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Probability Sun

(Probability Trilogy #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  706 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Salvation or Annihilation?

A strange artifact has been discovered on a distant planet, an artifact that may be the key to humanity's salvation. For we at war with the Fallers, an alien race bent on nothing short of genocide, and this is a war we are losing. The artifact is not only a powerful weapon, but possibly the rosetta stone to a lost superscience . . . a superscience
Mass Market Paperback, 347 pages
Published February 17th 2003 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2001)
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George No, I do not I feel there is no point whatever in evaluating one-third of a three-decker novel against a different part.

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Kara Babcock
One day I hope to read a Nancy Kress novel full of amazing, deep, complex characters who manage to transcend the stereotypes often demanded by plot and story. Alas, that day has not yet come.

Probability Moon ended on a bittersweet note. The Zeus and its crew was destroyed when Orbital Object #7 exploded rather than go through the space tunnel. The anthropological team left on World was rescued—just in time, from their perspective, because the Worlders had declared them “unreal” and therefore con
Althea Ann
You know what I hate? When I bring a book with me, and only realize when I start reading it that it's the middle volume of a trilogy. It's really only fair that publishers but that info in a reasonably prominent place (or at least somewhere) on the cover.
Read it anyway, cause I didn't have anything else with me...
The book was ok for light entertainment, but not exceptional. A group of humans go to a planet inhabited by peaceful, pre-industrial natives. On this planet is a mysterious alien artifa
Malcolm Little
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, sf-gems
A sequel, in my mind, would continue a story that was finished to an appreciable degree, but still left overarching themes in a built world up for exploration. After reading Probability Sun, sequel to the exciting and thought-provoking Probability Moon, I would say Nancy Kress capably expanded on the fictional universe developed in the original. The sequel brought back the right mix of original characters, blending them together in a social interplay with new (and most importantly deep) characte ...more
Paul Calhoun
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I never read Probability Moon and probably never will. The plot was reasonably well reviewed in this for those of us reading ex-Library books where book 1 was given away earlier on. Otherwise, a pretty competent piece of military/exploration SF. It reminded me a great deal of early David Weber ( like The Shiva Option ). It's got all the best archetypes and plots: cantankerous but well meaning professors who love their kids, hard military commanders, military commanders who follow orders but are ...more
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
For my taste, this 2nd book of the "Probability" trilogy is better than the 1st one.
The 1st one is more 'literary", immersed in "world-building" sometimes boring...
This one gets into the "game" very fast, a "empires strikes back" feelling... (not the stories have anything in common).
I greatly respect the author knowledge of science, it is hard to put some extrapolated theories as she did, praise for her!
I hope the last book gets a satisfying conclusion, at least :P
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
An improvement on the previous one, although not much. Characters still seem too simple, but I guess that's to expect on a novel this short. Still enjoyable and keen to read the third.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I didn't finish this book as my digital library loan ran out; I will finish it when I get it back
Got the book back and finished it; looking forward to the last book
Paige Ellen Stone
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
It seems to me, that, as a rule, second books in a trilogy are a way of setting up what should be a grand finale. This book is a bit more than that, in that it develops the characters and culture of the Worlders, who planet the Terrans have found by means of old, but far advanced scientific artifacts left behind by what would seem to be a now extinct race. The Terrans have returned and the intent is to take one of the moons that is, in fact, an artifact left behind by the ancient race. Perhaps i ...more
Alison C
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Probability Sun is the second of the "probability trilogy" by Nancy Kress, taking place about three years after the events chronicled in Probability Moon. At the end of that book, humans had gone from World with the belief that they had been deemed "unreal" by the natives, but as it happens, the natives' "shared reality" has decided that humans are, indeed, real. Another mission is sent to the planet, this time to dig up, test and possibly remove the buried alien artifact that had been found by ...more
Nov 05, 2007 rated it liked it
This is the second book in the Probability trilogy by Nancy Kress. Only a few characters return from Probability Moon but those that did were probably the most interesting. The new characters are generally interesting and the concepts are intriguing.

This is one of those novels that depend on scientific speculation for their premises. It's so intricately tied to the plot that in a few years it will either look silly or prescient, but that doesn't detract from enjoying it now. Kress stretched by a
Doug Dandridge
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The second in the Probability series by Nancy Kress, in which she introduces a new fundamental particle into the Universe, the Probon. Humans are still at war with the alien Fallers, and are not doing well. Another expedition is sent to World, the planet where the inhabitants share reality due to growing up in the field of an ancient artifact that influences probability. The humans have come this time for the artifact, to use against the aliens, who also seem to possess one. Taking it will destr ...more
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
At the halfway point:

Lots of the nonsense science from the previous novel is inherited by this one...fortunately most of the new nonsense science is better written, and carefully keeps itself to an area where current science can't object to its ridiculousness. The plotting and characters are better than the first book. The scientists still don't sound much like scientists, they're obsessed about data in very unrealistic ways. Scientists don't object to speculative hypotheses when yo
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I found this book more enjoyable than the first. The character of Enli has changed for the better, and the new characters, for the most part, are good. Tom Capelo, though a very strong character, is sometimes inconsistent and also sometimes extremely annoying. I can only hope that the final book in the trilogy breaks this pattern of annoying characters. The other two scientists, Singh and Ableman, resemble background scenery more than characters, but Marbet Grant and Lyle Kaufman are really quit ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
What I didn't realize when I picked it up is that this is book 2 of the trilogy. Still, Kress does a great job of making it a complete stand-alone story. The science is technical, but well-explained, so even if you're not familiar with atomic numbers and probability principles, if you give it an honest effort, you won't be lost.

