An epic masterwork of science fiction, Neverness is a stand-alone novel from one of the most important talents in the genre.
The universe of Neverness is intriguingly complex and filled with extraordinary beings. There are the Alaloi, whose genes have ‘backmutated’ so that they look like Neanderthals… the Order of Pilots, which reworks the laws of time and physics to slingshot its members through dense regions of ‘thickspace’… the Solid State Entity, a nebula-sized brain made up of moon-sized biocomputers…
Against this backdrop stands Mallory Ringer, the headstrong novitiate of the Order of Pilots, who, against all odds, navigates a maze of interspatial passageways to penetrate the Solid State Entity. There he makes a stunning discovery. A discovery that could unlock the secret of immortality hidden among the Alaloi.
‘Zindell makes you think’
‘Philip K. Dick would have been proud to conjure up such philiosophies’
Manchester Evening News
‘A thick, lush, vivid, panoramic view of evolved humans in an evolving universe far in the future’
‘Excellent hard science fiction… a brilliant novel’
Orson Scott Card, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
About the author
David Zindell’s short story Shanidar was a prize-winning entry in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. He was nominated for the ‘best new writer’ Hugo Award in 1986. Gene Wolfe declared Zindell as ‘one of the finest talents to appear since Kim Stanley Robinson and William Gibson – perhaps the finest.’ His first novel, Neverness, was published to great acclaim.
After acclaim in recent years for his short fiction ("Shanidar''), Zindell delivers a typical first novel: talented, ambitious, wildly uneven and desperately in need of more editing. This is the story of Mallory Ringess, starting with his induction as a pilot in the Order of Mystic Mathematicians. Seeking nothing less than the secret of life, Mallory flies to the Solid State Entity, a computer goddess whose mental space is a treacherous interstellar region. Navigation and survival depend on the pilot's solving the intellectual tests put before him. Following this lively rite-of-passage opener, however, is a melodramatic multi-page sequence of primitive life among an Eskimo-like people. Several hundred more pages are devoted to the city of Neverness, and to Mallory's rebellion against his father, the Lord Pilot. Cliches and fortune-cookie profundities are unfortunately interspersed amid thoughtful philosophic concepts and challenging writing, recalling early John Barth, particularly Giles Goat-Boy.