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Red Star Reviews Can this star manage to rise from Acclaim's ashes? VideoBioPhoenix Game reviews: The Red Star (PS2)
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Jul 09, Brendan rated it it was ok. Oct 16, Brook rated it liked it. Good primitive AFTER from the early 20th century, similar to Gilman's Herland or Bellamy.
Oct 02, Rachel rated it it was ok Shelves: university , unfinished. As some insight into historical ideology, Red Star is great I guess.
But as a novel, not good. I skipped through and just found what I needed for my homework View 2 comments.
Aug 13, Glass River marked it as fic-guided. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Big stuff. But along with the infamy, Bogdanov should enjoy posthumous fame as a writer of science fiction. Bogdanov trained as a doctor.
Contact with poor patients led him to embrace Bolshevism; at the time of writing Red Star he and Lenin were comrades-in-arms. As a physician, Bogdanov undertook useful research into blood transfusion — an act which had Socialist symbolism for him.
He died, in , experimenting on himself with blood donations from an infected patient. The myth that Mars presented the distant spectacle of a dead or dying mighty civilisation took firm root.
It was bad astronomy, but excellent inspiration for romancers. Projecting the ways of his own people, Wells conceives the Martians as imperialists, ruthlessly employing superior military technology to invade, and then plunder, London the inevitable target, as the heart of terrestrial colonialism.
His logic is that Mars, being the older planet, must inevitably have preceded Earth, through war, to Socialist fulfilment; Mars is the red planet in all senses.
The alien society is found to embody the future that the early Bolsheviks imagined themselves fighting for. Although the Venusian choice is infinitely more costly and risky, it is the one chosen.
On the red planet, he discovers what the Communist future being fought for on Earth holds for earthlings. Individualism had been abolished and with it, all vestiges of leadership.
Martian society is organised as a benign industrial factory-cum-garden state. But in general Red Star is as wildly inaccurate a predictor of the future as is the rest of its genre.
There is a perfunctory wrapping-up of the action, in which the hero returns to Earth, throws himself even more vigorously into revolutionary struggle, and is wounded.
He finally returns to Mars, and reunion with his Martian mate. Wells, alas, is the more convincing prophet on that score. May 29, Edward rated it really liked it.
When it comes to genres, you can't get much more niche than pre-Soviet, Bolshevik science fiction. Think War of the Worlds, only written with all the technical and political bluntness only a Russian revolutionary could muster.
And without all the action that would translate into a panic-inducing radio drama. If that sounds like I'm trying to say the book is not very well-written, you would be correct.
It really isn't. This is the golden era of Lowell's canals, or Burrough's "princess of mars. Modern authors still pay tribute to these early pioneers, and "Red Star" is no different.
The author, Alexander Bogdanov, is referenced in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy as the character Alexy Bogdanov's ancestor.
Like his real-world counterpart, Alexy is Russian, a scientist, and not fond of traditional societies. The plot of Red Star is fairly straightforward--a revolutionary intellectual, through a series of events is whisked away to a Martian society that has already eliminated class struggle.
This utopia serves as a way for Bogdanov to critique the actual events of earth in his time, including divisions within the early Bolshevik movement itself.
Like any utopia, it is somewhat too good to be true, but to his credit Bogdanov tries to stress that even this alien worker's paradise has its issues.
There is a darkly ominous episode in which, to his horror, the protagonist discovers that these enlightened beings once contemplated annihilating all life on earth, a War of the Worlds that never happened, or was at least deferred.
There are some other interesting ideas that Bogdanov plays with, and which were considered pretty radical even for a revolutionary at the time.
The Martians of his book live a largely gender-neutral lifestyle in terms of clothing and behavior. While they are definitely divided into men and women, the difference between them is so negligible at least to an earthling that the protagonist struggles with his attraction to a character who he initially assumed to be male.
The queer literary interpretations here are quite interesting. In terms of relationships, the Martians appear to be polyamorous, although they tend to bond emotionally with one person at a time.
Blood transfusions, Bogdanov's own pet scientific area of research, even makes an appearance. This still relatively dangerous and new procedure is used by the Martians as a way to invigorate one another in the form of total transfusions, a kind of blood-swapping, medical version of comradely union.
Bogdanov himself ended up dying from this, in a bold self-led experiment which again was very emblematic of this time period.
Overall, the book is very optimistic about the future, like a lot of pre-WWI literature. And like a lot of that literature, this optimism hasn't aged terribly well, given what the rest of the twentieth century ended up being like, especially in Russia itself, where the long-awaited revolution devolved into terror and corruption.
Still, you feel for Bogdanov and the yearning he had for a better world, so much that you start to hope yourself. Like one of the Martians tells the protagonist, as they admire a statue of a child in a Martian museum: "This is you," he said, pointing at the boy.
It will be a marvelous world, but it is still in its infancy. Look at the hazy dreams and disturbing images troubling his mind.
He is still half asleep, but some day he will awaken. I feel it, I sincerely believe in it! Mar 15, Bodicainking rated it it was amazing.