A highlight of this story is that it is one of the rare SF novels where the author introduces two separate alien races for the reader to explore - they both are new to hu
David Cain
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was a decent hard sci-fi novel. Significantly more enjoyable than Probability Moon, the first book in the trilogy - likely because more attention was given to scientific exploration of the alien artifact, war with the Fallers, and (made up) cutting-edge physics, instead of interminable descriptions of ritual greetings and flower ceremonies on World. This features some of the main characters from the first installment and introduces some interesting new ones, although much of the dialogue - ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The second book in this trilogy is even better than the first, as Ms. Kress delves deeper into the humanoid alien culture, and we get a glimpse at the heretofore unseen, non-humanoid, alien species in the story. There is also further development of the idea of probability in science and how it applies to this future society. I admit that I am a bit sexist in the regard of being able to expound far-flung theory, but Ms Kress does a fantastic job weaving complex ideas into a well written narrative ...more
Karen A. Wyle
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm rounding up about half a star -- maybe even more, but I liked this book a good deal more than the first book in the series, to which I gave four stars.

Probability Sun more thoroughly explores and exploits the sociological and quantum-physical ideas raised in Probability Moon. The story reunites us with many of the characters from that prior book and introduces some particularly interesting new ones. The continuation of the story arc is both suspenseful and satisfying. The book comes to more
Karen Heuler
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am always drawn into Kress' books and I think it's because they have a strong hook and terrifically believable characters with depth and conflict. I don't always get the science (I didn't do well with the threads in this one), but I look forward to reading them. This one fell a little apart at the end, got a little formulaic, I thought, but not notoriously so; I look forward to the next one, Probability Space.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
There's always this moment in Nancy Kress' books, when you realize that the characters you really like are actually secondary characters, not primary characters, and even though your secondary characters have a WAY more compelling story, they're going to get left on another planet and forgotten about. Literally.

I liked this, and I haven't read Space yet, but I really want Probability World. A lot. With extra flowers on top.
Ian Lewis
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story was very good and solidly told, after a rocky beginning. The first 50 pages or so were very frustrating. The characterizations were shallow, fast, and told in words instead of action. Kress did much better with this in Probability Moon.

If you get past the first part, the book redeems itself. It's well written and well told. The characters are much better developed after the beginning. Looking forward to the final book in the series.
Jim Mcclanahan
Feb 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jim by:
The second in a three book series, I thought it carried the story line along well. Characters, as usual, are Ms. Kress' strong suit. Unfortunately, I thought the technical aspects of the tale were over-done. I would have given it four stars, otherwise. But it didn't keep me from compulsively tearing through to the end. And I will be dipping into the next one quite soon.
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Good . . . I enjoyed this, slightly better than the first book in series. Well drawn and likeable characters, especially Marbet Grant and Lyle Kaufman (although the young child Sudie was irritating and I hope doesn't show up in the sequel). Story line good; has lots of science, alien cultural upheaval and suspense. It's fun to read science fiction again.
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book does a better job at explaining the physics of the alien device.
Two new characters, Kaufman and Capelo, are both really cool!
We also get to learn more about the Fallers.

Much, much stronger than the first book!
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Good storyline and charaters. I too get a little lost in the heavy science parts, as they say, I prefer the laymans terms. I enjoy this series and will start on the next one, probability space, straight away.
Benjamin Fasching-Gray
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-sf
Enjoyed this more than "Probability Moon." Most of the characters were new and I think she did a better job fleshing them out, although the academic in-fighting was less nuanced here. The physics is getting weirder, too.
Jul 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Physics. Ow.

But Nancy Kress is so good that I'll even read the sequel.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
A rare case where I liked the sequel better than the original. I thought that the characterization and plot was stronger, I was more invested in the story and I liked the ending better.
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Terrans return to World because they believe the Artifact buried in the mountains will reveal technology that will help them in their war against the Fallers.
Alysa Farrell
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
How far would you go to save the ones you love?
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm enjoying this series but not because of all the physics. Luckily there's more to the story than that.
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Nancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spain which was later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest. She is a regular at Clar ...more

Other books in the series

Probability Trilogy (3 books)
  • Probability Moon (Probability, #1)
  • Probability Space (Probability, #3)

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