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Eternal Light (Four Hundred Billion Stars #3)

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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  175 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions - the power-holders of the ReUnited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses - all ...more
Paperback, 419 pages
Published 2009 by Gollancz (first published June 20th 1991)
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Ed
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, space-opera
This was great, just the kind of over the top hard SF space opera I had been searching for. Yeah, yeah, the characters are a bit unloveable, the narrative was kind of all over the place, blah, blah. And yes, one of the main characters can do ESP, but you know the author put that in to deliberately irritate you nerds right? Right?

Bah. This stuff is wasted on you.
Roddy Williams
‘In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions – the power-holders of the Reunited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses – all see advantages to be gained. But what awesome technology started the star on its journey half a million years ago – and why? ...more
Tom Lloyd
If Iain Banks had written this novel, I'd have loved it.

This is a book that rather wore me down. I'm not really a hard SF person, but discovery in other parts of the galaxy is often a winner for me. there's a sense of wonder I get that makes it all worthwhile - however, spending too long talking about gravity, mass, more gravity and the various physics obstacles involved in space flight, while perfectly worthy, leaves me cold. As a result, it was a book I wanted to find out what happened at the
...more
Lee
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Ah, Goodreads. Not only are you full of hilarious reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey, you also make it absurdly easy to uncover inane trivia about one's reading habits. Such as, for example, what is the most recent year you haven't read any books from? I asked myself this when I found out what year Paul McAuley's Eternal Light was published. I had assumed it was from the 1970s. This was entirely because it's part of the Gollancz Space Opera collection, those of the sexy monochromatic covers, and al ...more
Greg Frederick
I don't recommend this book.
I don't want to reread this book or read the first two books in the series.

For starters, anyone who doesn't make it clear that a book is a part of a series somewhere on the outer jacket is a jerk. I didn't know this was the third book in a trilogy until I happened to look the book up on here... when I was ten pages from the end.
This is the first hard sci-fi full length novel I've read, and it's just not for me. I don't care about all the astronomy or cosmology or what
...more
Krait
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
In what is nominally a hard science fiction novel, the ESP-like "talent" of one of the main players nearly made me put the book down in the first 50 pages. However, it did play out as an alien communication ploy down the track.

The book contains some interesting hard science concepts (although including gratuitous formulae in the text was uncalled for, and you get the feeling that a lot of stuff is being thrown in just for the buzzword value). The biggest problem I had with it, however, was the b
...more
Katharine
I read this one years and years ago and when I found myself with nothing to read... yikes! I rummaged through the back shelves dusting off some oldies. So perhaps my tastes have changed or I wasn't in the mood for some seriously hard SF. Bogged down by physics and suffering from plot and character withdrawals, I hung her up mid way through. Did I really care what happened in the end to the universe - no. Enough said.
Linda
Sep 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the first half of the book, I was enjoying myself with this reading experience. As every character had their goal and motivation and not even two were in sync, it was battle of greater willpower. Then angels came and doubting their authority became a tabu. It certainly ruined things for me. I'm quite sure they were there for reason/metaphor/allegory, but still other half was just so sad for me.
Joshua
Oct 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book rambles on. Lots of things happen but it's hard to keep it all straight. And the ending. Don't get your hopes up for a good ending. That's when it rambles the most. The characters are all over the place with lots of intrigue but very little details to help the reader understand what exactly is going on. The book is only so-so and not up to the high standards that McAuley sets with his other books like The Quiet War.
Palmyrah
Mar 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Sui generis. Good setup and some nice space-opera visuals, but it gets docked a star for its fractured narrative and utterly unconvincing characters, about whom I could not bring myself to care a whit. The beginning was awful, but I was reading away eagerly enough by the end. Nice to see a book with a sympathetic Sri Lankan among the cast, too.
Emmanuel
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Seems like this is McAuley's trilogy layout, first two are just setups for the real story in the final book. Much more involved and encompassing. Bringing more characters and stories together.
Jorg
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Reread: 2nd time, still as good as I'd thought originally.
Jason
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly monumental.
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Since about 2000, book jackets have given his name as just Paul McAuley.

A biologist by training, UK science fiction author McAuley writes mostly hard science fiction, dealing with themes such as biotechnology, alternate history/alternate reality, and space travel.

McAuley has also used biotechnology and nanotechnology themes in near-future settings.

Since 2001, he has produced several SF-based tech
...more
More about Paul McAuley...

Other Books in the Series

Four Hundred Billion Stars (3 books)
  • Four Hundred Billion Stars (Four Hundred Billion Stars, #1)
  • Secret Harmonies (Four Hundred Billion Stars, #2)

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