A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism
The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared—the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they’re just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.
To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.
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THE HALF-MADE WORLD(Chapter THE DEPARTURE)
One fine spring afternoon, when the roses in the gardens of the Koenigswald Academy were in bloom, and the lawns were emerald green, and the river was sapphire blue, and the experimental greenhouses burst with weird life, the professors of the Faculty of Psychological Sciences met in the Faculty's ancient August Hall, in a handsomely appointed upstairs library, where they stood in a little group drinking sherry and saying their good-byes to their colleague Dr. Lysvet Alverhuysen--Liv to her friends--who was, against all reasonable advice, determined
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“Vivid and accurate prose, a gripping, imaginative story, a terrifically inventive setting, a hard-bitten, indestructible hero, and an intelligent, fully adult heroine---we haven’t had a science-fiction novel like this for a long time.” ---Ursula K. Le Guin, National Book Award--winning author of The Farthest Shore and The Left Hand of Darkness
“A much-needed breath of fresh air in dystopian fiction. Utterly compelling. Trembling with invention and adventure. Reads as if it’s the love child of McCarthy’s The Road and Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. Highly recommended!” ---Eric Van Lustbader, New York Times bestselling author
“Felix Gilman’s The Half-Made World takes the brutality of the Wild West and twists it into an epic fantasy that left me staggered. It brings the sense of wonder back to fantasy by creating a complex and visceral world unlike anything I’ve read. This is a stunning novel.” ---Mary Robinette Kowal
FELIX GILMAN has been nominated for the John W. Campbell Award and the Crawford Award for best new writer and the Locus Award for best first novel. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Thunderer and Gears of the City. He lives with his wife in New York City.