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Bone Dance

de Emma Bull

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
7881821,533 (3.86)23
Sparrow's my name. Trader. Deal-maker. Hustler, some call me. I work the Night Fair circuit, buying and selling pre-nuke videos from the world before. I know how to get a high price, especially on Big Bang collectibles. But the hottest ticket of all is information on the Horsemen--the mind-control weapons that tilted the balance in the war between the Americas. That's the prize I'm after. But it seems I'm having trouble controlling my own mind. The Horsemen are coming.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Voodoo meets cyberpunk in this post-apocalyptic urban fantasy....
A bit of a similar feel to the stories she did for Bordertown/Borderlands... but these characters are playing for higher stakes.... our protagonist is Sparrow, an androgynous character with a love for old movies and a talent for electronic tinkering; her friends include a young tarot card reader and a nightclub DJ/VJ... but when old legends of mysterious individuals who have the ability to switch bodies at will start surfacing, the average citizens of this decaying version of Minneapolis (?) are out of their depth....

good stuff! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Bone Dance is a strange but enjoyable mixture of the post-apocalyptic with the supernatural. Sparrow is a trader of old videos and discs from before the nuclear missiles were set off by a group of psychics known as the Horsemen. But Sparrow’s been blacking out and losing memories. What’s going on?

Sparrow is an agender protagonist who’s never given pronouns. Sparrow’s only comment on the matter is this:

“You wouldn’t have so much trouble,” I muttered, straightening up carefully, “if you didn’t talk about me in the third person.”

While this is fitting with Sparrow’s somewhat prickly personality, it’s not helpful for writing this review. Therefore for the remainder of the review I will be referring to Sparrow with the singular “they/them” pronouns. Sparrow’s physical sex or gender is not discussed until about a hundred pages in, about where a number of different pieces of the book start coming together. There’s not a lot about this element I can say without running into spoilers (although I think there is a key point worth noting), but this article on Sparrow’s gender is worth reading if you’re willing to brave the spoilers.

“We’re all born nameless, aren’t we? And the name we end up with has only peripherally to do with our family tree.”

Sparrow was easily my favorite part about Bone Dance. When you first meet Sparrow, they are keeping themself permanently isolated and aloof from others. A large part of Bone Dance is diving into Sparrow’s concept of themself, as they learn to accept who they are and to open up to other people and form connections. Sparrow’s confident and snarky, but also in over their head with the current situation. They go through some real difficulties, and I was feeling for them the entire time.

The post-apocalyptic world of Bone Dance isn’t the lawless mad lands you tend to see in fiction. Sparrow lives in a city (clues point towards it being Minneapolis) that still has electricity, even if it’s controlled by the one man who rules the city government. There’s markets and nightclubs and people running theaters of salvaged televisions. In short, there’s some form of civilization, even though it’s only been fifty years since the nuclear missiles went off.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, Bone Dance is a mixture of science fiction and fantasy. The fantasy mainly comes in through the use of the psychics, tarot, and what the book calls hoodoo (I’ve got no idea if this is the same thing as voodoo, but it seems similar). These supernatural elements all play a large role in the plot. At times this can result in a mystical element that accounts for a large part of why I found the book strange.

I liked the prose of Bone Dance. Emma Bull really has a way with words, and I probably should have been marking pages for quotes as I read. Unfortunately, the pacing of Bone Dance is all over the place. The beginning is slow. Then there’s bits of action interspersed with large periods of reflection. While I think the reflection periods were important for Sparrow’s character growth, it did a number on the pacing.

I would recommend Bone Dance, though I’d want to note the poor pacing and strangeness of the plot. Still, I really love the lead character and there’s some interesting thematic material going on. I in no way regret reading it.

Originally posted at The Illustrated Page. ( )
1 vote pwaites | Oct 31, 2015 |
Reread newly available as an ebook. A little weirder than I remember, but in a good way. Some of the plot points (videotapes in a post apocalyptic world) are somewhat dated, but not in any way that bothered me. Still a brilliant book. ( )
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
I know there are many many people out there that loved this book. I was not one of them. I tried, but I found it hard to get into, the characters not likeable or unlikeable. The story was interesting, but it felt very much a book written in 1991. There is a very unsettling vibe to this book. This book felt like it was in between an age of science fiction - not quite cyber-punk- but not quite the modern science fiction of today. The writing was solid, but simple.

One thing I did like was the setting of the book. The first half, it felt that the author was deliberately making the city as generic as possible. But, by the second half, Minneapolis landmarks and references were mentioned often. I liked that the Apple Valley Zoo was turned into a farm-coop. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Apr 10, 2013 |
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't what I read. Bone Dance is a dense book, even though it's not long. I didn't read it as closely as other books I've read, mostly because I found my eyes glazing over while digging through the spiritual/magic (those aren't the right words, but they'll do) parts of the book. I also found it hard to read more than a chapter or two at a time, which meant that for such a short book, it took me a (relatively) long time.

What I did like where the characters, especially Sparrow (our "hero"), Theo and Sherra (and eventually Frances, too). My favorite part of the book was right near the end, after the traumatic event to Sparrow, but before the climax of the novel. Sparrow's recovery/rehab was much more interesting than most of the novel. I liked it, but it more fantasy than science fiction; even if it did live up to it's dystopian promises.

I just wish I liked it more, since I loved the previous book of Bull's that I read (War for the Oaks). ( )
  callmecayce | Jan 14, 2013 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Bull, Emmaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Targete,JeanArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Cyn Horton gave me the matches. Elise Matthesen held the candle while I lit it. The following umpty-ump thousand words are dedicated to both of them. Thanks, guys.
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as long as you keep the energy, all kinds of energy, moving through the system, everything is free. But as soon as you block some of it off, take it out of circulation—wham. The payback is enormous.
Hoodoo is all the energy and attention you bring to what you do. Everything you do. The work of your hands, done with all your attention, becomes a container full of energy that you can transfer to somebody else. Baking bread is a hoodoo work. So’s putting in a garden. Or fixing an amplifier, or teaching someone else to. If you do it right, with your whole head, and an awareness of where it came from , and where it’s going when it leaves you. The process it’s part of.
If you don’t do it for love, or because you think it needs doing, get out and let somebody else do it.
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Sparrow's my name. Trader. Deal-maker. Hustler, some call me. I work the Night Fair circuit, buying and selling pre-nuke videos from the world before. I know how to get a high price, especially on Big Bang collectibles. But the hottest ticket of all is information on the Horsemen--the mind-control weapons that tilted the balance in the war between the Americas. That's the prize I'm after. But it seems I'm having trouble controlling my own mind. The Horsemen are coming.

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