The Race

The Race Set in a future Great Britain scarred by fracking and ecological collapse The Race is the first full length novel from Nina Allan winner of the BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction Spin TTA Press

  • Title: The Race
  • Author: Nina Allan
  • ISBN: 9781907069703
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set in a future Great Britain scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, The Race is the first full length novel from Nina Allan, winner of the 2014 BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction Spin, TTA Press , and the prestigious Grand Prix de l Imaginaire for Best Translated Work Complications The Silver Wind, Editions Tristram.Christy s life is dominated by fear of her brothSet in a future Great Britain scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, The Race is the first full length novel from Nina Allan, winner of the 2014 BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction Spin, TTA Press , and the prestigious Grand Prix de l Imaginaire for Best Translated Work Complications The Silver Wind, Editions Tristram.Christy s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, a stranger she knows only by name Together they must face their demons, wherever that may lead Raised at the Croft, a secret government programme focussing on smartdogs, Maree has to undertake a journey through shipping lanes haunted by the enigmatic and dangerous Atlantic whale What she discovers en route will change her world forever.The story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked, The Race is a novel of tender nuances, brutality, insight and great ambition, a narrative that lays bare the fears and joys of being human, and, ultimately, offers hope to us all.

    One thought on “The Race”

    1. 3,5 / 5Nina Allan juega con nosotros, se dedica a llevarnos por tres escenarios con tres protagonistas diferentes. En Sapphire reside Jenna, una diseñadora de guantes para Controladores de perros biónicos, los cuales son el deporte y pasatiempo que predomina, que ve su vida marcada por la ausencia de su madre. En Hastings vive Christy, una joven solitaria refugiada en la biblioteca que se dedica a escribir sobre todo lo que la rodea con un pasado de lo más duro. Por último, Maree por fin va [...]

    2. This book was a hot mess. I suppose there's some fancy scifi-slash-pyschological reason why Jenna and Christy's stories were exactly the same, or why we got pages and pages of Jenna explaining how she made gloves instead of any resolution of these four desperately boring, disparate storylines, but I can't grasp it. Allan never explains why smartdogs were smartdogs, and not smartrats or any other animal, in the same way she doesn't explain why this futuristic greyhound racing needs human 'runners [...]

    3. I feel a little bit misled by this one. It was perfectly well written and interesting, but the blurb promised SF and greyhounds, two of my absolute favourite things. The book is structured almost as four novellas, and two of the novellas are not SF at all. In fact, most of the book was not SF and it only featured holistic amounts of greyhounds, hence the low rating.If someone wants to write a near-future SF that actually focuses on enhanced greyhounds, then I would buy that like a shot. But this [...]

    4. Originally published at Risingshadow.The Race is Nina Allan's debut novel. It's a rewarding, thought-provoking and beautifully written novel about four damaged people, brothers and sisters, everyday life, ecological collapse, smart dog racing and two different realities that merge and twist in a compelling way.Because Nina Allan has written beautiful short stories and novellas, I was eager to read her debut novel. In my opinion she has succeeded perfectly in writing a beautiful and immersive nov [...]

    5. What’s It AboutThe back cover copy of The Race would lead you to believe that the entire novel is set on the coastal town of Sapphire, suffering a slow decline from fracking and ecological disaster. And while that’s partly true, Sapphire and its denizens only comprise a fourth of the novel. In actual fact The Race consists of four novellas that are linked in an unexpected way.Should I Read It?Yes. Absolutely.This is a remarkable début novel on a number of levels. For one there’s the gorge [...]

    6. Ahoy there me mateys! So back in 2015 I was mesmerized by the John W. Campbell award finalists and was determined to read them all. Why that year versus any other year? I have no idea. But since that time me determination has not waivered. Getting copies of the novels and the time to read them were more of the problem. This novel marks me finally making it to the half-way point.This novel is a hard one to categorize. The story is written in four parts with each part portraying a different perspe [...]

    7. The Race wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I was drawn to the idea of the smartdog racing against a backdrop of a Britain damaged by fracking. Honestly, the fracking part is of no consequence, and I can understand why some readers were disappointed, but this book actually turned out to be something quite clever instead.There are five stories, and to some they might seem disjointed, but the connections are there. In fact all the things I felt weren’t that great in Jenna’s story, which come [...]

