A smart, tight, provocative techno thriller straight out of the very near future by an iconic visionary writerSome people call it abyss gaze Gaze into the abyss all day and the abyss will gaze into you There are two types of people who think professionally about the future foresight strategists are civil futurists who think about geo engineering and smart cities and wA smart, tight, provocative techno thriller straight out of the very near future by an iconic visionary writerSome people call it abyss gaze Gaze into the abyss all day and the abyss will gaze into you There are two types of people who think professionally about the future foresight strategists are civil futurists who think about geo engineering and smart cities and ways to evade Our Coming Doom strategic forecasters are spook futurists, who think about geopolitical upheaval and drone warfare and ways to prepare clients for Our Coming Doom The former are paid by nonprofits and charities, the latter by global security groups and corporate think tanks For both types, if you re good at it, and you spend your days and nights doing it, then it s something you can t do for long Depression sets in Mental illness festers And if the abyss gaze takes hold there s only one place to recover Normal Head, in the wilds of Oregon, within the secure perimeter of an experimental forest When Adam Dearden, a foresight strategist, arrives at Normal Head, he is desperate to unplug and be immersed in sylvan silence But then a patient goes missing from his locked bedroom, leaving nothing but a pile of insects in his wake A staff investigation ensues surveillance becomes total As the mystery of the disappeared man unravels in Warren Ellis s Normal, Dearden uncovers a conspiracy that calls into question the core principles of how and why we think about the future and the past, and the now.
Normal A smart tight provocative techno thriller straight out of the very near future by an iconic visionary writerSome people call it abyss gaze Gaze into the abyss all day and the abyss will gaze into yo

  • Title: Normal
  • Author: Warren Ellis
  • ISBN: 9780374534974
  • Page: 408
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Normal”

    1. I was sent this book and I didn't know what to expect. It was written in installments over the last year, and now it's compiled into one work. It's a really interesting cyberpunk-ish novella involving governmental surveillance, paranoia, and a bizarrely engaging set of characters. A really quick and fun read.It also has my favorite line from any book this year, it made me laugh out loud: ""Dickson appeared from nowhere, like the world's shittiest elf"

    2. Adam Dearden is a burnt-out futurist (someone who thinks professionally about the future) who gets sent to a special facility in an “experimental” Oregon forest (whatever that is) to recuperate: Normal Head. And then an inmate disappears and the place intended to be devoid of any kind of intrusive tech is suddenly swarming with surveillance. I’ve been a huge fan of Warren Ellis’ comics for years and really enjoyed his first novel, Crooked Little Vein, but his latest foray into fiction, N [...]

    3. I could listen to Warren Ellis riff about End-of-the-World/apocalypsism scenarios all day and I'll take any narrative excuse at all to explore these Big Ideas. In true Ellis fashion, it's mind-boggingly smart and at once too short. Much to ponder. Also, often funny in that charming yet fucked up way. Here's to hyperintellegencia paranoia!

    4. The actual rating would be 3 1/2 stars for me . This was a short story , I haven't read short story books in a long time it was engaging but it was superficial ere is no time for development of characters but then again it was only 148 pages but if you are into sci fi and thrillers , you might like this e story is not bad , it is innovative and fast paced get a good coffee by your side and you'll finish this book in a blink and the conclusion is scary in that it could be actually happening [...]

    5. I loved the idea behind this novella, but I really think this could have been executed better. This speculative futuristic story had so much potential! I kept wanting to know more about this near-future world and all those people who think about the future professionally, but there just wasn't enough time for that in this short novella. It also didn't really offer anything new as far as the commentary on our over-reliance on technology goes, and missed an opportunity to properly explore the ment [...]

    6. This novel has a breezy lackadaisical fan-fiction feeling to it. I had the sense that Ellis just typed along, and this novel is what happened. I enjoyed reading it. I felt a little neglected by it, though. It felt as if the author kept trying to project a feeling in my direction of not caring whether he impressed me or not, or whether I kept reading or not. The feeling was pronounced enough to make me believe he really did care about impressing me, and by trying by pushing me away, was trying to [...]

