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5.0 out of 5 starsSolis theory of the Suns gravatational pull as a constant
Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2015
Incredible thoughts...now I know why physicists thought of the "Solis Vortices" and NASA uses the "Solis theoreum "in their calculations
3.0 out of 5 starsA very interesting idea, but the plot fizzles
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 1998
H(Solis begins with a very intersting idea and main character- a person who awakes one thousand years after having his brain frozen at the moment of death in the 21st century. Charles Outis wanted to see the future, even if there was only a slim chance that his brain would be revived. The brain is found in an archeological dig, and Charles Outis, dubbed Mr. Charlie by his discoverers, finds a world beyond anything he could have imagined. The premise to the story, and even the main character (a brain without a body) is very interesting. The first coulpe of chapters are well-written and drawn the reader into a facinating world that has an android created by superadvanced, genetically manipulated decendents of humankind who has a program that makes him fixedly interested in humans. The interest that the android takes in the "archaic" human brain makes for a good possible plot. However, the author continues to introduce new characters, many of marginal interest. For a 200 page novel, there are too many marginal characters. The most unfortunate outcome, however, is the loss of focus on the two most interesting characters, Mr. Charlie and the android. Mr. Anatansio is facinated with the broad repertoire of words availble in the English language. More time could have been put into plot development than "finding the right word." The book concludes with so many unanswered questions that in almost seems the author just go tired and decided to stop.
3.0 out of 5 starsAn odyssey on exhibition of Mars
Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2010
"Swollen with dreams. I am a blue animal that trembles softly. I am a mind without a body calling you. Do you see my smile in my words, sad and evil? Can you hear me? Sad because I am utterly alone. Evil because I am dead and yet I live. I want to say a story - my story. And more. Say a body. Do you hear me?" (Mr Charlie's brains from the book)
After quite rattling start we find a story of Mr Charlie who arranged a cryonic suspension of his head in the hopes of seing what future holds: all its promises. Unfortunately during thousand years of his suspension, a lot has happened. His brain was sold on the black market and used as sex tool for illegal purposes. And after he is finally revived, the laws of the current time grant him no rights. Legally dead, he is sold to a mining corporation as a wetware to cut the costs. This way the corporation didn't need to develop a costly AI to manage the operations out in the asteroid field. Munk, an android manufactured by the Maat sect of humans that provide robots carry latent human abilities in form of contra-parameter programming, picks up Mr Charlie's cry for help signal from asteroid mine. Munk convinces female jumper Mei Nili to follow him on rescue mission. They fight the corporation, seek refuge on Mars, gang up with daily news reporter and start planning journey to reach city of Solis to resurrect Mr Charlie in a cloned body. The brains are Munk's and Mei's only ticket to the city of Solis.
Three (3) stars. Written in 1994 the books deviates from the standard Science Fiction literature a great deal. The idea or concept of death, resurrection, legal matters, news feeds and pinch of scientific religious sects are glimmering crystals that start to shine together as the story is progressed. Mei Nili has lost everything and fears no death, disembodied Mr Charlie fears loss of senses above all, the news reporter couldn't care less as long as he gets great holovision story for SoftCopy, a greedy tour office organizator is ready to sell everyone off as he believes the "brains" are taunted anyway and a possible terrorist threat, a gender less interrogator of a mining company has no soul, robot that turns out human, the list goes on. All these in 184 pages. Something has to give. And that's the cup overfilling. There are too many characters and society aspects that they are like slinging cords in the wind that you can't get a hold of. The Maat, humans, beyond comprehension (super intelligent), and the rest of the humanity that has divided into (roughly) city size sects tilts the 1000 year future so far away (think more 1 000 000 million year in future), that one gulps at times to see if the writer really wrote that. If everything is possible, then what is the point to the story? Mr Charlie is not really at center after the start, but put to the back, while various other characters are used as showcases of the humanity in this future. The brains itself in this society, or the archaic human behind it, doesn't really interest anyone; nor the future society. Mr Charlie's revival at the end is not the climax to wait. It's in the attitudes of the varied, money painted society. This is a good book, but it would have needed triple the pages to carry out in full. Expect an odyssey on exhibition of Mars.
3.0 out of 5 starsmildly interesting, but plodding
Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2007
Soltis was one of several books I recently read as I recuperated from a recent sickness. Of the collection, it was the least interesting, but it entertained me enough that I still finished it.
The most annoying thing about Soltis was the use of the present tense. I understand why it was used (I won't explain why here, because it seems to be important to how one interprets the book), but just because I understand it doesn't mean I can still tolerate 200+ pages of it. I was also put off by the flowery prose used in some sections. Again, I understand why it's there, but sometimes I think the author was on "olfacts" similar to what some of the characters use.
That being said, the author's vision of the future was pretty solidly built in the small number of pages, and I would probably appreciate the author's ideas about humanity if I read it several more times. However, the story wasn't interesting enough for me to want to re-read, so I probably won't do so. Perhaps I am going to miss some of the author's ideas of what it means to be human, but then again, a good book should be able to convince a reader to read it again. Solis is only a decent book that contains some ideas that deserve to be covered in a better, more accessible book.
5.0 out of 5 starsHighly creative and highly readable sci-fi
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2009
I am in awe of Attanasio's creativity, in plot, character development and language. He paints with words. Mister Charlie is a cryogenically-frozen brain from our time.... forward a thousand years, give or take... this legally dead item is revived and "abused" only to be rescued by a created machine programmed to be fascinated by archaic "homo sapiens sapiens" and his sidekick, a disillusioned Earthling contemporary to that future. Great action but plenty of psychological development as well, great images of future non-Terran colonies - loved it!
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant with a wonderful conclusion
Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2005
I don't understand criticism of this book regarding the ending - it was poetic, it was exciting - it was perfect. So much SF of today is all premise and no payoff, that is a valid criticism of many other books but in my opinion it just can't be levied against this one.
Exciting, packed with ideas and emotions and can be read in a weekend. Wax me mind, Mr Charlie! This book kicks arse.