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(Noumenon #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,961 ratings  ·  415 reviews
Noumenon is a tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes.

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth’s solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He’s discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and pro
Paperback, 420 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  2,961 ratings  ·  415 reviews

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Kevin Kelsey
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, signed
Posted at Heradas

My path to this book was a meandering one. In my day job I repair computers: recover data, replace screens, cleanup malware, that sort of thing. A few years back a woman came into my shop when an external hard drive of hers had failed. Unfortunately, the mechanical damage to the drive was too extensive for me to be able to recover any data in my shop, so I recommended a place out of state she could send the drive to. This usually happens once or twice a week, and I promptly forg
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Noumenon is the best Big Dumb Object novel to arrive in some time. Lostetter merges quite a few classic tropes in her debut novel, but Noumenon is much more than just a nostalgia trip for lovers of old school sci-fi. The plot concerns the discovery of a star that exhibits some very strange behavior, and a generation ship made of scientists sent to investigate it. The difference between this and other generation ships is that the successive generations are made up of exact genetic clones of the o ...more
Manuel Antão
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Swinburne's Lesson: "Noumenon" by Marina J. Lostetter

I would encourage you to consider the potential for speculative fiction to help us all drop our lazy assumptions about Realism, mimesis, and how any writing made up of words upon a page ever really relates to or captures some discernible, locatable "real world."

As someone who prefers poetry over novels, I turn to speculative fiction, weird fiction, science fiction for the same sort o
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's always nice to pick up tales about generational starships, a repeatedly cloned crew, and an AI that helps them make the journey.

Sound familiar? I mean, we've had stories like this for many generations aboard this starship and have discussed AIs for as long. We've had a long line and a recent bout of great novels touching upon all these aspects, such as KSR's Aurora and Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, not to mention Tchiachovski's Children of Time, to mention some of the very best among the lat
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
This is an excellent book about a convoy of generational ships tasked with scientific investigation of a far away star. It is very much a book about the journey more so than the destination, and it focuses on the societal developments of the crew over their many years of travel.

I loved the way the chapters were divided into stories that moved smoothly from generation to generation, run through with the constant of the ships' AI, I.C.C. I wasn't completely surprised by some of the things that ha
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Noumenon is an ambitious novel following the centuries-long narrative of a science mission to an anomalous star (think Tabby's Star) that may harbor an alien megastructure, and the long return back to Earth to report the findings.

We start with the astrophysicist who discovers the target star at a time when mankind is sending out many fleets of starships for this sort of goal. The story shifts forward decades at a time, following the Noumenon mission of Convoy 7 and its cloned crew as well as its
Aug 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is terrible. What a coincidence that almost every positive review received the book for free.

Ignore the misleading description. There is nothing, at all, "hard scifi along the lines of Neal Stephenson's Seveneves" in this novel. The "science" included is laughably imaginary - you'd probably have to go back to 1950's scifi to find such poorly executed fantasies.

*Mild Spoilers in the first ~30 pages*

They need a crew to go investigate a mysterious star. In order to find the most compatibl
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this read. Had very elements of Seveneves and A Long Way...however with a few differences. It has space travel and exploration, after a scientist discovers this star which excites a united earth to explore. Clones are sent on thes exploration ships as its years and years away. What we deal with is complex character study of what humans/people/AI react when in small societies. Each long chapter is a small vignette or short story, although related to the maon plot, which brims along ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, r2018, scifi
The age old question of nature versus nurture is at the forefront of this very intriguing scifi novel.

The narrative follows one of twelve deep space expeditions on a mission to investigate a distant star that seems to have a structure surrounding it and obstructing its light. Is this ‘natural’ or ‘made’ by another species? Due to the time involved to carry this undertaking - eons - Earth decides to man the convoys with clones specifically chosen to ensure its success, including mostly the exper
I'm not sure if this book is an incredibly ambitious muddle, or just an unfocused mess. It definitely throws a bunch of familiar SF ideas into the stew pot.

Earth sends out an expedition to investigate a star with anomalous readings that suggest it might, maybe, be enclosed in a (partial) Dyson sphere. For some reason that requires a fleet of a dozen ships with 100,000 souls on board, to have the population updated by generations of cloning. So it's like a generation ship, but not expecting to c
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Had some interesting ideas, but the writing was too on the page. I wanted to like the book but found it a rather painful read. It would have been a challenging thing to write in that it spans so many generations and the writer doesn't have the room to develop the characters. And yes, I guess one could argue that there was the opportunity to see the clones change through their iterations and for the convoy's culture to evolve, but the execution wasn't as good or interesting as it needed to be. Fo ...more
Nicky Drayden
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I got my hands on an ARC of Marina J. Lostetter’s Noumenon recently after working on an article about Artificial Intelligence with her. I had no idea I was in for such an expansive and mesmerizing adventure. Noumenon features a super-intelligent, sentient AI charged with overseeing the many needs of an interstellar convoy traveling to an anomalous star that appears to deny the laws of physics.

