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This is a very edgy sci fi book, that not everyone will like Your mind has to be very elastic to encompass the world created by Mr Jeter, to understand what is happening in this saga Personally it is not my cup of tea, though it is well written and very creative on the edge sort of work It s just a little too far out for my tastes, though a lot of new agers will probably love it Hard living on the edge of a destroyed civilization, where a man struggling to survive on his terms, finds that the system that he is supposed to use and trust as absolute, is absolutely corrupted by the top people he wants to get lose to and who in the end are out to eliminate him, due to his knowledge Fast paced, rock em sock em gore type of novel that the Gen Exers will love I give it a 4.5 on my scale out of 5 Stars. A story about a great, grim cyberpunk world, but some aspects of the world I don t think I got.Ny Axxter is a freelance image collector human cosmetic designer who lives out on the Vertical In his world, warfare between gangs is ever present, and people even try to make money designing logos and buying stock in them Ny s fortunes are bad when all of a sudden, he gets an offer from one of the biggest gangs on the Cylinder Havoc Mass wants him to design their new logo.However it goes foul very fast, and Ny barely escapes death, stranded on the far side of the Cylinder with mega assasins chasing after him Can he survive, especially if his only option is to go into the depths of the Cylinder itself I loved the sense of invention the book has Ny is gritty and one step away from destitution in a world that s barbaric but at the same time normal That contrast makes for an interesting book, especially with the surreal elements like the gas angels The best cyberpunk has that mixture of of surrealistic oddity and mundane reality, and this blends them well I d like of it, mostly because the book creates so many fascinating mysteries about the world and doesn t answer most of them.The only problem I had was trying to visualize the Cylinder It s a cylindrical building, but so massive that it has morning and evening sides, and people use motorcycles to travel on it via transit cables It s big enough that a small communications satellite orbits it, and people bounce signals off of it to communicate One battle scene that Ny encounters has a hole an entire kilometer across It s hard to get the sense of scale and still think of it as a building.Other than that, this book reminded me of why I fell in love in SF in the first place Crazy invented worlds that reveal truths about human nature are why I read them for, not politics or romance or the author s own pet theories about the world I recommend this book, especially if you have a streak of the visual in you I d love to see this filmed. Imagine the extent of your world, your existence, was a massive building rising high above a ground obscured from view by thick clouds Everything you know is either inside this structure, or interestingly hanging off it, and people either live on the horizontal in the interior or have gone vertical on the outside.This is the premise for Farewell Horizontal, a sci fi novel by K.W Jeter KWJeter which was first published in 1989 I believe citing the original date of publishing is important because some of the themes in this interesting novel harken back to that time.The protagonist, Ny Axxter, has decided to leave a life of mind numbing labor inside Cylinder, the building, for the freedom and challenge of a life on the wall Forgoing an entry level position on the horizontal, Ny s gone freelance as a graffex, a combination graphic artist computer programmer specializing in creating intricate animated images embedded in the armor of the various warring tribal factions who populate the wall.But only on one side of the building the morningside, as it is called People don t go on the eveningside, so very little is known about it At some point in the undetermined past, there was a great War, but the people on and in Cylinder care little about the details of this conflict Instead, they live in the moment, worrying only about themselves.As the story opens, Ny is still adjusting to life on the wall He has automated wires attached to his boots and belt to prevent a fall vehicles are also equipped with these attachment wires , but that isn t his biggest problem Work is scarce, so for Ny every day is a challenge as he tries to make his meager bank account real time updates provided via comm link make a voice call to your agent, watch as the balance slowly goes down last until he scores the Big Job that will set him up for life.A chance encounter with a pair of gas angels gives Ny a video recording to sell to Ask Receive, the information clearinghouse agency servicing the residents of Cylinder, those on the inside and on the wall That capital influx keeps him on the wall another day, but Ny needs something better to make a go of it If he could just get hired by an up and coming tribe, a group that will rampage itself into an alliance with one of the big two tribes that rule Cylinder s known wall But that s a dream Ny shares with untold freelancers who have come out on the wall to try their luck.Ny s big break comes in the form of a job with the Havoc Mass, one of the two main tribes fighting for control of Cylinder s wall The Mass is the current number two behind the Grievous Amalgam, which has ruled the building s upper most wall for as long as anyone can remember Much I can t say without spoiling it for new readers, but it wouldn t be a story if everything worked out for Ny, right I have not read a lot of