The first interstellar ship, John Glenn, fled a solar system populated by rogue AIs and machine/human hybrids, threatened by too much nanotechnology, and rife with political dangers. The John Glenn’s crew intended to terraform the nearly pristine planet Ymir in hopes of creating a utopian society that will limit intelligent technology, but by some miscalculation they have landed in the wrong system. Short on the antimatter needed to continue to Ymir, they must shape nearby planet Harlequin’s moon, Selene, into a new, temporary home and rebuild their store of antimatter through decades of terraforming.
Gabriel, the head terraformer, now leads this nearly impossible task; his primary tools the uneducated and nearly illiterate children of the original colonists, born and bred to build Harlequin’s moon into a virtual antimatter factory. With no concept of the future and with life defined as duty, one girl, Rachel Vanowen, begins to ask herself, what will become of the children of Selene once the terraforming is complete?
©2005 Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Niven and Cooper have crafted a multigenerational, star-spanning epic with intriguing, fast-paced action. Against a backdrop of mind-boggling technology, the authors ask important questions about how far science should go and its impact on social structures and human rights. Niven and Cooper are playing God on a grand scale." (Brian Herbert, New York Times best-selling author)
“Fans of both hard and softer, psychological SF will welcome veteran Niven and newcomer Cooper’s well-written tale…Niven and Cooper provide complicated characters, particularly the AI, which struggle with realistic moral dilemmas.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Exploiting Niven’s classic flare for world building, he and Cooper craft an entertaining epic with subtexts concerning cultural obsessiveness and the fear and worship of science.” (Booklist)
This book has world building scope (literally), but is too short to effectively flesh out all the possibilities. I loved the story, but really felt they skimped on developing the universe they created. What they did developed is extremely interesting and leads one to ponder the 'what if's'. And, as far I can determine, there is no sequel to expand on these great ideas.
Narrator was little too mechanical, the inflection was choppy. Also, I like the timbre of his voice, but the main character is a young female - not a good match.
Overall, good choice for the old school hard Scifi fan.
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