The story is easily comparable to Neal Stephenson's Seveneves (which I loved, and fans of that book wil
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm really not sure how to rate this exploration of humanity as they take their first generation ship mission to the stars. Edit: I'm thinking 3.5 stars is fair

It consists of 9 well connected stories taking place over 2000 earth years. I loved the overall plot, the episodic nature and the developing A.I., all of which grabbed me and caused me to read nonstop. But ultimately, I don't think there was as enough character depth or creativity in the individual stories. At times, it read like a YA no
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: SFF fans
Sometimes, a book or song or movie will come along at just the right time and strike a resounding chord. Noumenon hit that sweet spot for me. On my blog, I’ve been thinking about generation ships. Suddenly, the stars aligned, and Harper Voyager gave me the opportunity to review Noumenon. It was SF love at first read. Seriously, halfway through chapter one, I knew this book would be at least an eight out of ten for me unless things went terribly, terribly wrong. Marina J. Lostetter, however, kept ...more
How I loved this! This books has everything I want in a science fiction novel that involves space exploration - a deep sense of wonder. Covering both hundreds of years (on the ship convoy) and thousands of years on Earth, we explore an anomalous star with all that it might mean for the future of humanity as well as the distant future of our own planet. I enjoyed this so much I immediately bought the sequel, Noumenon Infinity. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Those expecting this book to be Hard SF, like Rendezvous With Rama, will probably be disappointed. It's mostly Social SF, focusing on the community within the generational ships and how it changes during the two thousand year journey to the mysterious star and back home again.

The star's mystery is addressed somewhat but not completely, which left me feeling a bit frustated with the plot. The writing is a little uneven, especially in the beginning two chapters, and at times reads like YA. Charac
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting idea to send clones out into space to explore an unusual star. And I liked each short story following a clone along another part of the journey. More to say later.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Three and half stars

"Review reviewed" on the blog:

Reseña en castellano en el blog:

(I know there could be some mistakes in this review. I’m trying to improve my English, thanks)

The humanity is expanding. Earth is sending the firsts giant generational starships inhabited by clones to explore the galaxy. Noumenon tells about one of those travels: an expedition towards a distant star, named LQ Pyxidis, whith intriguing
Scott  Hitchcock
Jun 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, sci-fi
I didn't realize this was another clone book or I wouldn't have taken it on right after the disappointing Six Wakes. I had put it in as a library recommendation for ebook purchases a while ago and I was put at the top of the list and thus instantly checked out so I didn't have a choice or I'd go to the bottom of a lengthy waitlist.

I really wasn't feeling this one and after slogging through Six Wakes I couldn't do it a second time.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
In our not so far future an astronomer discovers a star that appears like it’s partially covered. It’s so entriguing that Earth decides to build and launch a multi-generational convoy to investigate. Rather than sending any existing humans, they pick many people whose genetics display the aptitude to endure a voyage of this nature and they clone them.

Told in parts from various points of view, this story spans hundreds of years. It is less about the discovery and more about the inner workings an
Sarah Sherrin
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. My honest thoughts and opinions are below.

This book was absolutely amazing! I honestly wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. Normally, I don't like books that jump time or perspectives, but with this book, it keeps everything flowing and helps the surprise. Lostetter's writing is absolutely beautiful and so smooth that even reading the technical aspects were pleasant. I loved I.C.C. and how the author contributed such a strong emotional bei
The first half of this book was really good, but the second half of the book was too ambitious for its page count. Or maybe I mean too ambitious for one story. It tried to deal with big themes in a short amount of time that that were more or less resolved by in the next section of the book. Which then introduced a brand new too big theme.

So ultimately I was left disappointed.
Oh, baby, you're not Seveneves. Not even a little.

"The real science of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves" - you have no shame, -1 star for this balant lie.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Wow, what an incredible story! Books like "Noumenon" are why I love science fiction so much, though not all of them are so well-written, intriguing, memorable, and enjoyable as "Noumenon"! Goodreads, you REALLY need to add more stars to the rating system, because 5 is simply not enough for some books!
So, gushing aside, here is a brief summary: In the year 2088, a far-away star is discovered that seems to defy the laws of physics. A convoy of scientists aboard 9 ships is sent on a deep space miss
Beth Cato
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, science
Noumenon is an ambitious book, even by science fiction standards. To investigate a curious far-distant phenomena, Earth conceives an idea to send a fleet of generation ships. Rather than using cryogenics or relying on the whims of breeding, they staff the ships by finding the best scientists in the world to fit specific duties, and they clone them. Generation after generation. This allows nature versus nurture to play out in surprising ways.

This sounds like it might get confusing. It's not. The
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
The concept is excellent, but I found most of the multiple POVs fairly dull, and few had distinctive voices. The individual stories never managed to convey the emotion of purpose of the whole novel and all the stuff about the Pit came out of nowhere and seemed like filler. Some interesting ideas but it just didn’t work for me.

This wanted to be the Wool Trilogy but it was more like Toby Litt’s Journey Into Space or The Loneliness Of Distant Beings by Kate Ling.
Karen’s Library
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Long-term generational space travel, clones, an AI named I.C.C., told over a span of several hundred years... What's not to love?

This story has lots of the elements of sci-fi that I enjoy so much. I liked how the chapters would each jump ahead by decades and you'd get the POV of another clone 3 lives later, or even from I.C.C. I thought the family dynamics were really interesting with how the children were raised.

Overall, an intriguing story which I enjoyed.
Feb 24, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars maybe. Warning there are some light thematic spoilers ahead.

At the outset I was irritated with Noumenon. It was clearly Grand Science Fiction with an ambitious goal and far flung story. But it was also very wishy washy. Major facts and important details were glossed over, magical thinking was employed heavily to make things stick. But once the colony ship journey to another start began the story started getting meatier and more entertaining. Ms Lostetter can weave a good yarn. And her
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoyed Children of Time
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
As with a large fraction of SciFi novels we open with a brilliant, albeit socially slow, scientist trying to explain a momentous discovery in the most mundane / scientifically accurate way possible. Said scientist notes anomalous behavior in a distant star, indicating the potential for other intelligent life forms across the galaxy. This prompts a worldwide multi-part scientific push for exploration. Scientists put together mission packages indicating what humanity can stand to gain for answerin ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9780008223359 5 28 Apr 02, 2018 08:14AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect page count for Noumenon 2 19 Nov 27, 2017 08:01AM  

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Noumenon (3 books)
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