Review: "7th Sigma" by Steven Gould

This is a review of 7th Sigma by Steven Gould. Published in hardcover by Tor in July  2011. Amazon Canada has it listed for $18.17. The e version is available from Kobo for $12.99.

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I have to admit that I didn't buy 7th Sigma because of the excerpt called "Bugs in the Arroyo" that you can find for free on the Tor website.  I bought it because of Summer's love for Steven Gould's Jumper. I've never read "Jumper, but Summer's enthusiasm for Gould is contagious.  It was only later that I read on Scalzi's blog, that Gould was attempting a version of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, a story that I have a great fondness for.

Well, OK, I can kind of see Kim in this novel. But mostly, I see a great story that combines westerns, dystopian futures, alien robots, martial arts movies and one very cool hero.  The kind of hero that if I don't see more of - I will be very disappointed.  That's it. My biggest criticism, the novel is too short. And if that laundry list of story ideas isn't making you itch to go out and get your own copy. Well, what are you doing following this blog anyway?

Our hero, Kimble was born in a very different American Southwest.  Thirty years previously, bug sized, metal eating robots invaded New Mexico and Arizona and changed society there completely. 7th Sigma traces Kimble's adventures from orphaned boy to agent for the territorial government. It also traces the mystery of the robots' origins.

What Gould does, is change society by removing one thing – Metal. And follows that idea to its logical conclusions.  Technology doesn't collapse, but it does change and adapt using ceramics, solar power and older methods for living in a harsh landscape.

Kimble is an appealing hero, in spite of his difficult start in life. He's almost too good, but Gould uses Akido as the reason for Kimble's self control and discipline. Akido is also the reason he has awesome ninja skills. Those skills help move the story along.

I’m planning on reading this book with my son, when he’s old enough to handle the references to physical abuse and rape. These don’t make up the bulk of the story, but they do form important plot points, that explain Kimble’s actions.

So please, check out 7th Sigma, recommended to you by WebGenii.

7th Sigma by Steven Gould
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 5 2011)
ISBN - 10: 0312877153
ISBN - 13: 978-0312877156

About WebGenii

WebGenii is a SF book nerd and all-round geek.


  1. I enjoy your audio book reviews. They're interesting and short enough to get your points across. Thanks for the advice. Cheers! Michael

  2. Thanks!