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Eifelheim

por Michael Flynn

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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1,1126818,260 (3.75)107
Fiction. Science Fiction & Fantasy. HTML:

In 1349, one small town in Germany disappeared and was never resettled. Tom, a contemporary historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend, Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn't. Why? What was special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared more than 600 years ago?

In 1348, as the Black Death is gathering strength across Europe, Father Deitrich is the priest of the village that will come to be known as Eifelheim. A man educated in science and philosophy, he is astonished to become the first contact between humanity and an alien race from a distant star when their interstellar ship crashes in the nearby forest.

Tom, Sharon, and Father Deitrich have a strange and intertwined destiny of tragedy and triumph in this brilliant novel by the winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award.

.
… (mais)
  1. 170
    O dia do juízo final por Connie Willis (Ape)
    Ape: Far from identical stories, but both are sci-fi takes on the black death (Eifelheim: Aliens, Doomsday Book: Time Travel.) There are numerous similarities, and I think if you like one the other might be worth looking into.
  2. 30
    The Sparrow por Mary Doria Russell (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Religion/first contact
  3. 20
    Blindsight por Peter Watts (Waldheri)
    Waldheri: Similar because it also is full of philosophical and scientific concepts, and also has a first-contact theme.
  4. 20
    The Book of Strange New Things por Michel Faber (sturlington)
    sturlington: Religion and aliens.
  5. 00
    The Plot to Save Socrates por Paul Levinson (FFortuna)
  6. 00
    God's Fires por Patricia Anthony (whiten06)
    whiten06: First contact, religious themes, and medieval backdrops.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 67 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
For this book, I'm breaking my self-imposed rule against giving a 5-star rating without a second read. It is a wonderful melange of medieval history, culture, philosophy, and theology; xenobiology and xenopsychology; and modern theoretical physics. I'm no expert in any of these fields, of course; but I have done some more-than-casual reading the history/philosophy/theology field. Flynn has really done his research. But Eifelheim is never dry or pedantic. The scholarship is intimately woven into the story. And the 14th-century Germans as well as the stranded aliens are rendered in a touching and relatable way, even though both their worldviews are strange to our 21st-century ways of thinking.
[Audiobook note: The reader, Anthony Heald, does an amazing job. I love his rhythms and inflections.] ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
I read this book hot on the heels of Ken Follet's _Pillars of the Earth_, and, in my mind, Father Dietrich is the same character as Prior Philip. Their personalities, struggles, and world are very similar. I most enjoyed Father Dietrich coming to terms with scientific concepts (like space travel and electricity), alien anatomy, and religious concepts in the context of his ever widening knowledge of the universe.


( )
  jennifergeran | Dec 23, 2023 |
Eifelheim has a simple premise—aliens crash-land in medieval Germany and can't get home, plot ensues. Good, yes?

At its best, this novel invites comparisons with Connie Willis's Doomsday Book, with its unique blend of genres and vivid evocation of the past. The history is honestly more compelling than the aliens, and Oberhochwald, with its cyclical seasons and frontier-like atmosphere of isolation and self-sufficiency, is as memorable a character as Dietrich, a scientifically-minded priest whose attempts to include the stranded aliens in the life of the village result in an unusual first contact story.

Like Willis's novels, Eifelheim's careful attention to detail means it's a bit slow and at times ends up in the weeds (and by "weeds," I mean "Habsburgs"). Its linguistic playfulness is almost too much, except that I pretty much enjoy every time Flynn drops in a medieval precursor to modern slang or has Dietrich use his scholar's Latin and Greek to accidentally coin words like "microphone" and "circuit." On the whole, this is a novel that's almost too clever by half, except when it surprises you by breaking your heart.

