The Elephants' Graveyard

Book - 2015 | First edition.
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The Sixth Sense meets Planet of the Apes in a moving science fiction novel set so far in the future, humanity is gone and forgotten in Lawrence M. Schoen's Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard

An historian who speaks with the dead is ensnared by the past. A child who feels no pain and who should not exist sees the future. Between them are truths that will shake worlds.

In a distant future, no remnants of human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of humanity's genius-animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings. The Fant are one such species: anthropomorphic elephants ostracized by other races, and long ago exiled to the rainy ghetto world of Barsk. There, they develop medicines upon which all species now depend. The most coveted of these drugs is koph, which allows a small number of users to interact with the recently deceased and learn their secrets.

To break the Fant's control of koph, an offworld shadow group attempts to force the Fant to surrender their knowledge. Jorl, a Fant Speaker with the dead, is compelled to question his deceased best friend, who years ago mysteriously committed suicide. In so doing, Jorl unearths a secret the powers that be would prefer to keep buried forever. Meanwhile, his dead friend's son, a physically challenged young Fant named Pizlo, is driven by disturbing visions to take his first unsteady steps towardan uncertain future.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Tor,, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780765377029
Characteristics: 384 pages


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May 11, 2017

I was on the way thinking this book was a decent, average read. The anthropomorphic animals were interesting enough and the conflict was okay. Truth told, this book plods a bit. The characters are likable enough especially Pizlo, the outcast youth whose appearances always made me wish the story was more him and less everyone else. In the end though, the book's main hook, that memory is a manifestation of subatomic particles that everyone throws off failed spectacularly when one of the characters turned all super-powered and summoned countless particles from across the galaxy in minutes, thus defying the laws of physics as we know them today. Maybe Einstein was wrong in the reality of this book. Maybe I expect too much. Still, I can't forgive such an obvious bomb.

Jun 22, 2016

This is an interesting world where "humans" evolved from elephants have their own planet in a universe with an alliance that includes all the other "humans" evolved from different animals. There is a story arc, conflict, resolution, and some philosophical background, in my opinion. I will look for other books by this author.

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