I would absolutely recommend this book. Greg Bear does the best job of bringing hard science into speculative fiction of anyone I know. The story never subsumes the science, nor the science the story. VERY satisfying to the head and the heart.
The last third of the book is loaded with stuff that would not have changed the story at all if it hadn't been there. Sorry, Greg. If it hadn't been for Stephen's excellent reading, I wouldn't have stuck with it.
I wonder if this book could have gotten published these days. Every story now seems so addicted to "it all works out in the end" that true tragedy isn't really dealt with. I really liked the fact that Greg Bear acknowledged that sometimes the worst case happens. He has a silver lining, all right, but it doesn't eclipse the catastrophe of the event.
Honestly, the last third of the novel was full of things that covered in 20 pages what could have been covered in one. Perhaps when one is Greg Bear, editors are (or were) reluctant to intervene. In any event, one of the advantages of having a good narrator is that his energy can carry you through the slow spots. And I really appreciate that, because the last pages of the story were really worth getting to. I would certainly buy another Greg Bear book, as I've done in the past, and will certainly look for anything narrated by Stephen Bel Davies. Hurrah and thanks to you both. A great yarn.
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