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Publisher Description

From the author of Axis and Vortex, the first Hugo Award-winning novel in the environmental apocalyptic Spin Trilogy...

One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk--a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world's artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they'd been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside--more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future.

Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses.

Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans...and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth's probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun--and report back on what they find.

Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

GENRE
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
RELEASED
2010
July 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
368
Pages
PUBLISHER
Tom Doherty Associates
SELLER
Macmillan
SIZE
487.9
KB

Customer Reviews

pmelito ,

Very enjoyable

There are some very interesting concepts here, ones that I've never heard imagined in any other science fiction book. I was most engaged when the story focused on what was happening in the bigger picture of our solar system and less so when it focused on the relationship nuances between the main characters. Sometimes, it seemed like their dialogue was somewhat trivial and verbose. But all in all, a very good book that I would recommend.

Spookphish ,

Great idea, mediocre character development.

I had a difficult time rating this, because the ideas behind the world were beautiful and brilliant, but the writing quality wasn't able to back it up.

The book describes our world as encased in a time differential, with millions of years passing outside of earth's orbit for every one year on earth. This allows experiments and explorations to be performed that were otherwise inconceivable. This part gets five stars. Character development however is atrocious. One dimensional characters with poorly defined or absent motives plow randomly through a plot line that outside of the science behind it could have been described in a paragraph. The author uses time shifting to try to hide the fact that the narrative can't stand by itself if presented in a linear fashion. Female characters have even less development, in a world where apparently they can only be nurses, failed religious zealots, or alcoholics. The men are driven logical creatures, and the women are ruled by emotion, becoming alcoholics, failing at relationships, or sleeping around for information. As poorly developed as the male characters are, the female characters might as well have been written out completely. It's a ridiculous amount of misogyny for a book written in the twenty-first century.

Overall, it's an interesting read, but the bright spots were centered on a few small descriptions of the science involved, and sadly, one might enjoy the plot summary on Wikipedia more then the book itself. With a different author, character arcs, and an actual plot, this might have been a great book. I will not be reading the sequel.

MachewD2 ,

Terrific book

Probably the best sci-fi novel I've read since Carl Sagan's Contact.

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