    7. Really lazy writing with a good idea. I'm not sure Ellis has learned that writing fiction is not the same as writing a graphic novel, his dialogue is especially weak, often reading like a cheap joke written by a teenager to demonstrate how world aware they are, and painfully reminiscent of the crap my friends churned out in film school. There's some good stuff in here, obviously, Ellis didn't just become an idiot overnight or anything, it's just lost in the silliness and obviousness. Surveillanc [...]

    8. My boss walked into a conversation in which I was trying to describe the plot of this book. " and the futurists on both sides (public/corporate) end up having mental breakdowns from their research, referred to as "abyss gaze," and wind up in this psych ward called Normal Head in Oregon" " is this a film?""No, it's a book." is it nonfiction?" (She knows I mostly read nonfiction.) "No, it's fiction. But the real dilemma is that some of the surveillance state stuff in here isn't too far from realit [...]

    9. "All communication becomes dangerous" (56)Normal is a fun novella with a terrific premise. Every so often futurists go insane when they look too deeply into the future, a condition Ellis dubs "abyss gaze" (15). A facility called Normal (!) treats them, and that's the setting. Into Normal enters our freshly mad protagonist, who quickly stumbles into a locked room mystery.This little book has many pleasures, all familiar to anyone who's read Warren Ellis. There's a lot of humor, often darkly tinge [...]

    10. 5* for the concept. Asylum for broken futurologists. amazing.4* for the turn of phrase. Some wonderful stuff I will try to drop in my conversations.2* for the actual writing. Too many set pieces and awkward transitions.

    11. When I came across Normal it was categorized as a science fiction novella, but it’s really more of a futurist, speculative fiction novella. I’d also say that this is a cautionary tale about what could happen if we continue to give up our privacy willingly for the sake of convenience. Normal takes place in the not so distant future at Normal Head Station, a mental-health/rehab facility for forecasters and futurists to seek treatment after burnout and looking into the “abyss” a few too man [...]

    12. I put this on my science fiction shelf, but most of it is probably real, which is actually pretty scary. Ellis is a bit of a futurist and he manages to pack quite a few of his ideas and theories into the space of a novella.Normal is a place where futurists go after they have nervous breakdowns. The book follows one such person from intake, meeting other interesting people (with disturbingly interesting ideas), to the final big reveal of why this particular person had his breakdown. It is also pe [...]

    13. You get Warren Ellis in two different forms. At his best you well plotted story that weaves in all his tech and futurism reading and research in a way that adds to the characters and the story, even if the characters are pulled from the same pool of stock characters he uses every time. At his worst you get nothing more than vague research vomited out like a series of blog posts with a line of dialogue every page or so, where story and character comes a vast second and the tech talk only goes so [...]

    14. Any time you pick up something by Warren Ellis, you know it’s going to be weird and wild and awesome. The same is true for his new novel, Normal, a techno-thriller about two groups of strategists taking on the challenge of the impending end of civiliazation. When staring in the face of doom brings on depression and anxiety, they are sent to a special recovery center to get better. But then one of the patients goes missing…Backlist bump: Crooked Little Vein by Warren EllisTune in to our weekl [...]

    15. That's a helluva book. I hadn't read any prose by Warren Ellis but it's pretty damn good. A punchy, funny, dark mindfuck. It's not quite as colorful (literally and figuratively) as his comics but it's a fast and furious read.

    16. I'm not at all ashamed to say that sometimes when I read a book I just have no clue what in the good god damn is really going on. This is one of those times.

    17. I enjoyed this primarily for the ideas -- futurists who predict the future too clearly are driven batty by their insight and are sent to an isolated camp to recover (or not) -- rather than the writing. At times the prose is mechanical in a "he did this then he did that" sort of way, as Ellis marks time until he gets to the heart of the matter.Around the halfway point it really kicks in and we get the full Ellis treatment as numerous characters take turns ranting and raving about the future that [...]