sci fi, and must admit I had some difficulty getting into this story I do not say that as a knock against Mr Jeter or his writing, but believe it is indicative of me having trouble breaking free from the horizontal as it were and moving out on the wall The deeper into the story I got, the involved I became.There is little to no backstory, the reader is thrown out on the wall from page 1, but that is very much in keeping with the behavior of the people who live in Cylinder I bought the book because I was fascinated by the concept of a huge building encompassing a society, with the outside serving as the untamed wilderness and the inside as some dreary Industrial Revolution nightmare.There are so many potential themes and subtexts to Farewell Horizontal that I suspect a college level class could be taught from it The original publishing date was 1989, at the end of a decade of self indulgence and consumerism At the time of its writing, too, the Cold War was still going on and in the Havoc Mass and Grievous Amalgam there were, to me at least, echoes of the standoff between the US and USSR.Although he performs a very noble deed at one point in the story a deed that is repaid several times to his great benefit Ny often isn t very likable as he is self centered not unusual, as noted above and ambitious to the point of being greedy The almost mercenary concern exhibited by many characters for earning wealth and status reminded me of Wall Street, the 1987 Oliver Stone movie in which Michael Douglas, portraying ruthless stockbroker Gordon Gekko, famously says Greed is good Ny exhibits total faith in the world as he knows it to be and rejects what he calls Looking at your own navel until you fall in I ve got lots important business to take care of Jeter, K W 2011 05 31 Farewell Horizontal Kindle Locations 2884 2885 But things are not as they seem, and a pair of characters introduced late in the story help Ny begin to examine his navel for clues.I found it interesting, too, that the job Ny takes that leads him to these characters revolves around a celebration of history, in this case the career of a warrior In a way, that break from status quo to look beyond the here and now is like a pebble dropped into a calm pool of water.Of course, I m likely completely wrong about the author s intentions with Farewell Horizontal Late note per an email from Mr Jeter it appears I have seriously over thought the book Whether I m right or not, I enjoyed the story and recommend it to anyone looking for a sci fi tale with depth, action and a thought provoking concept. Excellent thought provoking and very well put together science fiction with a little twist, which left me wanting a little from it.Ignoring the setting for a moment this is really a story about the rat race and how it affects people It is set in a strange, slightly unbelievable, environment on the side of a massive building in a dystopian post apocalyptic future, probably on another planet However none of that really matters, and the point of the story, which is well crafted, is that sometimes you need to stop and think about things rather than just striving for the next payday.The primary character is a freelancer struggling to make enough income to cover all his costs, and on the point of bankruptcy He lives on the outside vertical space of the building while he attempts to make enough to get back inside near the top In the implicit hierarchy of things he sees himself as above those inside because he has his freedom, and he isn t working as a wage slave However what he seeks is the ready wealth to live a life of comfort near the top of the building and by implication being back inside but with his freedom intact.Avoiding spoilers, he has some apparent luck, and makes a start on realising his dream even though it involves mixing with some unsavoury characters Just when it looks like it is working out his luck vanishes and he ends up in unfamiliar territory, having to think of things for himself and outside his normal networks This enforced reflection, facilitated by a couple of new characters that treat him almost like an intelligent child, leads him to some startling revelations, and his resulting actions to try and save his skin have wider consequences.The book is rather shorter than most I ve read recently, but still thought provoking and very well put together The background doesn t get in the way of the story, but makes it interesting, and the early quibbles I had about the setting were very effectively dealt with in the last part of the story when the main character starts to question the environment I think it deliberately leaves a lot of mystery and there are several hooks for a follow on, although I would have liked the story to continue a bit further, the ending it does have is satisfying and consistent with the general thrust of the story. An unlikely chance encounter with a pair of gas angels making, um, space love gives the protagonist, Axxter, a video recording to sell to Ask Receive, the primary information clearinghouse agency servicing the residents of Cylinder He gets practically nothing in return, however, because Ask Receive knows how desperate he is Still, the money he does get keeps him on the wall another day, but he needs something better than gas angels to make it work If he could just get hired by one of the two big tribes that rule Cylinder s known wall, he d be set Freelancer s dream, though, right This book was nominated for several awards, the author is well known and fairly respected, and the main premise of the book sounded good to me when I bought it So why didn t I finish it Well, this may sound stupid, but I couldn t get past the