Fool's War

Sarah Zettel


Fool's War

Fool's War

  • Title: Fool's War
  • Author: Sarah Zettel
  • ISBN: 9780446602938
  • Page: 449
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback



Four centuries after humanity has colonized the galaxy, information freight companies are used as an alternative to electronic communication On one of her frequent trips into deep space, Katmer Al Shei, owner of one of the smaller information companies, is accused of smuggling artificial intelligence When Al Shei tries to clear her name, she uncovers conspiracy after conFour centuries after humanity has colonized the galaxy, information freight companies are used as an alternative to electronic communication On one of her frequent trips into deep space, Katmer Al Shei, owner of one of the smaller information companies, is accused of smuggling artificial intelligence When Al Shei tries to clear her name, she uncovers conspiracy after conspiracy, all set against the backdrop of a looming war.


Recent Comments "Fool's War"

5.5 stars. This is an AMAZINGLY well done science fiction story that really surprised me as I did not go into it with high expectations. Well, my expectations were vastly exceeded. This story was fresh, original and very well written. As explained in more detail below, three interesting aspects of the novel are: (1) a devout female muslim main character, (2) the "Fool's" Guild (yes think actual fools like a court jester, and (3) the use and treatment of artificial intelligence. BRIEF BACKGROUND [...]

I really loved this book. I found it because the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club read When Gravity Fails and one of the discussions that came from it was a search for other science fiction books featurning Muslim and Arab characters. I really enjoy books with international or intercultural storylines and the descriptions of this one really caught my attention. A female Muslim captain certainly seemed like a different perspective that would be pretty fascinating if done well, it sure isn't something [...]

I'm going to pass on this one. Made it to page 100, and still the book totally failed to hold my attention.I did like the captain, though. Al Shei is a practicing Muslim, and she even wears a niqab—and yet she's captain of a starship. How cool is that? The book kept hammering the point that she wore the hijab early on, but it eventually got over it. She's a wonderful character, a totally different captain from the usual slew of alpha males given to captaining starships in SF.But, well, other t [...]

An interesting standalone space opera centered on the crew of a spaceship which delivers data packages across interstellar space. It's a future where where Artificial Intelligences are useful but dangerous entities, as they have a history of causing great destruction if they become sentient, which happens unpredictably. Many people are afraid of them, with good reason, but some view the AIs with earnest hopefulness for the future of mankind.The ship's owner is hijab-wearing Muslim woman, and a r [...]

I have read sicnec fiction for over 40 years. This is probably the best in the last 5 years. I do not' want to spoil the plot so I will not review this now--I am new to this site.I will say if you are a science fiction fan who is looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, this is definitely worth a try. The main characters are well developed and the premise is unusual.

Read for the Women of Genre Fiction Challenge and the Space Opera Challenge.The book has received a lot of mixed reviews. I think the big reason why is that no matter what you're expecting, this book is not what you expect. Is it space opera? Well; yes; sort of. Is it cyberpunk? Yeah; that too. Is it a story about the Singularity? Yes; but not entirely. Is it a story about First Contact? That too.What's the plot? I think the second paragraph of the back of the book summary is probably the best d [...]

I have to Spoiler-tag this review; otherwise I can't talk much about what I loved about it.I've always been drawn to books that feature a female Other as a sympathetic protagonist, and here we have Evelyn Dobbs as a fascinating and beautiful example of the type. She may start the story as a somewhat awkward clown, but oh, where she goes! As she realizes she must stand with humanity against her own kind, because both lives and SOULS are at stake ("we can't become careless with the lives of outsid [...]

This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:bookswithoutanypictures/20I had been meaning to read Fool’s War ever since Andrea reviewed it back in 2012. I enjoy reading sci-fi and fantasy with a diverse cast of characters, and the protagonist of Fool’s War, a woman named Katmer Al Shei, is a devout Muslim. She wears the hijab and prays facing Mecca, but she’s also the captain of a ship called the Pasadena, which she operates on a timeshare system with her brother- [...]

Interesting mixture of moslem women in space, artificial intelligence and funny pen-interfaces. The story was quite good, with a few unexpected twists and turns, and the society was well fleshed out.Fool's war's world has a history and many different groups with different viewpoints and perspectives. The characters are realistic and even the sympathetic ones behave unsympathetically sometimes. All have their flaws, and, quite interestingly, the cast consists of quite a few women that are invaria [...]

Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel started off very strong for me, but I was left a bit disappointed. Initially, I was captivated by the futuristic setting, and the initial main character, Katmer Al Shei. The female muslim engineer, captain and shareholder in the tradeship Pasadena feels very solid, and provides for a unique perspective in a sci-fi novel. When Dobbs, the real main character, a female Jester is brought on board to up the rating of the vessel’s rating, things get interesting as things [...]

I really liked this book for it's interesting space opera, good world building and really solid diversity but in the end, this book sacrificed interesting plot for interesting characters, so I ended up not being attached to any single character. I also didn't really like the AI-to-human transformation -- felt forced. This book also gets a slightly lower rating for the fact that in my head i compared it to Ancillary Justice, which probably was not fair to it, since that book is the Exception that [...]

I really enjoyed this book very much. It's one of the best Scifi's I've read in a long time. Written in the late 90's, I was surprised at how much of it rang true for most of our present time. This book concerned a great story about AI's, the internet, space and settled planets, prejudice and bigotry. It was humorous in parts and very exciting. This story sucks you in. I was very impressed with Zettel's charactor development, you get attached very quickly. I enjoyed this space adventure very muc [...]

I picked up this book because a fellow writer friend told me it was the best science fiction novel ever written with a Muslim protagonist, and I had reason to want to read books of that nature. It didn't deserve that compliment. Indeed, the Muslim protagonist was written in a highly Orientalist way. There was absolutely no interiority that would indicate Islam in any way influenced her character. Sure, she prayed the requisite five times per day and wore a burka, but when push came to shove, she [...]

I started out enjoying this book quite a bit. In the end I still felt it was a pretty okay book, though there were some parts that I think sort of fell through.One of the things I liked right off the bat was the main character. Or the first of the two main characters. I liked her seriousness and logical approach to things. I liked that she was Muslim also, because I find few books that have Muslim main characters that aren't portrayed negatively. I didn't, however, get her animosity towards he u [...]

This book has some very interesting ideas, plots, characters, situations that I have not found in other Sci Fi Books. For example, a main character is a Muslim who works to keep her deeply religious beliefs in line with being the owner and operator of a space ship. The Fool is exactly that, a jester that is required to keep crew members happy and sane during long space voyages - definitely not your usual space ship personnel. Of course, as you can tell from the title, we find that she is much mo [...]

This is a great story about what might happen if sentient AIs came into existence and tried to take over the network where they were created. It’s also about the futility of war. I liked the narrator at first, she has a pleasant voice and could make subtle differentiations between characters using accents and speech mannerisms. However as the book wore on, he odd, very frequent pauses in the middle of sentences (much worse than William Shatner!) became almost unbearable. It was especially bad [...]

I originally gave this book four stars because I liked it so much. When I found myself shelving it under “Favorites,” I realized that I didn’t just like it, I loved it.And there’s so much to love about this book. The plotting is excellent, the pacing moves right along, the writing is smooth and flows well, the characters are strong and sympathetic, there’s more than one good female character, and one of the main characters is a Muslim woman who’s chief engineer of her own spaceship. [...]

I picked up this book largely because I was on an episode of The Skiffy and Fanty podcast with the author, and was impressed with the intelligent things she said about speculative fiction. (I don't think that particular podcast episode has been released yet at the time I'm writing this review.)I'm going to assume it's not her best work. It's not terrible, but I lost enthusiasm for it at 39% of the way through the ebook. It's a long book, and I felt like I was ready for the story to wrap up not t [...]

Fool's War offers me a "new" author of science fictionw to me, but obviously not to everyone, as Fool's War was originally published in 1997 and was Zettel's second novel. One of the best science fiction novels I've read in a while; I will be looking for more of Zettel's work in both science fiction and fantasy genres.Book Description: Four centuries after humanity has colonized the galaxy, information freight companies are used as an alternative to electronic communication. On one of her freque [...]

