<i>In the Fullness of Tion</i>
  • © 2024 J.C. Gemmell 0

In the Fullness of Tion

Reviewed by Lemon on Amazon

A Hauntingly Beautiful Dystopian World

This collection of short stories is set in a richly imagined dystopian future that’s both unsettling and thought-provoking. The world-building is incredibly detailed, with a complex social hierarchy and innovative technologies that feel disturbingly plausible.

The stories themselves are emotional and deeply human, exploring themes of love, loss, and hope in the face of adversity. The characters are well-developed and relatable, and their struggles to survive in this harsh environment are both heartbreaking and inspiring.

What struck me most about this book is its ability to balance darkness and light. The world of Tion is undoubtedly bleak, but it’s also full of beauty and wonder. The writing is lush and evocative, painting vivid pictures in my mind that lingered long after I finished reading.

I appreciated the way the author trusts the reader to piece together the world and its systems without resorting to exposition dumps. The glossary at the end was a helpful resource, but I found that I enjoyed the process of discovery, even when it was uncomfortable or challenging.

Overall, I highly recommend “In the Fullness of Tion” to anyone who enjoys dystopian science fiction with depth and heart.
Stacks Image 294

Reviewed by Nikki Elizabeth on Goodreads

In the Fullness of Tion

Right off the bat, In the Fullness of Tion dives into a wonderfully rich worldbuilding. The first story immediately introduced me to the levels on which people live and the concept of the Forming (I assume it's some sort of cataclysmic event that brought this state of the world into being), and the writing was well-structured and intriguing from page one.

The first story follows the Alameda rightsiders as they march through one of the more squalid places in Tion, eventually emerging in a much more opulent tier of the planet. Nacho Yat (NY) and his friends eventually get clean clothes in Kilometre One, with promises that they can remain in this luxurious sector if they prove themselves worthy. NY, of course, is skeptical… there's something not quite right about this new arrangement, whether it's a ruse or some complex withholding of information. As time marches on, the rightsiders are exposed to discrimination, and they start to be captured off by locals to serve as escorts – Nacho refuses to leave them behind, and he remains certain that he'll be commoditized, too. He has to ask what he'll sacrifice to save his brothers from the Alameda, eventually using his charms to negotiate – "How much would people pay to have dinner with someone so rare and unpredictable?"

He undergoes a sort of psychic surgery to forgo his only normal moji and become a full rightsider – a painful experience that ultimately ushers him to Topsky, the more affluent portion of Tion. Fortunately, it does succeed in reuniting him with the Alameda crew. It's a bittersweet reunion, however, as the Governor of the Alameda volunteers NY to protect the forty-eighth ward from exploitation and despair, stripping him of anything he'd hoped to recover from his past. It's a powerful and emotional journey that sets the tone for the rest of the book, and it's a short and snappy read before you wade into longer and, at times, heavier stories of life on Tion.

This same haunting magic continues through each tale, with nine distinct stories showcasing various aspects of life and social structure. The culture in this world is beautifully built, deep and complex, though it does take a little while to fully grasp what's going on in Tion. (Or, at least, it took me a moment. This was my first exposure to the Tion series, so I had my work cut out for me!) It's a true testament to Gemmell's skills that nothing is ever explicitly stated – the author beautifully masters "show, don't tell," forcing readers to dive in and be present as they explore the various social tiers of Tion. From green girls and soldiers to bio-artefacts, caching, romance, and despair, there's no shortage of humanity in this alien world. This tiered, artificial environment is flawed and dark, even on the higher levels where the best resources are available, adding to the unsettling atmosphere of the world.

The way Gemmell describes this far-off future is plausible and chilling. The virtual systems that operate and intervene are disturbingly clever, making it easy to get lost in the nuances of this dystopian world. And the writing is just so lush! As this was my first exposure to the Tion series, I had no idea what to expect. But what a rich and fascinating experience… I can't believe there aren't more eyes on these books. The author has a way with words that's downright superb. I will add – there is some stronger language sprinkled in, though it's not distracting in any way. Definitely recommended for adult readers who enjoy darker worlds with various complex layers.
Stacks Image 360

Reviewed by Anita Dow on Amazon

Outstanding world-building and thought-provoking stories of life on an alternative Earth

I haven't read the entire Tion series, but I can see from these short stories that our planet has suffered a major climactic event. The world that has emerged has been engineered from remnants of our Earth, but it is practically unrecognisable a thousand years further on. Author JC Gemmell has done an outstanding job in creating Tion - a new world environment and a society that is as plausible as it is unsettling. Geologically, Earth as we know it no longer exists, and humans live in tiers in an artificial environment, where the best resources are only available for those at the higher levels. Weather systems have collapsed and water is a rare commodity. There's a social hierarchy that can only be escaped by buying your way to a higher level, although the elite can move between tiers as they wish. The policing and justice system is rather 'hands off' and the services and systems on offer are imaginative, totally believable, and for me, quite disturbing. There's a sinister feel to the way the virtual systems operate and intervene, and some of the ideas presented are extremely clever.

