Read The Abyss by Orson Scott Card James Francis Cameron Online


Librarian's note: There are Alternate Cover Editions for this edition of this book here and here.From the author of "Speaker's for the Dead", and "Seventh Son", this science fiction thriller is set in the Caribbean where a US submarine is mysteriously attacked. Foul play by the Soviets is suspected, and the world draws close to nuclear war. But the answer has nothing to doLibrarian's note: There are Alternate Cover Editions for this edition of this book here and here.From the author of "Speaker's for the Dead", and "Seventh Son", this science fiction thriller is set in the Caribbean where a US submarine is mysteriously attacked. Foul play by the Soviets is suspected, and the world draws close to nuclear war. But the answer has nothing to do with human deeds....

Title : The Abyss
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099690603
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 363 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Abyss Reviews

  • Amy
    2018-09-19 12:44

    This book was an incredible work of science fiction. I read it as a teenager the same summer that the movie came out. A friend and I were big fans of James Cameron's "The Terminator" and "Aliens," so when we heard he had a new movie coming out, we were pretty excited. Then my mom brought home this book by Orson Scott Card, and I knew it would be great.Once again, you can understand my bias on things. The protagonist in "The Abyss" is a female aeronautical engineer. I really admired her and saw a lot of myself in her character (though not her history with her family). The Abyss was yet another science fiction story that inspired me into my field of study.I've never felt like James Cameron got the credit he deserved for this movie, though the ending for the theatrical version was pretty lame. I finally did see the "director's cut" in a special edition DVD and it paralleled the book better. But I felt like the motivations of the characters and the aliens were explained much better in the book than in the movie.

  • Sackinger
    2018-10-08 14:33

    If I said, "A tour de force" would you hit me? I saw the movie, "The Abyss" and consider it to be excellent. Better by far than any other scifi/adventure movie made after 1930. When I heard that Orson Scott Card had made a novel based off the movie, I was sorely disappointed. No novel from show ever works. Movies should be made from nothing larger than a novelette in my opinion. So why was Card making substandard work?Then I read it.I apologize most sincerely, Mr. Card, for ever having doubted you. Not only does this book tell the story well, it fleshes it out most delightfully! Nothing is added that isn't part of the movie, but oiy! So much ... ARGH I just can't describe it!I urge you, please see the movie then read the book. You will absolutely not be disappointed!

  • Sarah Rains
    2018-10-04 14:26

    This was a really great book. If you liked the movie you'll LOVE the book. So many times in science fiction there isn't a lot of characterization.........not with this book. You know these characters and you can relate to them in some way.

  • PC
    2018-09-20 17:23

    Really entertaining! And that is coming from a reader that does not particularly care for any story bubbling up from the briny depths. I am a fan of dry land formats. This book, however, combines interesting characters (both human and not-so-much) with excellent and exciting interactions between each other. Edge of your seat suspense taking place at frequent intervals and an exceptionally surprising and unexpected otherworldly ending make this one of my absolute favorites - even with all the moisture content! Would recommend this to all.

  • Candy Atkins
    2018-10-03 16:43

    I'm partial to Orson Scott Card, novels about the ocean, and intelligent female leads (probably not in that order) Needless to say…I LOVE this book. I read it twice in one year. It is gripping and freaky and un-put-downable.

  • Lauren
    2018-10-10 11:49

    I can watch the movie again and again, and can read the novella again and again. It is spectacular, and contains more background than the movie did. One of my favorites, actually.

  • Ana
    2018-10-14 13:40

    Blew me out of the water (pun intended).

  • Anna
    2018-09-21 18:51

    Book club choice. I've been a fan of the movie for years and it holds some special nostalgia for me. I had no knowledge of a novel, nor had any desire to read it, as novelizations are usually unnecessary and not very well written. But as it was the majority rules for book club, I went along with it.Starting it and keeping up with it was a task. I was not a huge fan of the voice that narrated from this omniscient perspective. It truly felt like a screenplay merged with a novel - as if each aside was a director telling his actor what mindset to step into. But it got easier to wade through as the action escalated. I liked having the memory of the movie in the back of my mind; it made it easy to follow the story. I appreciated that this wasn't an overly technical book and it could have been.Oddly enough, following this story in novel form makes it easier to realize that the story is kind of....strange. A political thriller...and aliens? It sounds far fetched, even as the climax falls. But I think I'm too engrossed in the nostalgia of it all to care. I can also finally see, upon finishing the novel, why this omniscient voice was present. It makes sense now, but I still don't quite think it was an effective voice.All in all, enjoyable and unique in its construction. Even the author forwards were more interesting than usual. And on the basest level, I enjoyed learning the tiny details that the movie couldn't convey. It was definitely an interesting novel.