This is a great book.For one thing, I'm no hard SF reader, and I can tell this is good hard SF. (Also I'm no hard SF reader and I like it anyway!) I'll admit to skimming the technical bits about the computer networks, space stations, and AIs, picking up just enough to have the general idea of what was going on. But even so, there's an unmistakable feel that tells you when a writer thoroughly knows what they're talking about--a willingness to use just enough detail and not too much, neither gloss [...]

There’s been quite a bit of talk in the last few years about the gender imbalance in SF. It can be difficult to find quality books written by women. If you’re short on reading material, Open Road Media has recently republished Sarah Zettel’s Fool’s War as an ebook. Fool’s War was originally published in 1997, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Initially, Fool’s War seems to be space opera. We meet Katmer Al-Shei, owner of a small freighter, who is struggling to earn t [...]

Rating: "A-/B+" -- a fine and twisty feminista space-opera.This one sat on my 'to-read' shelf for a long time, after I bounced off her first, Reclamation, which has an excruciatingly slow start. Fool's War was a New York Times Notable Book of 1997 (and Reclamation won a Locus Award for Best First Novel).The setup is uncomfortably topical -- the story-now is 500 years after violent religious wars, started by Islamic extremists, almost wrecked Earth. The subsequent diaspora to the colony worlds si [...]

Oh, well done. I'd heard a lot about this book in various science-fiction communities, held up as an example of how to write "the Other" without succumbing to racefail, but I was a bit skeptical of the hype. And while the first chapter definitely is slow going until you can get a firm handle on the characters and the plot-thread swapping, the result is truly a treat.Zettel's book should be a classic case study of how to write a strong female character and a strong religious character, all withou [...]

What starts out as a normal run for the crew of the Pasadena turns into something much bigger.First published in 1997, I kept asking myself if this book was written in the 70s or 80s. There are great characters and compelling plot, but the portrayal of the internet and artificial intelligence seems out of joint with the reality of those things in the 90s. Still, that's the only real weakness of the story, and I know not everyone cares about that sort of thing.What makes Fool's War shine is the d [...]

I really wanted to like this book, but for whatever reason, I just can't seem to get into it. The narrative feels heavier and slower than the plot deserves, and while there's a lot to love about the characters and world building, it's started to feel like a slog. Plus and also, I was both confused and irritated by the author's seeming conflation of niqabs and hijabs -Al Shei is only ever described as wearing the latter, and yet she's also described as having her whole face covered except for her [...]

An enjoyable read. Luckily I had a good 15 years to forget the tale so it was nice to see a story stand the test of time especially in this genre. Interesting characters especially Katmer Al-Shei, appreciated the the gender balance and that religion still plays a role. Altogether a fun premise but not too hard to whip through in record time. A little disappointed that the AI's were not so different from humans in their protectionism - I would have hoped for better. I did like the notion that AI [...]

Love and loss, human and artificial intelligence, family and religion, politics and war: Fool's War has it all, and spaceships too. This intelligent hard SF novel casually drops in all sorts of wonderful details, like the exact shade of brown a character's skin is, the devoted practice of Islam by the spaceship's engineer, the even gender balance. I'd heard this was one of Sarah Zettel's best, and I agree; I loved this.

You never forget your first, they say, and this was my first serious science fiction. I read it in the back of the car to and from the outlet mall. It wasn't what I expected at all.I daresay it still isn't what I expect, and I've read other Zettel, or tried to. Fool's War stands out to me because the characters are interesting and the setting isn't your bog-standard Western future. Space opera puts me to sleep if there's nothing behind it; there was plenty behind this, and I could reread it quit [...]

I really wanted to like this book but had to struggled to finished the it. Whenever I try to read this book, I kept falling asleep or had to reread portions of it because I forgot what I read.The technological concepts were interesting but that's about it. All the characters were boring and I couldn't emphasize with anyone. Making the lead character a devout Muslim was interesting, but I don't know what the author intended, because by the end of the book, I really started to dislike Muslims. Jus [...]

Reread 5/14. Author is in top form in this tale of a commercial space ship's crew that gets caught up in a war between (actually, among) humans and AIs. The ensemble cast is terrific, there's planty of action that is well choreographed, and the introspective passages are (this is really rare these days) not too long---Zettel lets readers figure out for themselves what's going on in her characters' heads and hearts. If I were to recommend one of the author's books as a starter, this would be it. [...]


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    Published :2018-08-22T12:39:50+00:00