A remarkable book indeed, in the version I read, Red Star is paired with its sequel Engineer Menni and a poem which was to form the basis for a threequel before the authors death.
It's hard to pin down what's great about this book, the wider context of it - written by a genuine Russian revolutionary, almost certainly read by both Lenin who is mentioned in the book and Stalin - makes some of the science fiction elements almost seem pre-cognitive, such as when the Martian socialists A remarkable book indeed, in the version I read, Red Star is paired with its sequel Engineer Menni and a poem which was to form the basis for a threequel before the authors death.
It's hard to pin down what's great about this book, the wider context of it - written by a genuine Russian revolutionary, almost certainly read by both Lenin who is mentioned in the book and Stalin - makes some of the science fiction elements almost seem pre-cognitive, such as when the Martian socialists discuss that 'socialism with human characteristics', to steal a Chinese styling, will inevitably be different, violent and militarist, compared to the Martian socialism, due to the historical and political context of Earth and people.
It also contains some quiet awareness of the limits of Marxism, with both Marx's limitations alluded to while Mar's Marx - Xarma - is explicitly noted as not creating a complete system for the new world of socialist Mars - later ideological labour was yet needed.
The books themselves are first a trip to Mars and exploration of Martian society and the effect of living in such a radically different society on even the most 'near' human, a Russian socialist revolutionary followed by a 'translated historical work' from Mars, which charts the evolution of Mars through the last three stages of society in Marxist terms feudalism, capitalism, socialism via Martian personalities - Duke Alto - exemplar of aristocratic strength, his son Menni the engineer, exemplar of scientific rationalism and Netti, his grandson, exemplar of socialist unity.
The sensation of helplessness sometimes felt in the text - Menni and Netti love and admire one another, but are fated by dialectical materialism to clash due to their ideological incompatibility - perhaps serves as a kind of venting against the way such 'social and historical forces' deny individual human agency with the same strength as ancient belief in destiny and fate.
When one learns more of the author Bogdanov, it seems very much to me that this book exists as an externalising of the inevitable struggles within those fighting for utopias - and a deep awareness of how some problems are simply bigger than ideology - socialist paradise Mars struggles with overpopulation and environmental decline.
Bogdanov seems very much to be present in the character of Menni the Engineer, who revolutionised Mars via the building of the canals but was unable to imagine how he could live in the following worker's paradise; in reality he lived to see the beginnings of Stalinism's paranoid purges, being arrested by the GPU KGB forerunner and died transfusing malaria-poisoned blood into himself as part of his studies to increase the health of all, in what some suspect was a 'useful suicide' - eerily echoing Menni, who resists his destiny of class struggle against his child by committing suicide.
All told, a remarkable work both of early 20th century science fiction - with atomic power one of many unexpected appearances - and a fantastic example of how sci-fi can both explore the future and expose the present, even when that present is something as complex as the Russian revolutionary underground as it powers up for the final struggle.
Despite its name being 'the First Bolshevik Utopia' its not at all about a utopia. The jist of the story is that a Russian man on the onset of more wide spread communism is whisked away to Mars, which is a fully communist society.
I'd like to focus on Mar's society and how it works. What would it really mean to have a full communist world where working is done by choice and individual ownership isn't a thing?
Our protagonist first notes that all the martians look kinda alike. This makes sense. F Despite its name being 'the First Bolshevik Utopia' its not at all about a utopia.
Fashion is a expression individuality so why wouldn't all clothes look alike? Even all hair cuts being the same. With work being non-compulsory its actually surprising how much civilization chooses to work.
Though if the society was brought up this way it stands to reason it could happen By communist society I also mean communist planet.
All of Mars is globally once society with 1 language and a shared goal since in communism their is no leadership or high command.
This is explained that with not as much livable land their wasn't a case of the martian people spreading out.
With the low gravity its easy to just run everywhere rather then requiring a dedicated mode of travel pre-industrilization and so Earth's case of having many different conflicting and warring societies didn't happen Our protagonist deciding to join in with the martian workforce discovers something that would be a clear indication on why none of this would ever work on earth: He found the work he was doing rather boring.
How can you expect the population to work 'just cuzz' when its boring? This is all hand-waved away as 'The Martians are far more disciplined then us earthlings".
The story does show an interesting take on a none capitalist system You could argue our own world is barely functioning, but at least its far easier to understand our economic and societal problems and not "yea people love working.
I got this book for free through Early Bird Books, and I regret the money I spent. I consider it penance for the urban fantasy novels that I usually read.
This book has all the poetry and drama that one expects with a Marxist tract. Before going into my criticism, I would add that this was listed along with WE as examples of early Soviet science fiction, except that WE is readable.
Even as Marxist theory, it is poorly written. I would recommend contemporaries of the author such as Luxemburg or K I got this book for free through Early Bird Books, and I regret the money I spent.
I would recommend contemporaries of the author such as Luxemburg or Kautsky; collections such as Hooks' MARX AND THE MARXISTS; or more current authors such as Heilbroner.
