Galen's Reviews > Macroscope

Macroscope by Piers Anthony
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 22, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: science_fiction_favorites
Read in December, 2004

Here is a review that I posted on in Dec. 2004:

"I am rereading this book after a number of years, having first read it some time in the mid 1970's. Again I find that it is one of those books that changes how one thinks about things, and a work that can be appreciated on multiple levels.

First, it can change one's view of what's possible within the genre of science fiction. It impressively weaves a tapestry from such diverse threads as music, mathematics, classic American literature, philosophy, psychology, and sheer imagination, just to name a few. To a degree I've seldom seen equaled, the combination of these elements after all these years still create in me a sense of wonder at the grandness and richness of Creation. Anthony's work here is truly a microcosmic reflection of the very universe of which he writes.

That leads into something else I've kept noticing on this re-reading. I've been constantly struck by way the story suggests the interrelationship of things ranging from tiny (like the macron particle) to immense (like the universe); and by the synergy possible between people with diverse and seemingly disparate gifts. Ranging from the "ordinary" Beatrix to the "super-genius" Schön, each of the central characters is vital to the story, though each stands out as truly individual. The plot shows each of these characters as vital to the group's success, despite what appear to be huge differences in intellectual or personal development.

The "hard" science fiction elements at first glance today might appear a bit dated, given a nomenclature that dates from the late 1960's. But then hard science and technology are not really central themes of this novel. These elements of the story are for me a necessary "window dressing" arrayed around more central themes like personal responsibility, the grandness of the Universe, and interpersonal dynamics. In that respect it's easy to overlook the book's roots in the technology of the 1960's."
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