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The Last Legends of Earth (Radix, #4)
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The Last Legends of Earth (Radix #4)

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  317 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
"A grand and glorious visionary epic."-Robert Silverberg *** Set in the artificial planetary system of Chalco-Doror, which is no more and no less than a vast cosmic machine, The Last Legends of Earth is a love story, a gripping saga of struggle against alien control, and an examination of the machinery of creation and destruction. Above all, it is world-building of the hig ...more
Leather Bound, 481 pages
Published 1989 by Easton Press
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Feb 12, 2016 Meggan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
Spoiler free summary: An alien archaeologist digs through dead Earth's past to use humans as bait for the purpose of intergalactic pest control. Humans don't like being bait for alien spiders who drink their neurological pain endorphins, so they resist, ally, or betray one another to the exterminator. Centipedes, spiders, humans, gnomes, robots, ghosts, and zombies clash in a space war fought across 15 planets and two sentient "suns" that are actually machines designed to maintain the insect tra ...more
Complex. Disjointed, in a way. I didn't realize it when I began, but this is the fourth book by Attanasio in a tetrad devoted to the four cardinal dimensions that rule our lives - height, depth, width, time. In retrospect, it makes sense for the one about time to be disjointed. That's not a bad thing, of course.

Distant. As with any book that covers a span of seven thousand years, there are plenty of characters that are introduced, make their effects felt, and disappear - a handful of characters
Harold Ogle
Aug 03, 2012 Harold Ogle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jack Vance fans, space opera nuts, science fiction fans
WARNING to my friends: do NOT read reviews or summaries of this book on Goodreads, as every one I've seen has casually given away a big portion of the book, explaining what's going on in a way that the book intentionally takes a long time to reveal. A second NOTE: this book stands alone, so do not be fooled by the "Radix #4" label, as if it is fourth in a larger cycle.

That said, this is an A.A. Attanasio book. Among other things, this means that it is a big story that has been intentionally and
Aug 11, 2007 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite possibly the best science fiction book I have ever read. And that's saying a lot. Epic on a scale rarely attempted in a series, let alone a single novel.
This is a most excellent of reads if you like epic science fiction/ fantasy. I have read it twice and will read it again. It is brilliantly written. It is delicious like the very best dessert and when you are finished reading, it is the moment when all the dessert is gone. But you are full, content and possibly introspective and savoring the taste in your mouth.
J.T. Hartke
Aug 09, 2011 J.T. Hartke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in High School, when it first came out. I have also committed to reading it again as an adult.

I was drawn into it instantly. I loved its exploration of what love, life, and death are all about, while inside a vastly weird and wonderful plot involving mankind as bait -- bait who earns the compassion of its fisherman.
Tudor Ciocarlie
Mind blowing. The entire history of a binary solar system and its civilizations, with really alien gods, sinister alien demons and lots of time travel, in only 500 pages.
Brent Hayward
Dec 18, 2009 Brent Hayward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the craziest plots ever. Attanasio uses language beautifully.
A.A. Attanasio takes sci-fi worldbuilding quite literally.

The Last Legends of Earth is a fantasy/sci-fi epic that details the formation of an artificial planetary system in the far future. After being populated by Earth humans from the distant past, the saga tells how various cultures rise and fall within the system over a course of thousands of years.

The story has a lengthy time-scale, and is structured by telling us the story of several protagonists who traverse both time and space within this
Mar 12, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A fantastic read. Attanasio really should return to science fiction as it is what he does best. This dense, imaginitive story is a must read for anyone who enjoyed Radix. This is another book I re-read every few years and it always leaves me saying "wow....".

