Read The Last Legends of Earth by A.A. Attanasio Online


"A grand and glorious visionary epic."-Robert Silverberg *** Set in the artificial planetary system of Chalco-Doror, which is no more and no less than a vast cosmic machine, The Last Legends of Earth is a love story, a gripping saga of struggle against alien control, and an examination of the machinery of creation and destruction. Above all, it is world-building of the hig"A grand and glorious visionary epic."-Robert Silverberg *** Set in the artificial planetary system of Chalco-Doror, which is no more and no less than a vast cosmic machine, The Last Legends of Earth is a love story, a gripping saga of struggle against alien control, and an examination of the machinery of creation and destruction. Above all, it is world-building of the highest and grandest order, on a scale rarely seen in science fiction since the great works of Olaf Stapledon....

Title : The Last Legends of Earth
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780340674635
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 560 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Last Legends of Earth Reviews

  • Meggan
    2019-04-04 08:01

    Spoiler free summary: An alien archaeologist digs through dead Earth's past to use humans as bait for the purpose of intergalactic pest control. Humans don't like being bait for alien spiders who drink their neurological pain endorphins, so they resist, ally, or betray one another to the exterminator. Centipedes, spiders, humans, gnomes, robots, ghosts, and zombies clash in a space war fought across 15 planets and two sentient "suns" that are actually machines designed to maintain the insect trap. Who is AA Attanasio? Oh, just a writer using every inch of his brain to pummel readers with the most original, outrageous story set to paper. He's a master mood manipulator, turning on a dime from cerebral (ow, my brain), to terrifying (dont read if you have arachnophobia), to grotesque (oh the distorts you'll know!), to badass (Vikings fighting robot zombies? fuck yeah!), to charmingly goofy (evil priests live in a fortress of insect parts on the north pole!), to poignant (humanity's glorious flaws radiate on every page). Though the writing is overwrought at times, it's actually a very taut novel without a page of wasted space to advance the plot. Oh, and "the plot?" It only spans some seven thousand years. Seven billion years if you count the death of Earth. And the timeline is hardly linear--add in the paradoxes of time travel and parallel universes and it's perhaps the most ambitious story ever told. Somehow this complexity doesn't overwhelm, it only astounds. Even characters who appear in the flash of a year are given a memorable background and purpose. On the whole Attanasio transcribes a beautiful nightmare "rising from the tar pit of dreams." By the end I didn't want to wake up.

  • Harold Ogle
    2019-04-14 09:04

    WARNING to my friends: do NOT read reviews or summaries of this book on Goodreads, as every one I've seen has casually given away a big portion of the book, explaining what's going on in a way that the book intentionally takes a long time to reveal. A second NOTE: this book stands alone, so do not be fooled by the "Radix #4" label, as if it is fourth in a larger cycle.That said, this is an A.A. Attanasio book. Among other things, this means that it is a big story that has been intentionally and lovingly crafted to resemble another author's style exactly. This book is Attanasio's Jack Vance science fiction book. Jack Vance writes stories that feature complicated space opera/science fantasy plots with a vast array of improbably hyperbolic settings, dispassionate and sarcastic characters, and an indulgently elaborate vocabulary. Attanasio emulates all this and the distinctive style of Vance's prose flawlessly. It's a great story, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of science fantasy, space opera, and/or Jack Vance.

  • Peter
    2019-03-29 12:50

    Complex. Disjointed, in a way. I didn't realize it when I began, but this is the fourth book by Attanasio in a tetrad devoted to the four cardinal dimensions that rule our lives - height, depth, width, time. In retrospect, it makes sense for the one about time to be disjointed. That's not a bad thing, of course.Distant. As with any book that covers a span of seven thousand years, there are plenty of characters that are introduced, make their effects felt, and disappear - a handful of characters remain constant and well-known to the reader.Epic gods - reminded me of nothing so much as of the Valar vs. Melkor in Tolkien's The Silmarillion. The continuing struggle of the great machine intelligences against torture and conversion by the zōtl... the two forms of fire, one bright as the sun and one unrelenting darkness. Genetrix, omnipresent and life-giving - and Gai, the creator.It was meant to be read straight through, forging ahead like tank bruting through jungle. I don't know how many times this happened: a detail is mentioned offhandedly about a topic that had been described before as if the detail is obvious and you should know it - making you think, "Oh, I missed something. I'll go back and check." But when you go back to the original description, that detail is nowhere to be found. You didn't miss anything; that new detail is just being given to you by the author in a different order than usual. Eventually you get used to it and you stop looking back whenever you find details. A second read would probably give you a much clearer idea of what's going on.It was hard to get into, certainly. Storywise, I was lost for a good first quarter of the book. Writing was enjoyable enough that I kept going for the sake of the descriptions, so I eventually caught onto the story. Then I couldn't put it down.So many twists. There were a lot of ways I could have seen it ending.

