"The Family Trade" by Charles Stross

Score: 1/5

"Only Half A Book"

I can't help feeling ripped off by this book.

I read this one immediately after Neverness, a 685-page book packed with ideas and a rich science-fiction background.

This book has half the number of pages, cost me more, and still didn't tell a story.

The thing is, this book is apparently one of a series.  And the beauty of those, in the minds of the marketing department at any rate, is that they can make you pay per installment.  So instead of paying a price for the whole story, as I did with Neverness, or as you'd have done for your 7-books-in-one-book Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, you get to pay for each individual part.

All of this would be fair enough if the price for the part you bought was the equivalent of the fraction of the story, but it's not.  The price of this book is the same as the price of Singularity Sky, another of his books (but one that actually finishes the story it starts).

I'm not against series of books.  Singularity Sky has a follow-up, Iron Sunrise.  But both books are self-contained, and each contains its own story.  The Family Trade on the other hand just seems to stop at the end of a chapter break.

I suppose that's more marketing to make you buy the next in the series.  I just feel too ripped off to do that.

I realise I've just waffled about feeling ripped off without actually talking much about the book itself.  Well, it's typically readable Stross, even if it is fantasy rather than science fiction.  And it's, well, OK.  It has the beginnings of a plot, and some of the middle, but no actual conclusion.

I don't think this kind of split-up-the-story-and-double-our-money should be encouraged.

Tags: 4 Word Book Reviews
Created by on Logo15659OpinionatedGeek Ltd.Logo15659


“At Least It’s Complete” Score: 4/5 After his dalliances with half-books in the fantasy series ‘Family Trade’, the ex Linux-pundit has gone back to pure science fiction. And it is good. There’s a plot, characters and so on, but really it’s all ju...
Created by anonymous on Monday, 21 August 2006 at 4:39PM (source)

"The Atrocity Archives" by Charles Stross

Score: 3/5 "It Was Alright, Really"   I still don't think I've forgiven Charlie Stross for that tragedy of half a book of his that I spent money on.   Still, I thought, this was his first book, so maybe this was before he figured out how...
Created by anonymous on Sunday, 29 April 2007 at 1:07PM (source)

"Glasshouse" by Charles Stross

"Life In The Panopticon" Score: 4/5   Another Stross book, another post-singularity civilisation.  There's nothing wrong with that, and they're usually interesting (and better than his Family Trade half-books).   And this one's not ...
Created by anonymous on Monday, 23 July 2007 at 8:24AM (source)

"The Jennifer Morgue" by Charles Stross

"Bond, But Not Quite"Score: 4/5 I still haven't quite forgiven the author for the half-book that was The Family Trade, but I do like his other stuff. This book has lots of references to H. P. Lovecraft, techie/geekery, and Bond.  If you're not...
Created by anonymous on Monday, 31 December 2007 at 3:58PM (source)

“Talisker” by Miller Lau

“Not Really My Thing”Score: 2/5 Talisker (The last clansman) Miller Lau £6.29 This really is not my kind of book.  The score is more a reflection of that than the quality of the book. I didn’t buy this book, it was loaned to me by a friend.&nb...
Created by anonymous on Monday, 3 August 2009 at 7:53AM (source)