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Publisher's Summary

When a human team is sent to scout a few hundred light-years in front of the death wave, it encounters a civilization far in advance of our own, a civilization of machine intelligences.These sentient, intelligent machines have existed for eons and have survived earlier "death waves" - gamma-ray bursts from the core of the galaxy. They are totally self-sufficient, completely certain that the death wave cannot harm them, and utterly uninterested in helping to save other civilizations, whether organic or machine.

But now that the humans have discovered them, they refuse to allow them to leave their planet, reasoning that other humans will inevitably follow if they learn of their existence.

©2017 Ben Bova (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Survival

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Twist on Human/Machine Evolution

That, given time and wisdom, it becomes difficult to argue that some sort of melding of sentient self-aware intelligent life into inanimate self-aware higher cognitive intelligence is not possible — or even likely. A computer can not crawl out of an ocean to create life but, given time, life can create its own next step into machine. Maybe the search for intelligent LIFE is misdirected in that any long-surviving intelligent species has long since moved beyond biology. The book has a plausible premise other than the traditional human vs machine plot.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent Series, Gets Better with Each Book

Ben Bova, winner of 7 Hugos, founding fiction editor of Omni Magazine, and succeeding Editor of Analog, following John Campbell. No one does hard science fiction like Mister Bova. This series concerns attempts to save intelligent life. The characters and the story are very real. My only niggles is... "Why couldn't the book be longer?" I didn't want to leave.

1 person found this helpful

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I like Ben Bova. so I am biased?

I generally liked the story. I generally liked the reader performance. The story is simple and written so to be easily understood by people of all ages. However, compared to other modern writers, the personal interplay and relationships are from a different age of where gender roles are defined, and relationships form a "nostalgic " familiarity. If you are looking for modern complex characters, motivations, and relationships, you will be disappointed. The basic "Ben Bova" storyline with life evolving everywhere in complex environments is present, along with moral obligations to all life everywhere permeates the story. A great story to listen to that doesn't challange anyones ideology, and presents gentle questions of character to ponder. I felt compelled to complete, because I cared about the characters and conflict resolution.

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Took me a while to get fully immersed but…

This one was supposed to be the third in a series and it is yet each book is spaced so far apart in “time” that they are all able to stand alone. This one took me a while to get into, the first couple of hours were a little disjointed for me but things smoothed out and became much more enjoyable. At the conclusion I found myself thoroughly pleased, as if I’d made it through and epic movie with a complete ending that tied all the ends up. Great read!

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best in the series

finally the book got exciting, best in the series. i think it made the pain of the first book worth it haha

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A very powerful story in sync with current events

Ben Bova work is to me a wonderful balance of researched science, inspiring ideas that grow in you long after the reading, and the unique feeling of hope in mankind's survival.
I always grow a little bit more with every one of his inspiring stories as a thinker, creative artist, and as a human being.

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Very interesting

Compelling main character. This is the kind of story that gives the lie to the current nonsense that one must see one's actual self in a story in order to be able to relate to the characters. I am neither Russian, nor male, nor an astronomer.
Only the unthinking narcissist really believes or experiences that "feeling".

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Story is good narrator isn’t

The narrator reads the men’s voices like they’re all cartoon stereotypes, it shatters the illusion of the story. I keep waiting for a “dad joke” punchline when the men speak.

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hope

if there is hope in a literary fashion there can be hop in our real hearts.
take it share it and start making bridges stop making stupid weapons

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Good book

It was a little slow in beginning. But overall really enjoyed the books plot it really put a realistic view on ET life.

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  • E. H. Stephenson
  • 10-13-21

the best in the series

a lot less politics this time around. a giant vista of a novel reminding me of why I love this genre so much. Well done all.