  • Elvira
    2019-03-28 11:44

    Describing this book is almost an impossibility. It is a love story spanning cosmos and millennia through pure chaos.TLLoE brings to mind the following adjectives: Wondrous, herculean, mesmerizing, psychedelic, chaotic, challenging and extremely provocative.Conceptually is excitingly challenging: Attanassio presents philosophical concepts from a pure scientific point of view, only to tease and trap the reader to extrapolate these concepts ad infinitum if, of course, the reader dares.I need to digest this beast for a little while before continuing with the Radix series.

  • Nathan
    2019-04-19 08:54

    Quite possibly the best science fiction book I have ever read. And that's saying a lot. Epic on a scale rarely attempted in a series, let alone a single novel.

  • Brian Welch
    2019-04-20 15:09

    Hands down one of the best SF books ever written and one of my favorite books of all time. The plot is, essentially, a love story across time, space, death, and reality. The story sprawls across six thousand years and involves a number of characters, but always seems to drive forward with purpose. The settings and storylines are imaginative and grandiose. The core themes of the book are epic and unforgettable.

  • J.T. Hartke
    2019-04-07 13:53

    I read this book in High School, when it first came out. I have also committed to reading it again as an adult. I was drawn into it instantly. I loved its exploration of what love, life, and death are all about, while inside a vastly weird and wonderful plot involving mankind as bait -- bait who earns the compassion of its fisherman.

  • Tudor Ciocarlie
    2019-04-15 07:52

    Mind blowing. The entire history of a binary solar system and its civilizations, with really alien gods, sinister alien demons and lots of time travel, in only 500 pages.

  • Valerie
    2019-03-30 11:46

    There were parts of this I loved. It was an original idea with complex characters who had competing but logical interests. It was fascinating to see the different civilizations pop into and out of existence. Yet I thought the book started dragging in the last quarter or so. I felt like the author was throwing in unnecessary complications to keep the book going. I also felt like the ghosts, and people being reborn as needed, just a little to convoluted to really make the story as effective as possible.

  • GCB-LovesGoodBooks
    2019-04-20 08:03

    This is a most excellent of reads if you like epic science fiction/ fantasy. I have read it twice and will read it again. It is brilliantly written. It is delicious like the very best dessert and when you are finished reading, it is the moment when all the dessert is gone. But you are full, content and possibly introspective and savoring the taste in your mouth.

  • Michael-Scott Earle
    2019-04-14 09:57

    Quite possibly the best science fiction novel ever written. You don't need to read any others in the series. Just start with this one, finish, then read it again a few years later. It gets better with each read.

  • Brent Hayward
    2019-03-30 09:06

    One of the craziest plots ever. Attanasio uses language beautifully.

  • Jeremiah J.
    2019-04-18 11:46

    This book has the most outrageous plot I've ever encountered, but the author never loses control and the book provides a fantastic read.

  • Gedvondur
    2019-04-16 15:48

    In my lexicon, two stars is a "meh" book, probably something else to read out there.(I could have swore I did this review already, but doesn't seem to be here. I read this a few weeks ago)Attanasios' Last Legends of Earth is innovative and clearly shows that Attanasio is a force to be reckoned with in terms of sci-fi and imagination. But for me, it was slow, hard to get in to and by the time I began to actually relate to the characters it was all over. The enemies, the Zotl, were particularly one-dimensional, creatures created to bring out maximum horror with for a really contrived reason. I haven't read any of the rest of Attanasio's Radix books and right now I don't think I'm going to. He's clearly talented in word-building, but the story and characters left a *lot* to be desired.

