The Half-made World

The Half-made World

Book - 2010 | 1st ed.
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A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism

The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared--the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they're just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.

To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping theGun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780765325525
Branch Call Number: SF
Characteristics: 479 p. ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

In this story, the world is only half made, carved out in a war between two rival factions: The Line and the Gun. To the west lies a huge uncharted territory, which has had some order brought to it by the Line. However, the Agents of the Gun are compelled to halt the Line wherever they are able.... Read More »

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GeoffAbel Oct 06, 2013

A fantastic conglomeration of steam punk, western, Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. Often fascinating and sublime - unfortunately, it's often dour, plodding and joyless. It took me a long time to read for those reasons. Recommended but ultimately not one I'll be re-reading.

Jul 11, 2013

I really liked this book. It was extremely creative, and the author did a great job of painting an image without going overboard. The story seemed like it wouldn't be able to last the entire 480 (or so) pages, but he did a nice job of stretching it out with having it feel stretched out. I really recommend this to people who like a variety of genres. It really blended a whole bunch of ideas into one book, but did it really well. I will definitely be checking out more of Felix Gilman's books!

qwertyuiop12 Jun 12, 2013

life like 3D characters, very interesting plot... a nice blend of steampunk and other elements.
altogether a good read o_O

derekthered Apr 12, 2012

Not much of a science fiction fan, but I found this to be a surprisingly enjoyable, fast read.

Jan 19, 2012

A miraculous blending of steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, and a semi-reimagining of the american civil war. It's like 1984 + 3:10 to Yuma + The Bartimaeus Trilogy + an alternate universe's lesson on American History all thrown together and the result couldn't be better. I loved this book. Every inch of it delighted me. I thought the characters were well written and three dimensional, the world tangible, the dialogue witty, and the cultural observations dead-on. Death in this book is largely unsentimental, as is romance. People act as people, love as people, and die as them too. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a mature, exciting read in a western setting.

Dec 30, 2010

Thought I'd give steam punk a try. I used to like science fiction. But apparently all the science has gone away...


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