The Half-Made World : The Half-Made World

  • by Felix Gilman
  • Narrated by Tamara Marston
  • Series: The Half-Made World
  • 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is a fantastical reimagining of the American West that 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.


What the Critics Say

"Vivid and accurate prose, a gripping, imaginative story, a terrifically inventive setting, a hard-bitten, indestructible hero, and an intelligent, fully adult heroine." (Ursula K. Le Guin)
"The Half-Made World is refreshingly unlike any other novel I've read. Felix Gilman writes like a modern-day Dickens drunk on rich invention and insane war." (Stephen R. Donaldson)

Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2010: Readers' Choice (SF Site)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Terrible Story, Terrible Narrator

The only thing worse than this ridiculous and terribly written story is the narrator. I have listened to dozens of audiobooks here on audible, and have never left one unfinished. I made it to chapter 10 of this book, and could take it no longer. The story was so underdeveloped that I felt like it was book 4 of a 4-part series, and I missed books 1-3. Poorly written, terrible story, and a terrible narration. I want my book credit back!
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- Aaron

best of the subgenre

I gave this 4 stars because it's not quite in the same league as the best contemporary SciFi like "The Windup Girl" or fantastical re-imaginings of the West like Dan Simmons "Black Hills". In the class with other Steampunk books it is a five star. But, if you like all of your stories to be very clear and wrapped neatly you might not like it as much. It's not as straightforward as the typical genre novel. This is the kind of book with an emphasis on allegory and theme with a literary lilt to the language.

I am also tempted to subtract a point for the ending. My impression is that the author is planning a sequel but was to busy literrary pretense to make the convention clear so it seems to be a bit abrupt. But it kept me engrossed enough and was written well enough to let that sloppiness pass.
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- John Baker

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios