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Read Voice Of The Whirlwind (1992)

Voice of the Whirlwind (1992)

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3.86 of 5 Votes: 4
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0812519248 (ISBN13: 9780812519242)
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Voice Of The Whirlwind (1992) - Plot & Excerpts

The clone of a mercenary named Steward wakes up and is tasked with finding out who killed the original. The only problem is his memories are fifteen years out of date. The Beta Steward wanders through his Alpha's former life, piecing together the last fifteen years in an effort to solve his murder. His search takes him from the earth to far flung colonies. Can Steward find his own murderer without being killed himself?Voice of the Whirlwind, while on the surface is a combination of cyberpunk and space opera, is really a layered murder mystery. Steward wanders through the wreckage of his Alpha's former life and gradually pieces things together. Twists and turns abound. Since this wasn't my first invite to a detective party, I had a lot of the angles figured out by the end but not nearly all of them. This thing has as many angles as a dodecahedron. It's a real word. Look it up!The world Walter Jon Williams has created is a step beyond the other cyberpunk stories written in that bygone age of 1987. While Steward is a fairly typical cyberpunk protagonist in most respects, most of the story takes place on space stations. The best part of the book is the background Williams serves up, namely the Alpha Steward's stint with the Icehawks, a mercenary army, during a conflict called the Artifact War, a war over caches of alien artifacts littering other planets, notably a fateful ball of ice called Sheol. The aliens, simply called The Powers, aren't just humans with rubber masks. They're sort of centaur-amoeba things that I have difficulty describing. Needless to say, they are very alien aliens.The tech level was pretty standard cyberpunk stuff: mirror shades, leather, monofilament, exotic firearms, cybernetics. Actually, Williams threw in a lot of gene splicing and his science regarding living in space and space travel was actually harder than I thought it would be.I'm nearing the end of my book report here and can't decide how to rate Voice of the Whirlwind. I enjoyed it quite a bit but I wouldn't say I thought it was amazing. I will say that it has aged a lot better than many of its contemporaries. While I smiled when Steward had to use phone booths, Williams manages to keep most of the computer details pretty high level, unlike William Gibson in Neuromancer. Hell, I'll give it a 4 but that's in and of itself, not a reflection on the rest of the books on my shelf.

Voice of the Whirlwind is a pacy sci-fi thriller. At it's core, the story is simple. Steward, a clone, tries to discover who killed his original, and why.The universe Walter Jon Williams develops and from which the thriller plot draws its energy and significance place is interesting and well-developed. Powerful corporates, for whom war is commercial enterprise by means, control most of human space. An alien race, known as The Powers, have made contact and pursue their own hidden ends. Steward, the clone, is a creature of thought and will, bound by loyalties that – strictly speaking – don't apply to him and seeking answers to questions that aren't his. It's an interesting exercise in displacement. He is an avatar of vengeance, seeking – without knowing how or why, or even what exactly is at stake – the destiny his Alpha personality has set in motion. Rendered in flat, spare prose (typical of early cyberpunk), it's a real page-turner.However, the story is let down by some absolutely appalling monologue exposition to rapidly close off the story. Steward, drugged and tortured, is interrogated by the novel's villains, but the villains give away vastly more information than they receive from Steward. Chief interrogator one defends to interrogator two his revelation to Steward of all the villains' nefarious plans. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that this is story-telling gone badly wrong.It doesn't kill the story. But it does somewhat neuter what is otherwise an extremely enjoyable hardboiled sci-fi thriller.

What do You think about Voice Of The Whirlwind (1992)?

Megacorporations as large as nations, implants, wetware, dark'n gritty backstabbing characters. Everything for a good cyberpunk story, added with space opera. What else would you need?I really liked this story and use of Zen and Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai were really nice and intelligent choices, but i felt that it was on time to time "hard" to read. This is only reason i gave book only three stars, if text would have flowed "like whirlwind" it would have been strong four stars. On a side note, i didn't know this was part of Hardwired series until i read about, after reading this book, from wikipedia. Next stop: Angel Station
—Tommi Mannila

I never read the first one, didn't know there was one, and I had never heard of this author before. Its cyberpunk but not as dense as Gibson. The story was fine, Im not telling you what happened cuz there are other ways of you finding that out (like reading it, or Googling it works too). I'll just say what I didn't like, why it's a 2 rating.When the plot of any novel is humming along nicely (especially a mass market sci-fi pulp novel) and you, the author, suddenly stop all action in order to over-describe some history or the machinations of your fantastic world, then you lost me. I know sci-fi and fantasy authors have to build their worlds. But by having a charcter or the narrator do that in one long boring stretch (see Isaac Asimov) is where my brain turns off. So when the action resumes, I say to myself, "Sorry, what just happened? Who are these other characters? Why should I care about them? And now why should I care about what happens to the protagonist? Let him die quickly so this novel is done."Which is what happened to me with this novel. And now it's done. I won't be looking for the prequel or part 3 or part 5 of this. I stopped caring about the story in the middle of this book, and that ruined the rest for me.(It's apparently about a clone looking for the killer of his original self. Ergo, it's a mystery ... a la Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler. The cyberpunks do well with the hardboiled detective genre. One genre feeds another. But if this writer had stuck to his mystery story and jettisoned all the backstory details of corporations and planets and whatever, then I may have had a better attention span. My attention span is excellent if the novel is good; if it's crap, I'm day dreaming. And my day dreams are kick-ass! so you got some competition, buddy!)Read it if you want. I'm on to other novels.
—Rob Bliss

In Voice of the Whirlwind, Williams' best book to date, the thriller and the SF ideas finally mesh together in all the right places, becoming a book that proves Williams' promise as a novelist. It's a murder mystery with a twist that is only available in SF--the detective is the deceased. Steward is a clone whose memories are fifteen years out-of-date because his predecessor failed to update his brain recording before his last, fatal, assignment. As Steward attempts to regain his memories, Williams draws a picture of a believable future society--where clones are available, if expensive; where wars are fought between corporations and the results can be monitored in the stock market; where aliens and humanity live together in trade. Once again, Williams doesn't skimp on the plot, which is sufficiently interwoven that the story belies predictability. If the book ends happily, it's because of Williams' background in adventure. But then, even in this world of clones, can the ending be considered happy? (I'm trying to be vague; go out and read this one, freeloader.)Williams has captured in Voice of the Whirlwind that sense of wonder that is all so rare in SF these days using a plot construct (clones) that many would have considered passe. It only goes to show that even the oldest cliches and ideas can be fresh if the writer works hard enough to make them so.
—Glen Engel-Cox

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