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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1985 by Greg Bear

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (4/5)

I first read this in 1989 and most recently on the 18th June 2004

A three-hundred kilometre long asteroid slips into orbit around the Earth and the Moon. The asteroid's new orbit is remarkable. Furthermore scientific data shows that the content of the asteroid is not quite what it should be. It is not natural.

Inside the asteroid are seven chambers, one contains the drive mechanisms for this massive construction. Some contain deserted cities. But the last chamber is the best, the most astounding: the last chamber goes on forever.

However, there are other even more surprising secrets being uncovered but, back on planet Earth, worldwide, total war is now inevitable.

In this magnificent novel We follow a varied group of characters:

  • The young and brilliant mathematician Patricia Luisa Vasquez is unsure why she has been drafted to this asteroid, but the powers that be know very well that perhaps only she can help them.
  • Garry Lanier is masterful manager of men and he struggles to hold this orbital operation together, as war erupts on Earth.
  • Pavel Mirsky is a Soviet soldier, a part of the Soviet invasion force attempting to take over the asteroid. He'll be very surprised as what he will find there.
  • Olmy, reincarnated citizen of Axis City, is surprised to discover the abandoned Thistledown asteroid is no longer empty. He is astounded to discover that Patricia Luisa Vasquez is among the intruders.

This certainly filled me with a sense of wonder! I loved Bear's "Blood Music" and eagerly read his novels as they come into paperback. I thought this was fantastic, and following a rereading, continue to think so. He manages to keep his big science ideas under control control rather than getting swept away with them. Hard to believe I wrote that previous sentence bearing in mind this novel's infinitely long Way and what Bear will make happen to it.

Fab stuff.

Loaded on the 14th August 2005.
Cover of Eon