Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Permanence” as Want to Read:
Permanence
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Permanence

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  523 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Young Rue Cassels of the Cycler Compact -- a civilization based around remote brown dwarf stars -- is running for her life from her bullying brother, Jentry, who has stolen her family inheritance and threatens to sell her into slavery. Fleeing in a shuttle spacecraft from the sparsely populated and austere comet-mining habitat she has lived in her whole life, she spots a d ...more
ebook, 480 pages
Published March 14th 2003 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Permanence, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Permanence

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Daniel Roy
May 03, 2011 Daniel Roy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I'm sorry to say, I couldn't bring myself to finish this one. The ideas behind the novel are somewhat interesting; not fascinating, just enough to make you go 'Hmm.' Once you marvel at the civilization Schroeder built around brown dwarfs, all you're left with is a poor plot that is childish and amateur.

There's something annoyingly artificial about the way the characters are written. They go along with mad ideas just because the plot requires a crew for the protagonist's quest. The events that li
...more
Bruce Sanders
Nov 06, 2010 Bruce Sanders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a modestly hard sci-fi book. The setting, worlds orbiting brown dwarfs, is ingenious with some good realistic and creative attention to detail. There is an interesting adventure with both action and intrigue though there is maybe a little too much contrivance in setting up the heroine's travails. The protagonist and some of her close associates are quite interesting. The villains are from the "lit" worlds (stars) and represent a government that exploits the "halo" worlds associated with ...more
Robert Runte
Oct 31, 2009 Robert Runte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF
Recommended to Robert by: reading all books by author
Shelves: canadian-sf-f
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of this book. Fast paced adventure has subtext about our economy and microtransations that has completely changed the way I look the world around me -- I seriously cannot use an ATM machine without getting angry after reading this novel. It reads like SF, but it is a thorough-going critique of capitalism gone wrong. And the universe he is building in this novel, along with his other works, really makes one think about implications of social netwo ...more
Randy Mcdonald
Apr 01, 2014 Randy Mcdonald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book a decade ago, after hearing quite a bit of fuss written about it. Already, it has managed to influence many other science fiction universes, with its concentration on brown dwarfs and their planetary systems and the human cultures which have sprung up on their worlds. Read Simon Bisson’s excellent review.

evildrganymede is livejournal’s local expert on brown dwarfs, published and everything, so he can correct me. Briefly put, brown dwarfs are star-like objects which lack suffic
...more
Jeremy
Nov 30, 2008 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took a while to get into, but into it we did done got. Er. I've always felt that the best science fiction isn't about the technology, the aliens, or the general freedom it gives to authors to just make up stuff they think is neat. Those stories work only with readers who share the fantasies that the author is playing out. Great science fiction is about people. The speculative aspect of science fiction allows the author to give relevance to an idea that would be entirely abstract in rea ...more
Jacob
Nov 05, 2013 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised at how good this was! It's got some very believable alien and space environments together with some novel ideas about humans interacting with aliens and the ultimate destiny of humans in space. The characters felt realistic and I cared about what happened to them. I must admit to finding the basic plot inherently interesting (it's kind of like Rendezvous with Rama but bigger in scope and with more action).

For some reason I found this hard to read quickly, but it was still engagin
...more
Sarah Williams
I enjoyed Permanence's overall story, and really loved the world-building of this novel. However, I found the characters and their motivations to be a bit flat. Though the novel covers a relatively long period of time, relationships seem to develop too quickly/easily and obstacles are overcome too smoothly. Also, because of the story's time-jumps, character behaviors felt inconsistent at times; a lot of character development occurred off-screen, which leaves the reader seeing just a character's ...more
Nicolas
Non mais dites donc ! Si Ventus, son précédent roman était pas mal, il m'avait laissé un goût d'incomplet, ou plutôt un côté pas complètement éclairci (1). Heureusement pour moi, ça n'est vraiment pas le cas de ce roman, qu'on peut tout de suite placer dans la catégorie des très, très bons romans.
Mais reprenons du commencement. Dans ce roman, on suit d'abord les aventures de Rue Cassels, une jeune femme qui, par un jeu de circonstances de l'ordre de l'extraordinaire (2), se retrouve en possessi
...more
Peter Tillman
Jun 15, 2016 Peter Tillman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"The discovery that made interstellar travel possible was made in 1997; but at the time no one recognized its significance..."

