Gendou's Reviews > Probability Moon

Probability Moon by Nancy Kress
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's review
May 16, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, space-opera, science-fiction
Read from May 10 to 16, 2011

This was really 2 stories loosely tied together.

The more interesting, to me, is the story of man's exploration of a network of wormholes built by a long-gone alien race.
In many systems, kin to homo sapiens populate habitable planets.
There is an antagonistic alien race called the fallers who's aim is to repel human explorers back to their home system.

Upon this back story is the main thread: explorers visit a planet called "World".
The inhabitants have a sort of religion called "shared reality".
They experience head pain if exposed to non-consensus views/thoughts.
This shared reality has made for a peaceful existence, but for one flaw.
If a child is born that does not develop this shared reality by a certain age, it is killed.
So much for utopia.

I never felt a clear moral message in the book, so much was unsettling.
The crazy man ended up being worshiped as a hero; unsettling.
The vicious murder of children brought about a peaceful society; unsettling.

But really the most unsettling for me was the bad physics.
The shared reality mechanism was a result of evolution in exposure to a "probability field".
This is one of the dumber science fiction ideas I've ever heard.
Not only does it turn humans into conformists, but it also causes heavy elements to become radioactive.
This is where the two plot threads are tied together... poorly.

I hope the physics is more believable in the next 2 books.
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