  • Daylin Tone
    2018-10-07 15:35

    So far, 3 stars. And that's generous. No matter what, Orson Scott Card will lose a star because he's a terrible person. This book is for book club and like here's the thing. The book is a little boring. The book is a weird hybrid of a novelization and like character backstory for the actors playing said roles. There's a lot of exposition and not a lot of plot. I'm nearly 100 pages in and the story is *just* kicking in and it's such a chore to read this.Orson does not know how to write women.So far, there's only 1 female character and she's written as this "don't need a man, I'm so much smarter than everyone. I'm so great." Which that's fine, I don't mind women characters who are arrogant but I think what sucks is that there aren't any other women in this book to counteract the arrogance. We're stuck with this one and she does nothing but degrade the men and it's so unnecessary. Also the plot of the book is really odd because it's at first set up as the political thriller and then all of a sudden aliens.Do I hate the book? No.Do I love it? No.Am I willing to give it a chance? Sure.Three stars for now, let's see where it goes.So i finished the book and i skimmed the last 2 chapters because i did not care at all. The ending was so deus ex machina and i’m glad to be done

  • Elaine
    2018-09-21 14:38

    Orson Scott Card is a damn fine writer. I never imagined a novelization could be so good! He manages to give each character a unique personality making them easily distinguishable from the each other. Exploring the relationship between Lindsey and Bud was entertaining and heart wrenching. But what amazed me the most was the way the author gave life to the builders. I could see them, I could understand them. So often when reading fantasy or sci-fi the author is never able to make the aliens familiar. They remain alien throughout the novel and we the reader never become one with them. He also switched from pure 3rd person to 1st person a few times. It was a smooth transition and I only stumbled through it once.Truly amazed at the authors abilities. I will be reading Enders Game again as soon as it arrives.The function of Deep Core, the drilling rig meant for deep water drilling, the first of its kind, seemed feasible while reading. I am no engineer or mathematician but there was no glaring mistakes or assumptions that made me roll my eyes and mutter "yeah right". All of this seemed so plausible which I appreciated. The author took great care to explain, mostly in payments terms, the whys and how's of existing that far beneath the ocean.And who was narrator? It isn't revealed until the very, very end and I couldn't have guessed accurately to save my life.

  • Chad
    2018-09-29 18:42

    One of my favorite movies from childhood is also a fantastic book. I'm normally not a big fan of novelizations of screenplays but when it's Orson Scott Card doing the writing, you're in pretty good shape.The book adds some nice depth and texture to the story. The Navy Seal, Coffey is much more of a dynamic and sympathetic character now that you can see some of his actual perspective. But more importantly, the ending feels more in sync with the rest of the book. Personally, I love the extended directors cut of the film but I also understand people's criticisms that the final act of the film is a bit too radical of a left turn away from the first two hours. In the book, the Builders are much more present and what happens at the end is more understandable within the context of the book. All around, fantastic and entertaining to read.

  • Colin Devroe
    2018-10-01 14:34

    This book adds so much to the movie. I recommend reading James Cameron's "Afterword" at the end of the book before reading it.