So opens Permanence, set in the 25th century, when humanity has settled dozens of extrasolar planets -- the so-called "lit worlds" -- and thousands of brown-dwarf colonies -- the halo worlds. All the colonies were linked by big, NAFAL starships, each travelling a fixed circuit of worlds -- the cyclers . The cyclers never stop, as the energy cost to boost them to relativ
...more
Peter
May 25, 2016 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Rue Cassels steals her inheritance, which includes part-ownership of a ship, in order to escape her older half-brother and forge a new life for herself outside of his control. While in transit, she stumbles upon on unregistered comet, and stakes a claim, making her wealthy... but things only get more complicated when the comet turns out to be a cycler, a starship that runs on a cycle around the dim, chilly worlds that have been colonized between stars, like Rue's. Cyclers haven't been coming by
...more
Timothy Finucane
Apr 01, 2014 Timothy Finucane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is a top notch sci-fi read, blending new ideas with a classic feel, and has immediately catapulted Karl Schroeder into my favorite authors list. This book falls into the category of hard sci-fi, but with interesting characters, a well thought out story, and some philosophy thrown in for good measure.



The scientific concepts that are integrated into the setting offer a look at some of the more recent ideas about what exists between solar systems, from Kuiper Belt objects to Brown Dwarfs

...more
Zeta Syanthis
Jul 24, 2015 Zeta Syanthis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've encountered a book this ambitious (or this well executed) since the Hyperion Cantos. This book has kind of shaken me in a way few ever have.

The primary protagonist of the story, Rue Cassels, is an amazing young girl who is force to quickly grow into strong young woman after being thrown a few fairly crazy life twists. When the book starts, her brother is attempting to sell her into slavery, only to have that turned on its head when she discovers of an abandoned starship and is
...more
T
Sep 20, 2010 T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Permanence is a good ol' star-spanning sci-fi epic, dealing in interplanetary politics, with civilizations hanging in the balance. I enjoyed spending time with the main characters, each likable in their own way, though some of the side characters were underdeveloped, leaving me occasionally confused about who people were. Also confusing was a lot of the technology and terminology, which is not explained before being used. What is an "inscape window", "high space", etc? Eventually these are expla ...more
Tom Tresansky
There was a lot to like here - a great setup for a Big Dumb Object story with political and personal intrigue against a backdrop of interstellar war - but too much that failed to rise above the mediocre.

I much enjoyed the worldbuilding, the civilizations came across as this-century modernizations of classic Golden Age SF Human Empires, and really worked. The technological constraints of High Sapce versus the halo worlds with regards to travel also permitted engaging space race scenarios to deve
...more
Lucas
Feb 24, 2008 Lucas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
There are a lot of instances in this book where events would abruptly happen that the author did poorly to prepare the reader for, or significant events that are mentioned only briefly that should have gotten more description. Not being able to properly view the novel from the point of view of a first time reader is the hallmark of a first novel, in this case it's Schroeder's second- and I think it's the fault of the editor as much as the writer.

The biggest example here is to have a magic scienc
...more
Rich Mcallister
Sep 24, 2014 Rich Mcallister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2014
Good hard SF, though I got a little hung up on some seeming inconsistencies. Supposedly self-reproducing automata are banned, yet the protagonist gets reminded by her "blood bots" to eat more silicon when she's stressed so they can make more. I love that the Evil Galactic Empire is basically a DRM scheme gone mad, but one of the bits about it is the bad guy's starship is going to be shut down if he gets any further behind in his royalty payments, yet the bad guy is currently in one of the "dark" ...more
Mike
Nov 07, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
There's aspects of this book that if someone told me it as a concept, I would probably react negatively to it and never read it. Mistake. Big mistake. Schroeder takes this plot and characters and weaves a really good tale out of it. It's not "high fiction", but it doesn't pretend to be. It is a solid, well-planned and executed story about a technology and civilization that exists for these characters to populate, suffer and succeed in.

