sleeve.”
PLOT SUMMARY & THOUGHTS:
Ivory, like most of Resnick’s science fiction takes place within his “Birthright” universe that covers the entire history of humankind over a period of just less than 23,000 years (from 1885 A.D. to 21,703 G.E.). For those of you unfamiliar with the universe, I would point you in the direction of Birthright: The Book of Man which is a series of short stories that give an excellent introduction to various periods of this future history. Plus it is a wonderful in its own right.
Ivory itself, after a brief stage setting prologue, takes place in the “present” of 6303 G.E. and primarily concerns the life paths of two main characters. Duncan Rojas is an artifact researcher/authenticator who you could think of as an “Indiana Jones” character, minus the adventures and the whip, who does his “questing” via a massive computer archive. Duncan works for a large megacorp that publishes the preeminent guide used by all the larger museums for confirming and cataloguing the authenticity of important historical artifacts.
Duncan is approached by a mysterious man who identifies himself as Bukoba Mandaka and claims to be the “last of the Maasai.” The Maasai were an African people that Resnick has used as the focus of most of his African stories. Bukoba hires Duncan to locate the Ivory tusks of the great “Kilimanjaro Elephant” and is willing to pay and/or do anything to obtain them. As he explains to Duncan, securing the tusks is a sacred task that has fallen to Bukoba because he is the last of his kind.
Why does Bukoba need the tusks? What is their significance and what purpose will they serve? Theses “whys” are slowly and beautifully revealed throughout the rest of the story which is told in a series of vignettes tracing the amazing history and journey of the Tusks, from their beginning in 1898 A.D. and all through their almost 7500 year history up to the present day.
One of the most captivating aspects of the story for me was that each vignette begins with a brief but beautiful “flashback” to the Kilimanjaro Elephant as it makes its final “living” journey in 1898 A.D. to the place it eventually dies, thus beginning the multi-millennium journey of the tusks.
Evocative and memorable, these passages demonstrate better than anything else Resnick’s deep love and respect for the “Great” elephant.
I thought the writing was wonderful and invokes powerful emotions without ever being sappy or melodramatic. The story itself is strong enough and Resnick uses his prose to service, rather than usurp, the tale. The use of vignettes as a plot device was the right choice for this story and Resnick does an amazing job moving forward and gradually revealing the mystery of the tusks.
The ending was magical. SIMPLY SUPERB!
5.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!
Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Novel
Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
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Read information about the authorMichael "Mike" Diamond Resnick, better known by his published name Mike Resnick, is a popular and prolific American science fiction author. He is, according to Locus, the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short science fiction. He is the winner of five Hugos, a Nebula, and other major awards in the United States, France, Spain, Japan, Croatia and Poland. and has been short-listed for major awards in England, Italy and Australia. He is the author of 68 novels, over 250 stories, and 2 screenplays, and is the editor of 41 anthologies. His work has been translated into 25 languages. He is the Guest of Honor at the 2012 Worldcon and can be found online as @ResnickMike on Twitter or at www.mikeresnick.com.
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