    8. 4,5/5He disfrutado muchísimo de esta lectura. Las historias, que se entrelazan entre ellas al más puro estilo David Mitchell y esa sensación de irrealidad extraña que tiene todo el libro que, como lo describen sus propios personajes, es como si leyeras algo conocido y desconocido a la vez. Nina Allan escribe el libro de manera que sea muy agradecido de leer, las páginas pasan solas sin que ello signifique que es un libro con una trama sencilla o poco profunda.

    9. It's a real challenge to review this novel: there's so much that I really enjoyed, and yet so much that I found flawed that I struggled with my final rating.The most important thing to note is that the blurb is, quite frankly, misleading. The Race is basically a series of interconnected novellas, with the 1st and 4th being the only two that could arguably be considered sci-fi. The middle two novellas are very much set in our world and time, centring on reasonably 'normal' (if a tad dramatic) eve [...]

    10. Feh. Not as advertised. Cover quotes Alastair Reynolds saying it's a "superbly strange SF novel." A quarter of the way through, we're in a dysfunctional part of England in a near-future version of our world. "Smartdogs" are being created, with empathic human handlers. Mildly interesting concept, legitimate SF, and we wonder where it is going. Change gears. 127 pages in a world that is for all practical purposes real-today, about ordinary people growing up unhappy and not getting along very well. [...]

    11. Ambitious, beautifully written fantasy with multiple vignettes from related alternate universes, some more interesting than others. The opening chapter is outstanding.

    12. This is an unexpectedly weird book. If you were to pick it up and read a randomly selected page, you might think it's near-future dystopian science fiction about genetically modified greyhounds, standard literary fiction about the pain and promise of family and romantic relationships, or a fantasy-tinged science fictional tale in the style of Ursula Le Guin. This book is all of those things; it's not so much a novel as a series of tenuously connected novellas and (at least in the edition I stumb [...]

    13. An unusual, haunting, and thought-provoking book. Its four sections switch between our world and a not-quite-our-world slipstream setting, in which 'smartdog' racing goes on in the toxic Romney Marshes, and Atlantic whales move in convoys, attacking ships. We explore these worlds and their links to one another via four engaging narrators. Each tale concerns their search for truth (though that makes it sound rather cliched and quaint - 'The Race' is neither), with the protagonist coming to terms [...]

    14. This is Allan's debut novel, and it's an accomplished piece of work. The blurb on the back is somewhat misleading; this is less about a girl and her dog than it is about the nature of fiction and reality, and how subjective experiences are really all that we have, despite or even because of our efforts to manipulate them objectively. It takes science fiction into the literary bracket, rewarding the thoughtful reader who appreciates more than a by-the-numbers hero's journey.

    15. A series of vignettes intertwined by slightly familiar details from previous chapters, bookended by the more SFnal of the works. Calls to question the ideas of reality and SF, character perspective, origination of fictional detail. Heavily literary, much to play with here.Even better as a reread.

    16. La Carrera no es una novela para reseñar. Es una novela para lanzar a esos amigos que no saben qué hacer cuando quedáis. Así podréis disfrutar de largas tardes de debate tomando el té. Y sí, he dicho tardes, en plural. Esto no se resuelve en un día. Quizá nunca. La nueva novela de Nina Allan publicada por Nevsky da lugar a tantas lecturas diferentes que adherirse a una sola interpretación significa perder gran parte del mensaje de esta historia. Por eso solo puedo decir que esta es una [...]

    17. Book Title: The RaceAuthor: Nina AllanPublisher: Titan Books 2016Source: Sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewPage Count: 446Format: PaperbackGenre: Science/Literary FictionISBN: 978-1907069703Audience: Those who enjoy complex and robust stories with scientific flourishesLaugh or Cry: BothBuy? Read? Avoid?: Buy/Read if you enjoy depth and complexity with your novelsSummed up in one word: ChoppyFirst Impression: Let me clarify choppyis book is good, even great in parts. It [...]

    18. I see from the other reviews that readers are deeply divided on the merits of this book. I happen to agree with several of them that this book's cover copy is deeply misleading, but I happen to think that Nina Allan herself didn't quite know what her book was about. There are some interesting conversations emerging here about family and such, but the pacing and plotting were a terrible mess, and the characters lacked distinctive voices. I found myself bored about a third of the way through, and [...]