This book makes the author someone who I want to keep in mind
...more
Julie
One of the rare scifi books that focuses on religion, Permanence posits some interesting ideas about the nature of religion, its purpose in society, and how we can use religion to understand the alien--or not. This was not as technically complex as some of Schroeder's other works, but still featured his signature far-future scenario building and examination of governmental forms that evolve to fit what people need. Also more of his trademark ideas that are huge not only intellectually but also p ...more
Cera
Jul 12, 2010 Cera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid and enjoyable sf novel, with nifty ideas and decent characters and an interesting plot. I didn't enjoy it as much as Ventus because the science was not as much the type I am interested in -- lots of physics of space travel -- but I really love Schroeder's interest in future culture & religion. He's the first hard sf author I've come across in a long time who takes those aspects as seriously as the crunchy details of terraforming and ship mechanics, and it makes his books a j ...more
Shankar
Jun 20, 2016 Shankar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I simply loved this book. I only gave it four stars instead of five because I can see some of the seams, so to speak - the plot jumps around a bit at points and the character development is a bit unrealistic.

But aside from that, from page one this book just sucked me in. So many "sense of wonder" moments, a fascinating backstory and a set of conflicts, and very human characters trying to make sense of it all. Perhaps one of out five scifi books I read has this combination. When it finished, I d
...more
Alec
Feb 01, 2010 Alec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought Permanence had a shaky start, mostly because the dialogue and some of the descriptive passages fell a bit flat. Really liked a couple of the Big Ideas and the narrative arc, though - Rue, the protagonist, is strong without being entirely one-dimensional or ridiculous, which is rare among the SF penned by men that I've read.

Recommended for SF enthusiasts and people who like thinking about what it would take to build human civilizations beyond Earth with (mostly) conceivable technology.
Catherine
Mar 19, 2008 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Schroeder book! Maybe he wasn't as good at developing characters, but the world he created, the history he detailed, the conflict he introduced? I was hooked from the first few chapters, curious to know how things would work out, and my imagination was working like crazy figuring out details about the new civilizations he described! Um, I loved it :)
Stephanie
I read this for my SciFi book club. There are a lot of great ideas in this book, enough for several books. Unfortuneately, almost none of them are well explored, some only getting a brief mention before moving on. The character development is almost non-existant. The plot is ok, but uneven and jumpy - you can't tell how much time has elapsed between scenes, etc.
Elisabeth
Jul 20, 2009 Elisabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Started this as a library book and ran out of time to read it... love Schroeders space civilization concepts. This didn't grab me as much as the Virga series has but its on my to-do list to finish all the same.
April
Sep 30, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of fascinating concepts and thought provoking alieness and philosophy that doesn't drown out a good story and a lovely bit of romance. Liked it. This one found its way onto my shelf via Curt's choice and I am very glad it did. Four out of five for Mr. Schroeder.
Joshua
Jul 12, 2014 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Good read. It offers action and intrigue and secrets that turn out to be believable but still world shaking. I have a bit of a problem with some of the conclusions of the book, but that might just be me.
J.B.
Apr 09, 2008 J.B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Karl Schroeder has some of the most unique ideas in SF, this book in particular presented ideas about evolution, economics, and technology that blew my wind. I meant to type 'mind' there, but I thought that was an awesome typo.
Robert
Jul 21, 2009 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story with really intelligent discussions along the way about science and evolution. I thoroughly enjoyed it although I must say as a middle-aged man, I tire of all the youthful characters learning about the world that inhabit science fiction.
Claire
Oct 11, 2009 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben, en fait, c'est pas si souvent qu'on suit unE héroïne en SF. Et j'aime bien ça !
Josée Coulombe
Pas trop impressionnée, scénario faible, mais cela se laisse tout de même.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Carve the Sky
  • Probability Sun (Probability, #2)
  • The Praxis (Dread Empire's Fall, #1)
  • The Well of Stars (Marrow, #2)
  • Blind Lake
  • Pandore abusée
  • Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
  • Metaplanetary
  • Up Against It
  • Cradle of Saturn
  • The January Dancer  (Spiral Arm #1)
  • Newton's Wake: A Space Opera
  • Nobody's Son
  • Lost Burgundy (Book of Ash, #4)
  • Golden Fleece
  • Appleseed
  • The New Space Opera
  • The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2)
19169
Karl Schroeder is an award-winning Canadian science fiction author. His novels present far-future speculations on topics such as nanotechnology, terraforming, augmented reality and interstellar travel, and have a deeply philosophical streak. One of his concepts, known as thalience, has gained some currency in the artificial intelligence and computer networking communities.
More about Karl Schroeder...

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Per Diem 10 dites/day Visitors’ Card 75” 0 likes
More quotes…