  • Carl Barlow
    2019-03-29 07:59

    A sprawling tale, very well told. The timespan precludes much reader involvement or any real attachment to any character (they die quite often), but the whole premise is quite fascinating (even if the science is a little stardust and golden). I think I enjoyed the same author's Radix more, but I will be rereading The Last Legends of Earth and seeking out the other two books in this sequence (as well as Attanasio's other works). Certainly recommended.

  • Mike's
    2019-03-26 12:49

    Good book I stopped reading two other books to finishThis book pushed several other books to the demanded my complete attention.the only thing that kept me from giving it a better rating was the lack of development of the spiders,they seemed more one dimensional than the other major characters in the book I understood that they fed on fear or the emotions of others but not how they came to be I guess. I wanted to understand more about how how they developed into What they were.

  • Dtyler99
    2019-04-13 13:57

    This is perhaps the tenth time I have read A.A. Attanasio's incredible book, The Last Legends of Earth, since it was originally published in 1989. It is among my top 3 favorite SFF books ever. Ever. Al's imagination is like nothing you've ever experienced before, and if you read his Nebula-nominated book Radix, or his 16th-century pirate yarn Wyvern, you know what I mean.In Last Legends, a truly alien race is invaded by sentient spiders that feed on the pain neurotransmitters of evolved beings and to fight them, they send a soldier out to set a trap. A trap the size of a solar system. After several false starts, the solder, known as the Rimstalker, finally captures the light forms of Earthans that have been travelling through space for 3 billion years since Earth was destroyed. She uses them to populate the complex Chalco-Doror system she has created, so as to attract the sentient spiders and prepare--over thousands of years--the closing of the trap. Well, humans are, well, human, and they are going to fight, live, learn, and die, and they do, just as if they were alive again on Earth. Ned, a space fighter pilot with the privileged Aesirai, meets Chan-ti, an awkward girl of the Foke, a hidden but technologically-savvy tribe. Chan-ti is convinced that Ned and her have been prophesized as deliverers from the spiders and the heartless Rimstalker. But quickly they are separated in time, and must undertake harrowing journeys to find each other again and destroy the spiders. Attanasio can, on occasion, write a bit out of control, his enthusiasm and verve is so great. Some of the prose may be a little hippy-dippy, but it is overshadowed by the immensity and immediacy of the story. This has it all: advanced physics, a noble cause, a truly evil and capable enemy, and lots of duplicity, but at the heart, it's a story of human love. Why this book gets ignored in favor of the Orson Scott Cards and the Lois McMaster Bujolds, is truly head-scratching.

  • Benjamin
    2019-04-03 11:10

    A.A. Attanasio takes sci-fi worldbuilding quite literally.The Last Legends of Earth is a fantasy/sci-fi epic that details the formation of an artificial planetary system in the far future. After being populated by Earth humans from the distant past, the saga tells how various cultures rise and fall within the system over a course of thousands of years.The story has a lengthy time-scale, and is structured by telling us the story of several protagonists who traverse both time and space within this star system. In some ways it's similar to Olaf Stapledon's Starmaker and Last and First Men, although the writing style is far more pulpy and less focused than Stapledon's epic. The majority of the story is captivating, though there are periods throughout the middle that did tend to bore, such as endless war-related chapters. (First half - great; middle - poor; final act - great).What really makes this story stand out though is the treatment of several fantastical and spiritual qualities (such as existence of an afterlife) as exact sci-fi sciences; whilst then subverting and minimalising explanations for more common sci-fi standards (such as explanations of time-travel, and instantaneous wormhole travel), reducing such explanations to that of lore-driven fantasy.