    18. Read this in installments over July (a quarter of the book was posted every Tuesday).We are very very lucky that Warren Ellis was born when he was so that he would be at this time in his life as our world is at this time in its life. He, like William Gibson, just sees and understands things and helps us see and understand them, and he rips them to shreds with his sense of humor and his anarchic prose and story style.

    19. I grabbed this slim book from the library knowing the basic premise, but not really knowing what to expect, and I ended up really liking it. It's amusing, but also horrifying, specifically if you spend too much time imaging futures likely and unlikely, it IS likely to drive you crazy. I think modern life to a degree requires that we hold the future in careful abeyance lest the weight of it crush us. This book playfully looks at what happens when we fail.

    20. This review and others posted over at my blog.I picked this up because of the cover (illustrated by Pedro Sanches) and borrowed it because of the description and I’m pretty sure I missed most of what was going on, but it was fun to read so I don’t care.I read this entirely in one sitting because the characters were so addicting and I had to know what was going on in this madhouse up in the woods. This book was not at all what I expected, but I’m not mad. I assumed the “abyss gaze” was [...]

    21. A good idea that doesn't totally pan out. Set in the not-too-distant future, our main characters are housed in a communal "funny farm" where they are treated to become functional at working, though not necessarily ever becoming "fit" for the outside world. There is a lot of talking and the characters are never explored enough to have any real feelings for either way. Divided into four parts, the book only takes on any excitement at the last section which had me turning the pages. Overall. it is [...]

    22. Another tough book to review. Half of it I was totally grooving on and half went over my end. Such is Warren Ellis. It is a proper sci fi, reminders of Bradbury throughout. I loved the protagonist, well all the characters were great. It was just some concepts maybe too much for one book. It's not Stephenson after all. A quick 3 hour read.

    23. Para onde vão os futuristas convictos quando o seu cérebro se quebra devido à exposição prolongada à contemplação do futuro? Normal Head é um refúgio e sanatório onde são isolados os especialistas de especulação avançada que colidiram com o futuro acelerado. Algo que Ellis chama de abyss gaze, doença provocada por contemplar o abismo em tempo excessivo. Acompanhamos um especialista em segurança e multidões que, depois de sofrer um colapso mental, é levado para as instalações [...]

    24. This is a Warren (Transmetropolitan, The Authority, Planetary, Iron Man) Ellis novel about two groups of people who are professional futurists: that is, they are paid to extrapolate where events and technology are headed. They share one difficulty: it’s a business that can make gazing into the abyss feel like it is indeed gazing back at you! And what IS gazing at us? This is the heart of the locked-door mystery that cradles the compact plot, set at a retreat where organizations that appraise t [...]

    25. A lot of fascinating and fantastic ideas in here that make for a very stimulating read. However, I think the middle rushed along a bit too quickly, solving problems too easily, and making the whole thing feel a little more light-hearted (even clownish) than I think the beginning and ending deserved.

    26. "The Gun Machine" will probably remain my favourite book by Ellis, but this one comes in as a close second, passing by the "Crooked Little Vein". Disguised as an Agatha Christie type detective story on steroids, it is actually a collection of encounters for the main hero (to which we should add our own encounter with him), each of these disclosing a desperate vision of a future, from a particular and rational point of view - and yet always an insanity predicated on the need to remain sane. Well, [...]

    27. This is much better than the first Ellis novel I read, Crooked Little Vein, as both characters and story stepped up. I am aware that this was initially serialized online, but that's OK, so was the last John Scalzi book I read.While a little of the basic concept follows Ellis' current Image Comics series Injection, I think he executes character and story better here. Normal Head Station is where agencies (government, private, covert, and overt) send their forecasters and futurists when they have [...]

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