  • Ron Wroblewski
    2018-10-15 14:38

    Both the book and the movie were great

  • Dennis
    2018-09-26 13:26

    This is my first Orson Scott Card novel. I know what you might think. Never heard of Enders’s Game, or what?ActuallyEnder’s Game is on my shelf since forever. It is standing there near loved ones like The Martian, Ready Player One or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Which makes for some awkward moments.From time to time I walk by, seeing one of these books. They look back at me and I start mumbling something like „Yeah, I know. I love you too.“ Then Ender’s Game catches my eye. Looks at me, contemptuously. I stare at my feet. Feeling a bit embarrassed. Then I walk back to one of my reading places. Another book in hand. Again. Ender’s Game starts whispering to his friends The Hunger Games, And then there were none, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and some others. They have another meeting of their how-did-I-end-up-here-with-this-jerk-when-millions-around-the-world-read-and-loved-my-twins-and-I-merely-stand-here-bought-shelved-but-never-read-self-help group.I understand their sentiments, of course. Though I really think they could have come up with a better name for their group. Something a bit more catchy, maybe. I mean, seriously, what kind of jerk comes up with a name like this?A few weeks ago I watched James Cameron’s 'The Abyss'. A movie I always liked, but never loved. Not like his 'Aliens' or the Terminator movies. Still, I liked it enough to pick up the book, which by the time was threatening to become a member of this depressed group I mentioned above.The Abyss is about a US submarine apparently being attacked by some unknown enemy and subsequently sunken in the deep sea. A group of SEALs and civilians working for a deepwater oiling company are send there to investigate. We witness as they discover some unexpected truth about the incident.This book by Orson Scott Card was based on the screenplay for the Cameron movie and partly rewritten after he saw a nearly finished version of the movie. James Cameron and Orson Scott Card apparently have different opinions as to it being called a novelization or not. Still, they both hoped it can be read without needing to know the movie and experienced by the reader as a proper novel.Personally I think the book does work without knowing the movie. But I think watching the movie first enhances the reading experience. Also it helps to understand some of the book‘s flaws.Being a book based on a screenplay for a Hollywood movie it is almost inevitable to have some bad dialogue. A lot of times Card is giving us one of these movie lines and then spends paragraphs explaining what went through the characters minds while they were saying this or that. I guess that's how novelizations are done. And he’s doing it pretty well in my opinion. Though it can get tiring. Sometimes feeling like he’s saying „Look, I know this sounds stupid. But what they really wanted to say was...“For someone who liked the movie, it was still nice to get some more details about the characters. And I guess for fans of the movie this book is a lot of fun.Though I don’t think a novelization is fun for the writer. Surely, some of this Hollywood stuff you normally wouldn’t like to have in your book. But, of course, you have to stick to the base material.I suggest watching the movie first. If you liked it and want to expand on the experience, go pick up the book.If you didn't like the movie but you're still intrigued by the premise, I recommendMichael Crichton‘sSphere. It tells a similar story. But Crichton had the artistic freedom Orson Scott Card didn’t have with this book.

  • Mel Campbell
    2018-10-03 17:45

    I haven't read a novelisation since I was a kid, when I used to borrow heaps of them from the library. I used to read them completely credulously, without judging them in relation to 'proper novels'. If I'd seen the film, reading the novelisation was like having it play again in especially vivid detail. If I hadn't seen the film, I just read the novelisation as if it were any other novel that had subsequently been adapted to film.Also, I have a special relationship with James Cameron novelisations. I was especially obsessed with the Terminator 2: Judgment Day novelisation, which was at a local newsagency. Lacking the money to buy it, I used to sneak in there after school and spend anything from a few minutes to half an hour at a time reading it in the shop, for days, until I'd read it all.Anyway, so when I saw this in an op-shop I couldn't resist buying it. In extensive afterwords, both Cameron and Card insist that they wanted to write a novel, not a 'novelisation', and Card details the difficulties of trying to produce something original from another creator's vision, and trying to be faithful not only to the script but also to the visuals and to the nuances of the actors' performances. The fact that both film and book were being produced simultaneously meant Cameron actually shared Card's early chapters with his key cast, who used them to inform their performances.At first I could see the seams – it felt as if Card was shovelling in reams of psychological motivation between each laconic line of Cameron's dialogue. Reading it felt a bit like watching a DVD with the commentary track on.But I quickly came to appreciate what Card has added. Basically, the film is quite enigmatic as to what the aliens are, how they caused the initial sub crash that sets the plot in motion, how their civilisation works, and what they think about humankind. But Card has fleshed all this out, and given them a much more prominent role influencing the course of events – the kinds of serendipities that, as moviegoers, we'd just put down to narrative convenience.What I found especially clever about this device is that it actually provides a diegetic reason for that tendency in novelisations to psychoanalyse everything. Turns out the aliens can read human memories – it's this power that enables the narrator's omniscience. And I liked that the narrator is revealed actually to be one of the characters, who has been gifted the aliens' power, knows what every character has felt, and has hence been empowered to tell the story we've just read. I also appreciated that Card has fleshed out Coffey, the evil Navy SEAL antagonist, and made his actions much more understandable. He's a good guy who's not thinking straight, and who's driven by his own demons.To pull off this more introspective approach, Card has sacrificed some of the action-movie paciness of the source film – the endless forward momentum I recognise from Cameron's screenplays. The action sequences are well handled and quite thrilling. But it's the ability to survey the best and worst tendencies of humankind, and empathise with an alien civilisation – which I remember from Card's book Ender's Game – that makes him the perfect writer for this story.