My only complaint is with the frame story, which follows two academics in our near future who accidentally uncover Dietrich's story. These chapters were originally a separate novella, and they did pretty much nothing for me, particularly as the characters are unpleasant to no end. I can't decide what I'm grumpier about, a librarian who apparently has a crush on her arrogant, boundary-challenged patron (in reality, I assure you she'd be giving him rude nicknames and laughing about him in the break room), or that the self-same patron is a historian whose discipline involves doing fancy things with big data yet begins the novel totally ignorant of where his data comes from. Happily I think you could just skip all the "Now" chapters and still enjoy the book.
  raschneid | Dec 19, 2023 |
The plot of Eifelheim relies on two huge coincidences. First of all we have Sharon, a theoretical physicist with a special interest in an obscure branch of mathematics which may one day, she believes, make travelling between universes possible; sharing an apartment with Tom, a theoretical historian, who is the first to notice a hole in the map, a medieval village—Eifelheim—which should still be there today but isn’t. And, second, we have an alien ship crashlanding on Earth at precisely the time and place—Europe in the 1340s—that the Black Death was wiping out as much as half the population.
    Eifelheim’s medieval name was Oberhochwald, one of many small villages deep in the forests around the town of Freiburg in southern Germany. Through the eyes of its priest, Father Dietrich, we get a pretty detailed picture of what daily life back then was like: its cottages and huts surrounded by the classic strip-cultivated land; its mill and forge, castle and church. Dietrich himself is intelligent and open-minded, well-versed in fourteenth-century philosophy and science; although a believer and clearly devout, his role as pastor in a Black Forest backwater also gives him the solitude and time to contemplate, not only his God, but Nature and universe too.
    I guess this latter is a third coincidence, now that I come to think of it, because it is into the very parish of this rational and imaginative man that something otherworldly intrudes early one August morning. In the pre-dawn gloom Dietrich notices a strange glow on a nearby hilltop; he feels…odd, then notices the hairs on his bare arms standing on end and sparks snapping and arcing from a pair of copper candlesticks. To most of the locals these would be supernatural phenomena, but to the modern eye (and Fr. Dietrich’s too) they’re clearly electrostatic effects. Later, a “building” is discovered deep in the woods, and later still there are glimpses of what to many of the villagers are “demons”. To our modern eyes again, accustomed to science-fiction novels and films, this is a wrecked ship and its alien crew; and as word spreads, while some fear these “demons”, others go to aid and feed the injured.
    This is more historical fiction than science fiction really, and for me the story itself got bogged down at times in some of the details of medieval politics for example. On the other hand, its depiction of daily life is fascinating—like an alien planet in itself in some ways. One detail I particularly liked was how alien (i.e. modern) technology might have looked to the medieval mind. Less imaginative, though, are the actual aliens, who could have flown here directly off the pages of C S Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet (the seroni, or what Ransom calls “sorns”) and, again for me, the most unforgettable thing in the entire book was something all too Earthbound: its ghastly descriptions of people suffering and dying from the baffling horror of the Black Death. Beside that (and I think perhaps this was the point) a shipful of strangers from another world paled to insignificance. ( )
  justlurking | May 9, 2023 |
2538
  freixas | Mar 31, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 67 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
"Flynn credibly maintains the voice of a man whose worldview is based on concepts almost entirely foreign to the modern mind, and he makes a tense and thrilling story of historical research out of the contemporary portions of the tale."
adicionada por sturlington | editarBooklist, 103 (2): 33, Regina Schroder (Sep 15, 2006)
 
"Another meticulously researched, intense, mesmerizing novel (based in some part on a 1986 short story) for readers seeking thoughtful science fiction of the highest order."
adicionada por sturlington | editarKirkus Reviews 74 (16): 815., Kirkus Reviews (Aug 15, 2006)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Flynn, Michaelautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Heald, AnthonyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hunt, StevenCover elementautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
IconicaCover elementautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mitchell, EllisaCartographerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
StockTrekCover elementautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For God is dead nowadays and will not hear us,

And for our guilt he grinds good men to dust.

      -- William Langland, Piers Ploughman
C'est le chemin qu'on appelle le Val d'Enfer. Que votre Altesse me pardonne l'expression; je ne suis pas diable pour y passer.

      -- Marshal Villars, regarding the Höllenthal, 1702
Oh happy posterity who will not experience such abysmal woe and will look upon our testimony as a fable.

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Somewhere, he thought, there are creatures like these.
Stirred, a heart could be a terrible thing.
It's all that reading that does it, Dietrich. It takes a man out of the world and pushes him inside his own head, and there is nothing there but spooks.
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Fiction. Science Fiction & Fantasy. HTML:

In 1349, one small town in Germany disappeared and was never resettled. Tom, a contemporary historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend, Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn't. Why? What was special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared more than 600 years ago?

In 1348, as the Black Death is gathering strength across Europe, Father Deitrich is the priest of the village that will come to be known as Eifelheim. A man educated in science and philosophy, he is astonished to become the first contact between humanity and an alien race from a distant star when their interstellar ship crashes in the nearby forest.

Tom, Sharon, and Father Deitrich have a strange and intertwined destiny of tragedy and triumph in this brilliant novel by the winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award.

.

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