From Last Legends of Earth: "We are all fugitives. We have always been fugitives from the void. Whatever comfort, whatever power we gain from outside ourselves diminishes us - because comfort and power, unless they are won from the void ins
Jan 31, 2016 Ghislaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few years ago and I still remember the feeling that I got from it. There are not many books that make me cry, but this one did - not in a bad way. It is a marvelous read and all this time I did not know that it was part 4 in a series. Silly me.
Michael-Scott Earle
Quite possibly the best science fiction novel ever written. You don't need to read any others in the series. Just start with this one, finish, then read it again a few years later. It gets better with each read.
Aug 24, 2012 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's big (huge, collossal, overwhelmingly large) in time, societies and surroundings. It's complicated, with characters coming and going and coming and going, sometimes in both directions. And it's interesting, in a "how the heck is this all going to hang together?" kind of way. But,as much as the authour tries desparately to hold the whole thing together, in my case he failed to hold onto my interest. The best characters and civilizations come and go, and the boring, underdeveloped, predictable ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Athul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly imaginative story. The writing is a little (or very) wooden at times, and Attanasio overuses Trek-style technobabble, but worth reading for the first-class world-building.
Sep 08, 2012 Salam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LLOE, as Attanasio's fans refer to it, is a science-fiction epic and should be a classic. The scope and dazzling brilliance of the book defy easy description. It tells the story of characters living in a universe created by a god-like alien for the sole purpose of attracting and destroying another alien race of predators. The humans who inhabit its worlds are bait for the predators. Earth, their original home, has long since been destroyed. They have been recreated from waveforms in the void of ...more
Jeremiah J.
Apr 15, 2014 Jeremiah J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has the most outrageous plot I've ever encountered, but the author never loses control and the book provides a fantastic read.
Larissa Daigle
Jul 16, 2015 Larissa Daigle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! A great epic across time and space.
Brian Welch
Aug 11, 2012 Brian Welch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down one of the best SF books ever written and one of my favorite books of all time. The plot is, essentially, a love story across time, space, death, and reality. The story sprawls across six thousand years and involves a number of characters, but always seems to drive forward with purpose. The settings and storylines are imaginative and grandiose. The core themes of the book are epic and unforgettable.
Zane Jon Dickens
This is a complex massive saga that somehow the author fits into 400 pages, it felt vaster than Wheel of Time, yet succinct and well paced. It does have tangents where certain characters come in seemingly randomly but they do tie in and I felt there were no loose ends. As a young writer I recommend it to all aspiring authors as it has a style and structure that is very different.
Eric Menninga
Creative and complex. Sometimes overwhelming.
A very complex -- ultimately too complex -- story, with many characters, settings, and ideas. Lot's and lots of ideas, philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific. Very beautiful descriptions, with an original, unexpected, yet very fitting, use of words. The scattered nature of the story, however, prevents the book from being truly great.
Mar 27, 2012 Myrto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I liked the spiritual overtones (like the Tryl), the story-line of this book was so convoluted that it was easy to get lost. There are many characters and their stories get fragmented. Attanasio's Arthurian series had me spellbound. This book felt like heavy going.
Cal Clapp
Attanasio is a master wordsmith of the metaphysical and spiritual with a solid foundation in complex transformations. The authors insight and imagination is wonderful!
Dec 01, 2013 Punk marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Phoenix Pick's free ebook of the month for December, DRM-free in a variety of formats.
Oct 26, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellently written and will draw you in. Makes you empathize with ALL characters! I will be seeking out more of this authors work.
Sep 05, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting and enjoyable book. Way out there from a science stand point but not completely unbelievable.
Joseph Guyan
Jun 06, 2014 Joseph Guyan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last read this about 10 years ago, still one of my favourite books ever.
Nicholas Hunter
Jun 03, 2012 Nicholas Hunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Well written, original and inventive speculative fiction.
Mar 02, 2013 Imran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne added it
May 05, 2016
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Sequel?? 1 9 May 03, 2010 04:16PM  
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I’m a novelist and student of the imagination living in Honolulu. Fantasies, visions, hallucinations or whatever we call those irrational powers that illuminate our inner life fascinate me. I’m particularly intrigued by the creative intelligence that scripts our dreams. And I love carrying this soulful energy outside my mind, into the one form that most precisely defines who we are: story.
More about A.A. Attanasio...

Other Books in the Series

Radix (4 books)
  • Radix (Radix, #1)
  • In Other Worlds (Radix, #2)
  • Arc of the Dream (Radix, #3)

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