  • Andrew
    2018-10-12 15:35

    I have to stop getting drawn in to nostalgic reads - seriously I have nothing but praise for this book (recent controversies aside). Orson Scott Card was introduced to me by a friend at University (yes while one friend was getting me to read fantasy and Raymond E Feist, another was getting me to read Enders Game and Orson Scott Card). Well this was a happy mix for me - and one even now I cannot resist re-reading - even with so many new and untried books to explore. The book pretty much follows the same story line as the film - something that can often disappoint but not with this book. it pretty much follows the same story as the film one which I enjoy watching and re-watching (ok I can gush on and on about the film since many of the effects were done by ILM one of the masters of the craft, ok stop its about the book). But what also makes this book so special is that it makes even the most saccharine sweet moment such as the ending right and appropriate (even more so since originally and lot of the explaining back story was missed in the film edit). SO why the mediocre rating- well this to me is not the BEST of Cards work and it is a novelisation of the film - so as enjoyable as it is its all just filler compared to his truly good work. Still I will be reading it again just you watch.

  • Allison
    2018-09-30 18:43

    Eh. This book was okay in some ways, and occasionally you could see a glimmer of OSC genius poking through, but there were two major flaws for me: A) it was a bit cliche, which I guess isn't really OSC's fault since the novel is based on a screenplay by James Cameron, who is talented in some ways but not even on the same level creatively as OSC, but... really? Aliens down at the very bottom of the sea who are human enough to have eyes and hands and who give a crap about humans? Who have something to "learn" from humans? Come on! Use your imagination a bit, Jim; and B) uh, hey, Orson? Women are a bit more complex than "evil bitch" or "mothering sweet angel." Please try to reflect that in your writing.But whatever, it was entertaining. For what it was.

  • James Caterino
    2018-09-29 18:33

    One of best novelizations you will ever read. But to call it a novelization would be a dis-service. It is a brilliant epic science fiction novel by a master writer in top form. It pulls off the seemingly impossible and manages to take the vision of one of the most gifted cinematic storytellers of all time and translate it to the novel form.

  • Mcgranes
    2018-10-17 19:22

    Always loved the movie, but the book added so much more depth to it. The book was written while the movie was being filmed, so when you're reading it, you can picture every scene almost perfectly, but what Orson Scott Card did was add so much depth to the characters that you've now got additional into their motivations.

  • Brenda Duvernet
    2018-10-13 16:28

    This book is a good read. As I remember, it was not violent and didn't have profanity. It was a page turner.

  • Kelson
    2018-10-06 15:37

    Entertaining read. I haven't seen the film yet, but I've heard good things. It was hard for me to completely buy into it after 2001: Space Odyssey. Nevertheless, a good book for anyone who likes a good science fiction and/or is interested in deep sea shenanigans.

  • Monica Boyd
    2018-09-23 11:51

    One of my favorite book and movie combos ever.

  • Richard
    2018-10-17 13:48

    The Abyss by Orson Scott Card is about a submarine that is stuck deep below the ocean to detonate a bomb. Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite authors because of how amazing his writing is. The reason I liked the Abyss so much is because, at the beginning of the story, Card gives background information about all the characters in the story to help you understand the character more on a deeper level. In the middle of the story, Lindsey took a picture of underwater flying objects that go as fast as light. Lindsey took a picture of this object but gets a blurry picture that can't be broken down. Since there is a storm above and could get attacked by the objects, the crew stays down underwater. Because they have been underwater for several days, one of the characters Coffey starts to suffer high-pressure nervous syndrome where the person gets paranoid. They figure this out because he has constant mood swings and suddenly plans to attack the underwater objects. What the crew doesn't know is that the objects that flew by are actually aliens and were never going to attack unless the humans began to attack each other, then they would destroy all mankind. I loved this book and will read it again.

