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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Eater

Copyright 2000 by Gregory Benford

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (3/5)

I first read this on the 16th February 2002.

Benjamin Knowlton is an astronomer.at the High Energy Astrophysics Center in Hawaii. His wife, Channing, is dying of cancer. It's a tough time for both of them.

Amy Major is a post-doctoral research assistant at the center. She's spotted something rather odd up in the skies. It looks a little like a gamma-ray burster, but there are some strange differences. Benjamin seizes this chance to do a little real science and perhaps take his mind off his problems. His long-time rival Kingsley Dart, sensing something interesting, also involves himself.

So now the stage is set for the entrance of the Eater, an anomalous black-hole that devours worlds. It's coming to the Solar system. It may be coming to the Earth, and if it does, humanity will be destroyed.

I read Benford's books with some reluctance. They're interesting, and the ideas and the science are imaginative. Normally I find them a little slow and, well, boring. However this book is different. I enjoyed it more the more I read (perhaps simply my prejudice fading). T

he characters are rounded and human. The ending is exciting. I particularly liked the way that Kingsley is seen differently by different people. Of course, Channing herself is rather superb, but then I have a soft spot for tragic, beautiful, female astronauts.

Excellent stuff.

Loaded on the 10th April 2002.
    
Cover of Eater

Reviews of other work by Gregory Benford
Shiva Descending
Great Sky River
The Martian Race
Beyond Infinity