Copyright 1998 by
I first read this in June 2000.
For thirty million years, the destroyer ships of the Chemzene have coursed through
space, destroying the populations of worlds, of whole star systems.
Now the colonies on the frontier of the human galactic civilisation are being attacked.
This is a sequel to the Bohr Maker and Deception Well, but hundreds of years have passed since
those events. Letto, the protagonist of those books, has lived on, now largely as a
virtual personality within the computer systems of the spaceship "Null Boundary".
With him, although in corporeal form rather than electronic, are Lot, Urban and
Clemantine and Deneb, a reincarnation of one of Null Boundaries original crew.
They are after the Chemzene, and with luck the Null Boundary, clad in an artificial
skin of Chemzene "philosopher cells", will be able to masquerade as a Chemzene
vessel long enough to find out how to destroy the destroyers.
This hypothesis will be tested sooner rather than
later, since the Null Boundary has been chased by a Chemzene ship for the past
one hundred and fifty years, and their pursuer is catching up.
This book is chockfull of exciting ideas and dramatic events. There are some excellent
virtual reality and artificial intelligence concepts thrown in, and there's the space
opera on a grand scale. But where it does it all get you? Nowhere really. Read any
individual page and you'll think "hey this could be good", but read fifty or so and
you know you're batting a losing wicket and that the novel is never going to take off.
I can't for the life of me remember how the novel ended, and by the end of the book I
really didn't give a damn.
Loaded on the 30th November 2002.