  • Neil
    2018-09-24 12:47

    I enjoyed the book. It has been many years since I watched the movie, and I remember reading the book when the movie first came out [or bits of the book, anyway]. Maybe I am getting it mixed up with the Dark Horse comic adaptation [which was from Bud's perspective]. It definitely followed the movie, and it gave deeper insight into the NTIs [aliens] than the movie did. I do not think it ever got quite as suspenseful as the movie, but the movie had music and sound effects to help create the tense moments onscreen. It moved at a good pace [considering the size of the book].I did find the two 'extras' at the end of the book interesting. There is a blurb by James Cameron, and then there is a longer blurb by Card. I think those two blurbs [especially Cameron's] were especially interesting to me. (view spoiler)[ It turns out that Card actually wrote a chunk of the book that was discarded and rewritten when he started watching the making of the movie itself and watching the actors at work on the set. Cameron was so impressed with what Card wrote for the 'early bio's' of Bud and Lindsey that he had the actors read them and use them as source material for their portrayals of the characters.(hide spoiler)]I could not quite decide if it was on purpose or not, but Card's portrayal of Coffey made him seem like less of a jerk than he came across in the movie. Perhaps it was because the novel gave us a window into his mind, showing us why he acted the way he did. I think the book makes it clear that it was the HPNS that was making Coffey act out of behavior and not Coffey's character. So it actually redeemed his character, in a way.The theatrical version of the movie does not quite make it clear that the NTIs are considering wiping out humanity whereas it is quite clear in the director's cut this is the case. The book most assuredly makes it clear the NTIs are behind all of the events that have happened over the course of the movie / novel. (view spoiler)[ It also reveals the reason why the events started - the 'alien vessel' with which the Montana plays chicken was damaged while destroying a Russian anti-sub satellite. The Montana is subsequently destroyed in part due to the Captain's bad decision, and due in part to the NTI vessel knocking out the Montanna's power. As events continued to escalate despite the NTIs attempts to promote peace, the NTIs decided to remove all life from the surface world before events escalated to WWIII and destroyed the entire planet. The NTIs finally had to confront what they had done and how they were partially responsible for what was going on on the planet's surface.(hide spoiler)]I liked how Cameron highly praised Card's word and called it a 'novel' and not just a 'novelization.' I thought that was pretty high praise, considering how far short many novelizations of movies and movie scripts fall short of the actual work.The book does go a bit past the movie in terms of extrapolating past the ending. Parts of it are told from one person's perspective Monk's which I thought was a nice touch [especially the ending].Overall, I enjoyed the novel.

  • John Bruni
    2018-10-01 13:40

    I hate novelizations. Very few of them are good. Fortunately for me this is one of the good ones. The explanation as to why Card did this one when he feels the same as I do is pretty interesting and can be found at the end of the book. I love the movie. Both versions of it. To see it rendered lovingly to the written word is wonderful. I went back and rewatched the extended version of the movie to see if I could read anything into what I discovered in the pages of this book, and wow. I could.Card sometimes over-explains things, which is annoying. He repeats himself sometimes. He doesn't have the courage to realize that we can figure things out. However, the one thing he really does well here is going into the character's minds. What they're thinking. Things we would not be able to determine just from the movie. My favorite example of this is when Coffey is going down into the abyss, and we read his thoughts of hatred toward his mother and regret for what he is doing.There's a really interesting start to this book. I would never do it this way, and I think it bogs the book down considerably. But it contains great information about the three main characters' lives. The incident with Bud's brother as a child makes it all the more horrifying when he has to start breathing liquid in order to go down into the abyss himself. Lindsey's life with her mom is very interesting, considering how she thinks she's nothing like her mom but actually is very much like her. And then there's Coffey, who is ten times more interesting here than he is in the movie. The scene with the bully holding a knife to his penis is pretty intense, and Coffey's reaction is staggering. If someone did that to me I would be horrified, and I would be angry. He just figures that he was born for that moment, and he won't need his penis if it gets chopped off.Here's yet another great thing about this book: Card takes us into the minds of the builders. Hey, the builders! We never get the name of the aliens in the movie! This also explains a lot of things that should have been regarded as impossible in the movie. When Catfish makes that impossible swim to the moon pool? He made it because of something the aliens did. They can get into people's heads. They can change people. And it's a learning experience. It's not something magical. The first time they do it they screw it up, which puts the man in a coma.Also, now we know how Bud made it to the bottom of the abyss without losing his mind from the pressure or dying. That always bothered me about the movie, and I'm glad someone thought about it.If you love the movie, you need this book. Your experience is incomplete. Read this and watch the movie again. I challenge you to tell me I'm wrong.