My familiarity is based on writing and teaching about Marxism and revolutionary theory. In reality, this is two books.
The first, RED STAR: A UTOPIA, supposedly tells the story of a Russian revolutionary transported to Mars around the time of the Revolution.
Once there, he finds the socialist ideal for which he has been fighting. So the majority of the book is long tracts discussing the merits of the socialist system.
Unfortunately, like most socialist discussions it requires a suspension of belief and ignoring scientific and sociological facts.
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Filter reviews. Traveller rating. Excellent Very good Average 9. The Magic Engineer is a standalone Fantasy book set three books in to The Saga Of Recluce.
You could read this book by itself and love it. The entire Recluce Saga is like this to a degree. Modesitt tells standalone stories that normally take two books to tell and places them in an overall story that grows with each book.
It feels like less of a commitment than say Wheel Of Time even though there are more books in Recluce!
To be fair that is also because WOT books tend to run longer but still. Dorrin is the Magic Engineer this title speaks of and this book further examines the balance between chaos and order that is present in Recluce.
Dorrin is an outcast from Recluce, the same as Lerris in The Magic Of Recluce, and he is just trying to find some place where he can build the machines that fascinate him.
However neither the forces of chaos or order want him to succeed, so how do you take on the world to pursue your dreams? As said this book is one of my favorite books ever written.
If I created a top five it would be on there. If there is one book from Modesitt that would hook you in on his stories I think this is it. As a standalone you could give it a go, but the reader in me thinks it is so powerful to me because of where it fits in the overall series, and because of how the concepts of the series have been growing to this point.
From The Godless World Trilogy over to False Gods for our sixth post out of the nine! False Gods is written by Graham McNeill and it is the second book in the Horus Heresy.
The Emperor is the most powerful Psyker human able to use supernatural powers in the known galaxy. He has existed since the early days of humanity and has tried guiding the species through the years.
However humanity grew too far too fast and imploded in upon itself after spreading through the galaxy. A time known as Old Night descended in which humanity lost its science, art, communications, and soul.
We had spread through the galaxy but now we were lost and adrift. The Emperor at this point came from behind the scenes to the forefront and conquered Earth, determined to reunite humanity and to guide it into a great golden age.
Then he launched humanity on a year long crusade to reconquer the galaxy. Reuniting the splintered worlds of humanity under one banner, his banner, whether they wanted it or not.
Thus the Imperium Of Man was founded. To truly understand the Heresy you must understand how vital Horus is, and how much the Emperor trusted him, and how badly the Emperor misled him.
To unite humanity the forces of the Imperium have to travel through the Warp. A dark place full of wonder, mystery, terror, gods, and Chaos.
The Emperor thought he could conquer this too without letting his people know that chaotic gods existed and were striving to destroy the universe.
But through a series of events detailed within the pages of this story Horus comes into contact with these beings.
Now Horus must decide who to trust. Chaotic false gods, or a deceitful father. The stage is set, the players are present, and now the greatest soul to ever exist besides the Emperor must decide what path is right not only for himself, but for all of humanity too.
For the fifth ofvthese nine posts we return to the world of The Godless Trilogy for book two: Bloodheir. Second books are the make or break points to a trilogy.
I think it is universally accepted that the second film of the original Star Wars Trilogy was the best, yes?
The ability to pick up a story, tell a new tale, and bring it to such a conclusion that you must go on to the final book is a powerful ability and Brian Ruckley has that ability in large quantities!
Bloodheir picks you up right where the the opening book Winterbirth left you and quickly throws you into… well into a despair really. One aspect of this story that I really love is that the world itself is a part of the story too.
That is something I love about Dune as well. It is a vast frozen wilderness. It is ancient and hate filled forests. It is breathtaking mountains. Above all it is snow.
And in this snow a battle takes place. A battle that will stretch loyalties to their breaking points. An intense battle first against the elements and then against the enemy.
I love it when the world itself is a huge part of the story. After the demise of Acclaim, it seemed unlikely that we would ever see the game again.
Almost two years went by before someone decided to seize the reins and realize the dreams of commie-loving comic book fans everywhere.
That "someone" was XS Games. The company reassembled members of the game's original development team, and put them to work on taking the game off life support.
Despite this storied history, The Red Star actually manages to deliver on the promise of blending old-school brawler mechanics with top-down shooter elements; it just might not be the game fans of the comic were hoping for.
The game, like the comic before it, takes place in an alternate version of earth, one run by warring totalitarian states.
The story centers on the exploits of several members of the U. United Republic of the Red Star who discover that the war between their people and the dark armies of Troika was engineered by both sides to harvest the souls of the fallen in an effort to feed Troika's dark master.
The game allows players to step into the boots of three different warriors ripped straight from the comic, the warkaster Maya Antares, her bodyguard Kyuzo, and the nimble resistance fighter Makita, as they shoot and slash their way through the ranks of evil.
However, it is at this point that all similarities with the comic book end. Players progress along a fixed path, beating the crap out of everything that gets in the way.
Enemies will constantly be thrown your way, requiring several different tactics to dispatch.