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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1598163,565 (2.84)2
With an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, Doctor Toby Glyer and his partner William Connors must find a way to make contact with their wayward children -- the Briareus nanites -- and save the planet.

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This read like a bit of an over the top homage to Robert Heinlein. Literary references every fourth sentence, men and women who have transcended normal humanity and know better than everyone else because they're both intellectual geniuses and physically perfect, and a bit of a lecture while they teach various aspects of humanity how much better they are.

I knew to expect that from Heinlein in books like Number of the Beast, but this almost seemed like an attempt to impress the readers with how smart we should think Niven and Harrington are.

Don't get me wrong ... I did enjoy the book overall. It was a quick read, but sadly, the story ended just as you thought it was getting to the interesting bits, and you're left with both a huge sense of "and then?" as well as "oh well, these supermen will figure it out while tossing around witty banter regardless." ( )
  Mactastik | Sep 4, 2019 |
Hard to follow dialogue. But it had some neat ideas. ( )
  amuskopf | Jun 7, 2018 |
Larry Niven used to be one of my favorite writers. As a teenager, I read his works voraciously, but as I got older, the increasing paranoia in his work about government, democracy, and people who don't share his worldview became more and more disturbing. In this book, his right-wing alarmist fantasies have overwhelmed what might have been a good story. Much of the book is a litany of libertarian whipping horses: the U.S. is a socialist society hell-bent on crushing creativity; global warming and climate change are a hoax that has been disproven by 2052; the scientific process is fundamentally broken and anyone who challenges the received wisdom is crushed (i.e. a character who knows that the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs hit what is now Iceland); while socialism is bad, it is okay for an enlightened character to declare themselves judge, jury, and executioner of 600 million people because they had bad thoughts (in this case, about women; and while I agree with the point that abusive/sexist behavior is unacceptable, mass murder isn't ultimately a moral or ethical solution) and to kill off multiple species of animals (goats, sheep) because doing so will force people into adopting more financially lucrative lifestyles. The science fiction story that emerges in bits and pieces in between the libertarian sermonizing is intriguing. What if our nanotech does exactly what we asked it to do but not necessarily in the way we had anticipated? Would we act in knee-jerk terror? If our nanotechnology achieved sentience, would we try to communicate before trying to destroy it? Those are interesting questions that science fiction is a perfect platform to explore. But that story gets lost in a series of dark fantasies about contemporary life. It has more to do with the misinformation that lead to the current political debacle in the United States than it does with an honest, exploration of the future that is based on extrapolation from the actual dynamics in the world and the direction that current technology is taking. This is the sad endpoint of the literary career of a man I admired for many years and whose works I will no longer purchase or read. ( )
  stevenmg | Mar 25, 2018 |
On the surface, this is a story of the not-too-distant future with (mostly banned) nano-tech. The major characters are sketched just well enough so the reader can identify them. Sexual attraction seemed to substitute for character development (which is not uncommon in modern fiction, unfortunately). The dialogue, at times, seemed contrived, or at least did not flow logically. There was a bit of time jumping at the beginning. The prologue (which I found the most enjoyable part of the book) spans from 5 billion years ago to 2051 AD. Chapter 1 then begins (logically) in 2052, jumps back to 2026, forward to 2052 again, then detours to 2027, before settling in to 2052 for the rest of the story. It felt like the story wasn't sure where to begin.

As a pulp sci-fi tale, this story is all right, but there must be some kind of joke or satire intended here that I did not quite get. I assume something like this is going on mainly because of several references to the great satirical fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, as if the authors are saying, 'See, we're doing the same thing!'

Um, no. Sorry. Not even close. But there are obvious internal contradictions, which might be satirical attempts—-cynical overtones and references to Heinlein, bashing contemporary science(Real science stopped in 1987? Global warming is a hoax?). But the biggest internal contradiction is the character Mycroft Yellowhorse. He's the super-rich, super-strong, super-fast, super-smart, super-hero/villain. He can also change color. (Ain't nano-tech wonderful?) His pet peeve is a loathing of rape (can't argue with that), and he's taking action to eliminate it (and many other human failings) by infecting everyone on Earth, without their permission or knowledge, with nano machines that kill them if they misbehave. This is satire, right? I figured it must be, but it didn't have the lighthearted wit necessary to pull it off. It's no Pratchett.
( )
1 rösta DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
This was a tough one. Parts of it, I loved, but for the most part, it's just a love song to Heinlein wrapped up in some semi-interesting ideas. Or, more correctly, it's a love song to Heinlein's political and social philosophy. And, as much as I enjoyed his writing when I was younger (I should probably revisit to see if it still holds up), I found his take on the world not so appealing. Oh well. ( )
1 rösta tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Larry Nivenprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Harrington, Matthew Josephhuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat

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Prudence is the belief that bad things have preventable causes. Paranoia is the belief that it's all the same cause. Politics is the belief that you know what the cause is.
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A protosun had formed but not yet ignited, and planets had already formed in orbit around it.
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With an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, Doctor Toby Glyer and his partner William Connors must find a way to make contact with their wayward children -- the Briareus nanites -- and save the planet.

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