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Metaplanetary by Tony Daniel - Our Review:
I could go on and on about the superbly crafted and vivid characters, the solar system spanning 1,000 year scope, and the inspiring tale, but at the end of the day, what Tony Daniels has done is capture the essence of the nanotechnology revolution, melded it with the human desire to transcend itself, and placed his masterful spin on how those factors may effect our evolution, in a very believable and convincing manner.
This is the first book that I have read cover to cover in a single 24 hour period since
Viral Intelligence, and one of only a few others, including some by authors such as Robert A. Heinlein, Spider Robinson, Neal Stephenson, and William Gibson. It is also one of very few books that I will read again, just to savor the tale.
Anyone who wants to get a feel for just one possible way in which the human race may evolve [with the help of nanoscale technology] would do her or himself a favor and give this fine work their undivided attention for a few hours.
Tony Daniel is an articulate dreamer, and destined to be counted among the greats of this genre.
In a nutshell: this is simply good old fashioned story telling, utilizing a modern plot and cutting edge technology, and written with craft and skill. You will be riveted to it from start to finish. (And oh my, what a cliff hanger ending!)
A huge treat for sci-fi and transhumanism fans alike, and sure to be among the very best sci-fi you read this or any year.
I very much look forward to reading his other works, such as
The Robot's Twilight Companion, and Earthling. And please Mr. Daniel, hurry up and finish the conclusion to Metaplanetary, Superluminal!!
From the Critics
From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Hugo Award nominee Daniel (Earthling and Warpath) projects a complex, mind-stretching future in his third SF novel, a cross between Bruce Sterling and Doc Smith that teems with vivid characters and surprising action. A thousand years from now, humans use omnipresent nano-matter, "grist," to engineer nonhuman forms for themselves and house their disembodied electronic consciousnesses. Tension has developed between two centers of power. On one side are the inner planets, knit together by massive cables and ruled by a monomaniacal dictator who is sure he knows what's best for everyone. On the other are the inhabitants of the outer planets and the massive spaceships/beings that are beginning to visit the stars. This latter group values diversity and freedom, but decentralization puts it at a disadvantage when the dictator plots to gain total control. As the preparations toward a system-wide civil war gather momentum, the vocabulary and relationships that at first seemed confusing suddenly become simply part of the onrushing action. The novel's only real drawback is that it breaks off early in the war, just as the two sides have squared off against each other. Keeping any moralizing tendencies nicely in check, Daniel seems to want to create an epic vision of humanity. If he can finish the story with the intelligence and energy he shows here, he may achieve that goal. Agent, John Ware Literary Agency. (Apr. 20) Forecast: With first serial rights sold to Asimov's Magazine, a plug from Greg Bear and credentials that include producer of the Seeing Ear Theater for scifi.com and host of a monthly radio show on New York's WBAI, Daniel should reach readers hungry for challenging, sophisticated science fiction. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Key to rating:
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