image of a sci fi novel opening with images of two angels floating around in the air space, having torid sensual whatever sex in full view of everyone, even though it s apparently quite rare to see, and of how Axxter gets his dated camera and lens and videos this, zooming in on the hottie female angel and her exquisite face and expressions, and then, after their mid air gyrations, their expressions of post coital bliss as they float away from each other It just seems TOO DAMN STUPID How the hell are you supposed to take a cyberpunk dystopian book seriously after reading that shit Literal angels Having sex And if my memory serves me correctly, I believe the protagonist even wondered about angel babies I ve read stupid sci fi scenes, believe it or not, but this is pretty high on my list So, I just couldn t go on no matter how promising the book was alleged to have been Thus, even though it has a rating of over a 3.7 on Goodreads, I can only give it one star and say that I cannot recommend it. The reader s only insights and explanations into the setting the magnificent, arcology like Cylinder are filtered through the lens of the story s protagonist, Ny Axxter Axxter, like the rest of the Cylinder s morningside inhabitants, is a shallow, self absorbed individual focused on money, fame, and comfort, with absolutely no interest in large questions Particularly, no interest in the large questions that occur immediately to the reader What is the Cylinder Why was it created Is this far future Earth If so, what happened to the surface Who are the Angels What was the Wars Why are the morningside and eveningside so segregated How can anyone even breathe, outside These questions have no answers Axxter goes beyond mere uninterest in these matters, to the point of actively shutting down discussion of ancient history As a result, the only character who might have shed some illumination never does.As an example of his depraved society, Axxter is a piece of work He is clearly not as clever as he thinks he is, barely ticking the needle on the self awareness meter The fact that he spends the first twenty pages in a series of long bickering whines with an agent and broker do nothing to endear him to the reader This is all part of the story s noirish atmosphere of a completely mercenary society that has lost touch with whatever greatness it once held Now in a state of decay, its members have turned inward with brutal War Tribe entertainments and repression of the least fortunate A society which doesn t make anything any as much as market it, where image and perception is all important These themes are common in cyberpunk stories, but developing this atmosphere in a story setting that feels traditionally science fiction the Big Dumb Object that is the Cylinder is something new I can t say that I particularly liked it this way, because by the end I was screaming for explanations of the setting. I m, rarely impressed by originality in science fiction novels Yhis one, however, displays it big time and has an exciting story to boot Not only is the reader intrigued by the plot, but by the unfolding of the artificial world Jeter has created. Good proto cyberpunk offering from a contemporary of Phil Dick and Tim PowersLately he has degenerated into a hack for hire, churning out Star Wars novelizations, but his early stuff is interesting and well worth checking out. 3.5 stars A pretty good story overall a bit slow to start and ended somewhat abruptly but I enjoyed this noir like sci fi and would read from this author It took me the longest time just to reconcile my mind with the idea of living on a cylinder shaped world in which most people lived inside the cylinder in the regular horizontal manner, but a few including the protaganist live on the vertical outside They have all sorts of contraptions to allow them to do this, the major individual ones being python like grappels that extend from the ankles waist to grip and release as you walk Very strange at first The protag is a graffex artist who makes icons for the ruling militaristic bands that are perpetually warring and hopes to one day be able to design the death icon for one of the big two Greivous Amalgam and Havoc Mass All the people are also equipted with a sort of internal virtual reality internet pretty cool idea, especially back in 89. `READ KINDLE ☝ Farewell Horizontal ⇰ Another Splendid Outing For The Talented Jeter Infernal Devices, , This Time An Exploration Of A World Sized Cylinder Built By Some Mysterious Vanished Civilization Ny Axxter Forsakes The Dull Toil Of The Horizontal Levels To Go Vertical Live, That Is, On The Precipitous Outer Skin Of The Cylinder Itself Where He Ekes Out A Marginal Existence As A Graffex, A Designer Of Loges Imagery For The Various Small Time Warrior Tribes That Roam Cylinder S Vertical Face Then He S Tempted To Do Some Risky Design Work For The Havoc Mass, Cylinder S nd Most Powerful Tribe The Grievous Amalgam Rule Cylinder From The Highest Levels But Axxter Has Been Betrayed Soon The Havoc Mass Are Furiously Chasing Him Down The Cylinder Axxter Falls Off Only To Be Rescued By A Weird, Humanlike Flying Angel He Previously Befriended Her When She Was Injured In A Mysterious Explosion He Fetches Up On Cylinder S Unknown Far Side, Where He S Hunted By Cyborgs Sent By Both The Mass The Amalgam Thru His Computer Links, You See, Axxter Has Learned That The Universal Supposedly Impartial Information Service, Ask Receive, Has Been Subverted By Both Gangs Who Are Secretly In Cahoots It S Hard To See How Cylinder S Economy Operates, But Jeter S Latest Mad Concept Astonishes Intrigues As His Sure Footed Narrative Stirs Fascinates Grab Kirkus Edited