  • Kevin
    2018-09-22 11:36

    a book based on the movie screenplay and dailies much like 2001.Card writes exposition rather than demonstration here. but the characters are fleshed out quite well, both human and alien. at the beginning, it’s a little like reading through an expanded character list of a play complete with character bios. at certain points, Mr. Card seemed compelled to insert detail from the movie visual-verbatim to make sure that iconic shot or gesture or whatever made it into the scene playing out in your head. i was reminded of a small child telling a story: “and then THIS and then THIS and then THIS and and and then THIS…”some reviewers have said this was a masterpiece? i cannot imagine saying that even if i had not watched the movie first. i think Mr. Card’s Ender’s Game is a masterpiece. this is a glorified screenplay, all set direction embellished and expounded into full sentences and complete concepts.i do wish Mr. Card would have left the intentions of the aliens ambiguous until the end as they did in the movie. even so, i was very happy to learn more about them and how they engineered elements of the plot that are not evident in the movie. for instance, why was Catfish able to complete the swim to the moonpool? why did Jammer wake up just at the right moment to free his companions and how the hell did he overpower a SEAL armed with an automatic gun?the book feels a bit stilted and wooden but also offers some points of brilliance. i recommend it as a read-along to the movie- that is, watch the movie FIRST and then read the book. usually, i recommend doing the opposite but, in this case, i think the movie occupies center stage.

  • Kelly Knapp
    2018-10-04 19:35

    While I am used to books being different than their cinamatic counterparts, this one surprised me with the amount of differences. From character' names to the state of politics, everything seemed different. Perhaps the greatest difference was that instead of a hurricane as the catastrophy up on the ocean's crest, it was more about politics. Then, I did a little reading and was amazed to find that the book was not the inspiration for the movie, but in fact, the movie inspire Orson Scott Card to write the book, giving greater depth to the characters.Either way, I liked both the book version and the movie version. The only problem was that I did not find that the movie's character of Lindsey, Mastrantonio, was the best. I think that Barbara Hershey would have been better.

  • Matthew Lee
    2018-10-13 15:34

    Abyss is one of my favorite movies, even though it came out the year I was born. After recently reading Ender's game, I found out that there was a novel.The novel follows the plot of the Director's Cut of the movie exactly, and I found myself quoting the lines of the characters. One would think that that would be boring, but hearing the thoughts of the characters brought me deeper into the story. What REALLY interested me was reading the thoughts and intentions of the aliens, which neither version of the movie attempted to convey. I feel that it balanced the action of the crew/Seal conflict to have an observer wondering what the heck they were up to.

  • Sandra
    2018-09-26 16:29

    This is wh I prefer books to movies. I don't remember crying durring the movie and yet I'll admit I did while reading. I think movies do their best to make it seem real while books make us want it to be real. James Cameron wrote "seeing is believing." Sorry I think we only beleive what we chose to. It's reading that allows me to turn off reality and live in the book. I like watching the movie, but it was a lifetime ago. Now I want to rewatch the movie,but there is no doubt that the master Card has actually added to the movie.

  • Roberto/Isairon
    2018-10-10 17:37

    Normalmente il libro è la base di partenza dove poi si svilupperà la sceneggiatura del relativo film. Non in questo caso! E' il romanzo che si è basato sulla sceneggiatura del film "The Abyss". La storia si basa principalmente sul rapporto tra la progettista della struttura sottomarina ed il caposquadra che dovrà vivere all'interno della stessa base. Rapporto che troverà la parte più intensa verso la fine del romanzo. Di contorno storie di alieni, militari paranoici e civili troppo attaccati al denaro.