    19. A Nina Allan le gusta jugar con la idea de mundos paralelos, parecidos al nuestro excepto en pequeños detalles. En este libro en particular, creo que Allan nos explica por qué le gusta hacer esto, a través de uno de los personajes. En mi opinión, con una premisa parecida, Máquinas del tiempo es mucho mejor libro. La carrera es una lectura rápida, fácil y conmovedora, pero he de confesar que me ha dejado un poco fría.

    20. Me gustaría contaros mucho más sobre la novela, pero entonces el suspense, la originalidad y la sorpresa se perderían. Nina Allan crea un mundo, o multiverso, de ciencia de ficción que cuesta distinguir del nuestro y que obliga al lector a replantearse en cada página lo que es real y lo que no. Todos los personajes están enlazados entre sí de una manera increíble que Seguir leyendo

    21. This book is at once beautiful, perplexing, horrifying and brilliant. The writing is superb. The story slowly spins around you and then unravels and spins you up again. In fact, I feel much like an insect caught in Allan's intricate web. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it. This is a book I feel I could read over and over again and still find hidden treasures. Do not read if you are looking for a cut and dry sci-fi that follows some preconceived plot diagram. It's nothing like that.*SPOIL [...]

    22. On the surface, Nina Allan’s novel is about alternate realities and the quest to overcome individual and collective perceptions. The story concerns various characters connected through generations and imaginings. Some of the characters believe they have corresponding siblings on the periphery of their own worlds. The arc of the novel concerns itself with the attempts of these people and their society to make sense of strange signals and communications said to come from the stars or, possibly, [...]

    23. Creo que lo principal y más importante que hay que saber con respecto a La carrera es que se trata de una obra bastante especial; y con especial me refiero a diferente o poco usual. No vais a encontrar en sus páginas una novela al uso, con una trama definida y una ordenada estructura de inicio-nudo-desenlace. De hecho, no hay desenlaces. No existe un punto fijo hacia el que avance un argumento y, por tanto, la narración se centra en la inmediatez del presente, el aquí y el ahora, lo que est [...]

    24. The Race gives Nina Allan a chance to stretch her legs as a debut novelist, and stretch them she did. There are four separate storylines spanning two worlds: one futuristic and dominated by genetically enhanced greyhound racing culture, and one set in realistic modern England. Honestly, this book is like a race run by an inexperienced competitor full of promise and talent--there are moments that break through and wow us, a stamina and range to admire, but the unwieldy transitions betray the newn [...]

    25. I’ve held off reviewing this because I honestly don’t know how to collate my feelings about it into a coherent piece of writing. Suffice to say, it’s an absolute triumph of a book. An interweaving of several stories connected, on the surface, by the thinnest of threads. But beneath the superficial similarities it’s clear that what they share is the same narrative heart, the same central questions asked: what is the nature of identity, and in what way can we be said to exist outside of th [...]

    26. I think the worst part was the feeling of helplessness. Dad's passive acceptance of everything - mum leaving, Del's vileness, carrying on with a job he knew was killing him - made me seize up inside with anger and frustration. Del's moods were even worse. The way he yelled and swore at dad made me feel like screaming. I ended up resenting them both. I was desperate to escape, but I couldn't see how. =====We'd become used to the day-to-day reality of my mother's absence but that didn't mean we we [...]

    27. Mentioning aliens and dogs with altered dna does not scifi make. The blurb is misleading. It is not even a novel. Nina Allan is a good writer. I received this book to review but if I would have bought it I would have returned it because of the misleading genre stamp and cover blurbs. At twenty-five years of reading all kinds of books I have never returned one; this would be the first NOT BUY THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SCIENCE FICTION.The first star is for the idea; the second for writing q [...]

    28. This book is amazing. Read other reviews if you want a breakdown. All I can say is it's structured in several different novellas, set in what seems to be alternate timelines. And I kept flipping back and forth between them to see how they fit together. More than that I won't say, at least on the subject of plot. The language is measured but dreamy. It's a haunting, challenging puzzle of a book and I *loved* it.

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