Saturday, 29 October 2011

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Orthogonal Book 1: The Clockwork Rocket - Greg Egan

Release Date: 15/09/11


In Yalda's universe, light has mass, no universal speed, and its creation generates energy; on Yalda's world, plants make food by emitting light into the dark night sky. And time is different: an astronaut might measure decades passing while visiting another star, only to return and find that just weeks have elapsed for her friends. On the farm where she lives, Yalda sees strange meteors that are entering the planetary system at an immense, unprecedented speed - and it soon becomes apparent that more of this ultra-fast material is appearing all the time, putting her world in terrible danger. An entire galaxy is about to collide with their own. There is one hope: a fleet sent straight towards the approaching galaxy, as fast as possible. Though it will feel like weeks back home, on board, millennia will pass before the collision, time enough to raise new generations, and time enough to find a way to stop the ultra-fast material. Either way, they have a chance to save everyone back on the home world.


Greg for me is one of those authors that is a little hit or miss for me. What I got from this novel was something a little different and a title that takes you away from human existence to see the universe in a new light through the eyes of a xenos race. It’s cleverly plotted, the characters are fascinating and when you add an identifiable writing style to the equation, this first novel in his new series is one that will stand out and is an excellent title for readers to try to see if they like Greg’s work.

Finally add to this, some decent twists, a wonderful sense of pace and prose and overall it’s a satisfactory novel that left you wanting more after the final page was turned.

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