The whole world order of Tion, created by Gemmell, is meticulously planned and its execution is polished. The writing is first class and the situations of the characters in the different tiers are inventive. Here are humans struggling to survive in scenarios completely alien to us, and all the time there's a faceless entity controlling everything. At the end of the book there's a useful glossary which demonstrates how well-structured Gemmell's ideas are. Initially I wished it had been at the forefront of the book, and then I realised that not having prior knowledge about some of these systems enabled me to encounter the environment almost as though I had to live in it myself. Gemmell doesn't spoon-feed the reader and I gained understanding of his innovative concepts only by continuing to read on. The vocabulary chosen for his systems and devices is intelligent, and the words look real, rather than fantastical inventions. This is a thought-provoking collection of stories that will have me reflecting on the ideas long after I've finished reading, and I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy intelligent dystopian science fiction.
Stacks Image 302

Reviewed by Nick Snape on Goodreads

In the Fullness of Tion

In the Fullness of Tion is an outstanding collection of short stories that, in many ways, explore the human psyche and desire to be more than what we already are. That this drive is motivated either by how the characters perceive themselves, or how they assume they are seen, is explored in full within the variety of situations and positions within the Tion society they occupy. The superb writing carries you along in a flow of beautifully crafted prose, and despite the depth of thought the author demands of the reader, you are never without the means to explore the events or dissect the decisions of the main characters. An enthralling mix of short and slightly longer stories, this is a highly recommended read.
Stacks Image 306

Reviewed by David Priede on Goodreads

In the Fullness of Tion

This collection of short stories is set against the backdrop of a richly imagined dystopian future and is filled with touching themes of love, loss, and human experience. I like how the author uses the fantasy setting to reflect on our societal challenges and timeless struggles as individuals. Each story is a unique, emotional exploration of universal human concerns—from the pain of grief and longing for connection to hope in the face of adversity. The dystopian elements never overshadow the humanity at the heart of these stories. Fans of futuristic fiction touching upon the human condition will find much to appreciate in each story. While reading, I was turning pages rapidly as each story provided an engaging glimpse into a possible tomorrow while remaining firmly grounded in the enduring truths of our shared experiences.
Stacks Image 354

Reviewed by Bernd on Amazon

Very entertaining

"In the Fullness of Tion" is an uncommon collection that cleared out me completely enchanted. The creator unbelievably weaves together nine eccentric stories, each a diamond that gives a unique perspective on our cutting edge, manufactured world. This book isn't fair a collection of stories; it's a profound jump into the quintessence of societal status, online reliance, goal, and lose hope.

What genuinely sets this collection separated is its capacity to mix interest with crude genuineness, funniness with ardent praise. The characters are so strikingly depicted that they jump off the page, each one bringing their claim profundity and complexity to the story. The author's ability in making an immersive, high-technology, data-dependent world is basically unparalleled.

The composing is nothing brief of brilliant, with each sentence created with exactness and care. The narratives are wealthy and layered, making each story a compelling examined that you simply won't need to put down. The topics investigated are unimaginably significant and thought-provoking, touching on aspects of our lives that resound profoundly.

Despite the high-concept settings and the some of the time horrid topics, there's an basic current of trust and humankind that produces "In the Fullness of Tion" a truly uplifting examined. It may be a culminate mix of theoretical fiction and enthusiastic profundity, making it a must-read for anybody who appreciates quality narrating.

In summary, "In the Fullness of Tion" could be a surprising book that merits all the awards it can get. It may be a confirmation to the author's unimaginable ability and a sparkling illustration of what cutting edge writing can accomplish. Exceedingly suggested!
Stacks Image 127

Reviewed by Christopher R. Salcido on Amazon

Amazing Stories

I just finished reading this book and I have to say, it’s a fantastic collection! What I loved most is how each story is different yet connected by these intriguing themes. The author’s writing is top-notch—creative, complex, and thought-provoking. The stories challenge how we see reality and keep you hooked from start to finish. Plus, the formatting of the book is really nice, making it easy to read and follow along. The layout and design add to the overall experience, enhancing the enjoyment of each story. The book is also well-paced, with each story offering something unique and engaging. If you're into speculative fiction with deep, emotional themes, you’ll definitely enjoy this book. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves futuristic tales with rich human emotions. I found myself thinking about the stories long after I finished reading, and I’m sure you will too. This book is definitely worth picking up!
Stacks Image 348
Stacks Image 316
Stacks Image 342
Stacks Image 30