  • Brandy
    2019-04-01 07:54

    "And where there had been worlds hung against the splendor of the galaxy, there was nothing."This book was a journey. Questions of life, death, faith, love, ethics, race, society, technology, communication, humanity, sentience build this epic space opera to its almost devastatingly beautiful crescendo. That's not to say this book is perfect. It has some of the flaws often seen is Sci-Fi epics. Some drier story telling in parts which requires (and is eventually worth) the patience and perseverance in the reader. As well, there are some characters and story lines that are unpleasantly blunt, transparent, and shallow in their use as plot devices. There is also the added difficulty of working across multiple fluid timelines which sometimes make stories, people, and locations difficult to place. It's one of the few books I've read that has such complex timelines and world-building that I feel readers would benefit greatly from a map and timeline.Or maybe they just need the Glyph AstraAll around, an astoundingly good read, on par with other Sci-Fi masterpieces such as Dune and Foundation. For fans of Sci-Fi, philosophy and questions, I highly recommend.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-13 14:55

    A fantastic read. Attanasio really should return to science fiction as it is what he does best. This dense, imaginitive story is a must read for anyone who enjoyed Radix. This is another book I re-read every few years and it always leaves me saying "wow....". From Last Legends of Earth: "We are all fugitives. We have always been fugitives from the void. Whatever comfort, whatever power we gain from outside ourselves diminishes us - because comfort and power, unless they are won from the void inside us, are illusions that make us forget the emptiness that carries us. When we forget that, we believe we deserve comfort and power and so we are capable of any evil. We deserve nothing but what we can make of ourselves. We deserve nothing else. And when we understand that, then nothing is enough."

  • Brian
    2019-04-07 14:05

    It's big (huge, collossal, overwhelmingly large) in time, societies and surroundings. It's complicated, with characters coming and going and coming and going, sometimes in both directions. And it's interesting, in a "how the heck is this all going to hang together?" kind of way. But,as much as the authour tries desparately to hold the whole thing together, in my case he failed to hold onto my interest. The best characters and civilizations come and go, and the boring, underdeveloped, predictable ones keep hanging on page after page. It seems to be trying to be space opera and sermon at the same time, and not pulling either off completely.It's worth reading, but don't expect too too much.

  • Salam Tims
    2019-04-23 16:07

    LLOE, as Attanasio's fans refer to it, is a science-fiction epic and should be a classic. The scope and dazzling brilliance of the book defy easy description. It tells the story of characters living in a universe created by a god-like alien for the sole purpose of attracting and destroying another alien race of predators. The humans who inhabit its worlds are bait for the predators. Earth, their original home, has long since been destroyed. They have been recreated from waveforms in the void of space. As stated, none of this begins to do justice to this book. I consider it one of a handful of the very best SF I've read. Check it out!

  • Randy French
    2019-04-01 07:59

    Rereading this for somewhere between the 5th & 10th times. One of my favorite books. A "periodic re-read". Its been a while..and I'm on p 100 & seeing again already why I do re-read it!As a review on the cover says: " As complex and spellbinding a bit of science fiction storytelling as I've ever come across"

  • Aaron
    2019-03-29 14:07

    A very complex -- ultimately too complex -- story, with many characters, settings, and ideas. Lot's and lots of ideas, philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific. Very beautiful descriptions, with an original, unexpected, yet very fitting, use of words. The scattered nature of the story, however, prevents the book from being truly great.

  • Zane Jon Dickens
    2019-03-25 16:12

    This is a complex massive saga that somehow the author fits into 400 pages, it felt vaster than Wheel of Time, yet succinct and well paced. It does have tangents where certain characters come in seemingly randomly but they do tie in and I felt there were no loose ends. As a young writer I recommend it to all aspiring authors as it has a style and structure that is very different.

  • Ghislaine
    2019-04-20 10:00

    I read this book a few years ago and I still remember the feeling that I got from it. There are not many books that make me cry, but this one did - not in a bad way. It is a marvelous read and all this time I did not know that it was part 4 in a series. Silly me.

  • Myrto
    2019-04-17 10:44

    Although I liked the spiritual overtones (like the Tryl), the story-line of this book was so convoluted that it was easy to get lost. There are many characters and their stories get fragmented. Attanasio's Arthurian series had me spellbound. This book felt like heavy going.

  • Brian Smith
    2019-04-24 10:51

    Beautifully mind-blowing novel. While it has immense scope there are so many small moments that are vividly memorable that explore the cultural and emotional impacts on the characters --- even those characters that only cover a scant number of pages.

  • Athul
    2019-03-30 10:46

    Incredibly imaginative story. The writing is a little (or very) wooden at times, and Attanasio overuses Trek-style technobabble, but worth reading for the first-class world-building.

  • Imran
    2019-04-18 13:06