The Ordinary

The Ordinary

Jim Grimsley / Aug 07, 2020
The Ordinary Jim Grimsley s novels and short stories have been favorably compared to the works of Samuel R Delany Jack Vance and Ursula K Le Guin Now he unleashes an ambitious and audacious collision between sci
  • Title: The Ordinary
  • Author: Jim Grimsley
  • ISBN: 9780765305299
  • Page: 498
  • Format: Paperback
  • Jim Grimsley s novels and short stories have been favorably compared to the works of Samuel R Delany, Jack Vance, and Ursula K Le Guin Now he unleashes an ambitious and audacious collision between science and magic.The Twil Gate links two very different realms On one side of the portal is Senal, an advanced technological civilization of some thirty billion inhabitants,Jim Grimsley s novels and short stories have been favorably compared to the works of Samuel R Delany, Jack Vance, and Ursula K Le Guin Now he unleashes an ambitious and audacious collision between science and magic.The Twil Gate links two very different realms On one side of the portal is Senal, an advanced technological civilization of some thirty billion inhabitants, all cybernetically linked and at war with machine intelligences many light years away On the other side is Irion, a land of myth and legend, where the world is flat and mighty wizards once ruled.Jedda Martele is a linguist and trader from Senal Although fascinated by the languages and cultures of Irion, she shares her people s assumption that Irion is backward and superstitious and no match for her homeland s superior numbers and technology But as the two realms march inevitably toward war, Jedda finds herself at the center of historic, unimaginable events that will challenge everything she has ever believed about the world and herself.The Ordinary is a powerful and entrancing tale of magic, science, and the mysterious truth that binds them together.
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    About "Jim Grimsley"

      • Jim Grimsley

        Jim Grimsley is a playwright and novelist Jim s first novel, Winter Birds, was published by Algonquin Books in 1994 The novel won the 1995 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and received a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation Jim s second novel, Dream Boy, won the American Library Association GLBT Award for Literature the Stonewall Prize and was a Lambda finalist His third novel, My Drowning, was released in January 1997 by Algonquin Books and for it he was named Georgia Author of the Year His fourth novel, Comfort Joy, was published in October, 1999, and was a Lambda finalist A fantasy novel, Kirith Kirin, was published by Meisha Merlin Books in 2000 and won the Lambda in the science fiction and horror category for 2001 He has published short fiction in The Ontario Review and Asimov s and his stories have been anthologized in The Year s Best Science Fiction, Volume 16 Men on Men 4 Men on Men 2000 and Best Stories From the South, year 2001 Boulevard, published in 2002 by Algonquin, was again a Lambda finalist in the literature category and won Jim his second Georgia Author of the Year designation His novel, The Ordinary, a science fiction novel published in 2004 by Tor Books, won a Lambda in the science fiction fantasy horror category His latest two novels are The Last Green Tree, published by Tor Books of New York in 2006, and Forgiveness, published by the University of Texas Press as part of the inaugural James A Michener Fiction Series His new story collection, Jesus Is Sending You This Message, was published in September 2008 by Alyson Books Jim received the Lila Wallace Reader s Digest Writers Award for his body of work in 1997, and has twice been a finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2003 2004 In 2005 he won an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.He served as playwright in residence at About Face Theatre in Chicago under a National Theatre Artist Residency Program grant from Theate Communications Group Pew Charitable Trust 1999 2004 he has been playwright in residence at 7Stages Theatre in Atlanta since 1986 In 1987 he received the George Oppenheimer Newsday Award for Best New American Playwright for Mr Universe His collection of plays, Mr Universe and Other Plays,was published by Algonquin Books in 1998, and was a Lambda finalist for drama.His books have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hebrew, and Japanese.


    1. The book begins like a normal scifi story a group of diplomats, scientists and their linguist go on an expedition to meet the leader of the world they recently discovered From there, it gets a bit awesome Seriously, this story goes from solid tale to enthralling in one unexpected switcheroo It rapidly becomes an incredible tale that spans thousands of years, told from several points of view It reminded me a bit of Patricia McKinley s incredible Riddle Master of Hed series, with a taste of Ursula [...]

    2. My library classifies The Ordinary as science fiction I call it fantasy The back cover says it is a powerful and entrancing tale of magic, science and the mysterious truth that binds them together so i guess that s somewhere in between The author, Jim Grimsley, also calls it science fiction even though it shares the same world with his early fantasy novel Kirith Kirin though it is not a sequel to that novel He says that he is exploring the interface between a culture that believes in magic and o [...]

    3. I loved almost all of this book The first two parts had it all a fascinating, well built world, an interesting magic system, great characters, compelling and lyrical writing, juicy description that wasn t overdone, and a rich soup of thoughts about religion, magic and science The third part was much shorter and abandoned the main character, but it was still intertwined and it fleshed out two other major characters in ways the reader couldn t have gotten otherwise, so it was a valuable part of th [...]

    4. There were times when I was reading this book about two worlds where I was terrified it would end I loved the very most the part where the manner of magic in the fantastical world is explained, as a form of singing that recreates well I won t tell it all I found I couldn t breathe, I was so interested The world building is the finest part, and the fact that one civilization has just encountered another that was there all along this is on the first chapter and that other civilization has an entir [...]

    5. This was a reread, but I still think it is a really interesting read The first time through I couldn t quite grasp what was happening in the storyline I think I was distracted by a different book I d just finished This time around I m rereading it because I m reading the next book set in the same universe The first half of the story is a fairly straight forward contact between two humanoid civilizations that are very different where one is scientifically focused and the other believes in and can [...]

    6. I picked this book up from the library because it had a very interesting premise There is one world that is very science oriented, logical, over populated and high tech There is another world that is flat, plentiful, and where magic is a proven reality And suddenly there is a gate between the two Talk about narrative tension The beautiful dichotomy sets up an intriguing what if story, with likeable characters, engaging plot and just enough mystery and suspense to keep you guessing My only critiq [...]

    7. I really sort of struggled over whether to give this a 3 5 or a 4 5 It deserves the 4, I think it s fabulously written, in a way that reminded me a bit of Ursula Le Guin or Joan D Vinge, both in plot and in attention to detail, the story is well rounded, I cared about the characters BUT, it left me frustrated, because I felt like the book was a big set up for books or short stories to follow In many ways, it felt like a short story, in that like many short stories, it ends right BEFORE something [...]

    8. I couldn t decide between 3 or 4 stars I was fascinated with the details of the magic The time skipping was interesting.I didn t really start to like this book until the last 100 pages or so, when I learned about Malin and Jessex I liked the theory that we all have a place in time If one did live forever, how would that bend your perception of people, places and time More stars because it was thought provoking Malin and, Jessex were interesting Less stars, I didn t feel the conflict for Jedda.J [...]

    9. The first third is pretty bad because the author totally fails to flesh out the setting he just uses nouns for places, things, and concepts that are fictional but go unexplained.The second third gains steam and is pretty good it sets up a plausibly epic story arc and a universe with many interesting possibilities.The last third is boring again a whirlwind tour of one character s history Ultimately none of it has any effect on the plot.The final chapter is a total cop out there s no actual ending [...]

    10. I don t think I ve ever read a book where I enjoyed the middle than the beginning or the end I struggled to get into the book at first, but then warmed to it once the plot got started up Once I reached the end though, I felt like it had been rushed or maybe like I had been cheated of seeing of the world It s an interesting book for sure though and I d recommend that people check it out despite my misgivings.

    11. Jim Grimsley is basically the only SciFi author I will read Narrow, true, but he transcends most genres I usually don t like He s just that good This is a continuation of Kirith Kirin, his fantasy novel, and has a couple of the same characters.It is a wonderfully intricate, elegant novel that melds SciFi and Fantasy and draws the reader into a great world.

    12. Totally new and different Just a note to anyone who picks this up, read Kirith Kairin first It s an arduous read, but well worth it.This novel is brilliant and quickly infectious It feels very new and different from any other fantasy novel The mix of scifi and fantasy is well done and seamless.A must for sure.

    13. a fun blend of sci fi and fantasy, when a high tech civilization discovers a gate to medieval society throw in time travel and magic, and this is a fun read however, the build up to the climax is never resolved, and you ll have to read the next book The Last Green Tree to find out what happened.

    14. I love the original treatment of a fantasy world connected to a far future science fiction world I m a little worried that it s given me spoilers for Kirith Kirin, but I d like to read that one also The protagonist is middle aged and mellow character development often suffers compared to intense world building, but the setting is so intriguing, that didn t bother me too much.

    15. The Ordinary is engaging, smart, colorful and just a whole lot of fun At times the prose becomes almost lyrical, for good reason In a world where magic and scinece collide, The Ordinary takes the reader on a wild ride into the far future I now want to return to that world and look forward to reading the other books in this series.

    16. This is an interesting hybrid of SF and fantasy that made me wish it were longer There is something about it that feels like a young adult novel, but the sex scenes and gay characters probably rule it out for most families The pacing is erratic and some of the characters actions and attitudes seem unlikely, but it s a good read.

    17. More like 3 1 2 stars and the only reason it is not four is personal taste Good but I tend to like a bit straight forward style World jumping, time jumping, has character a met b before b met a in personal timelines Big brother scrutinizing everything through personal electronics versus introducing oneself by a generic alias.

    18. Well this was a strange read for me I thought the writing was good and story kept me interested most of the time But the ending just left me wondering is that all there is to this Perhaps I am missing some deeper meaning from this book I will have to think about it Maybe re read the book Well, onto some better books.

    19. I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that I felt there were some big plot holes that needed filling The relationship between Malin and Jedda was interesting, and I was sad that the book ended on such a pivotal moment I intend to go back and read Kirith Kirin and the follow up to the Ordinary, just to get some information on these two very different worlds.

    20. I really wanted to enjoy this, but after several false starts, lasting almost halfway through the book, I just couldn t get through it The plot works, but the characters just aren t all that interesting.

    21. Started with so much promise Descended from there The lead character took none of her history with her Nice creation of a world and played with time and sexuality Not enough to redeem the book I will not read any of the story, past or future.

    22. Dense, many layered, complex science fiction Puts me in mind of Le Guin s early stuff A little too complex for me, but I enjoyed dropping into the narrative and being carried downstream I cared about the characters, even as I struggled to place them in context.

    23. I really liked this The worst part about it is that it seems to be book 1 of a very big arc, so of course, it ended on a colossal cliffhanger ARgh But, otherwise, it was very cool travel in an alien land, magic, time travel, sex , a heroine who kicks assIt s going to be a good series

    24. Nothing spectacular really It felt like it used a lot of the same plot bunnies as a lot of science fiction books Not terrible though, and not too lengthy.

    25. My kind of sci fi book where it is hard to say witch is better advanced technological society or land of myth and legend It was also fun to try to figure out who were the good guys and who the bad

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