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It worked. Too well.
Poole was never seen again. Then from far in the future, from a time so distant that the stars themselves were dying embers, came an urgent SOS--and a promise. The universe was doomed, but humankind was not. Poole had stumbled upon an immense artifact, light-years across, fabricated from the very string of the cosmos.
The universe had a door. And it was open...
502 pages, Paperback
First published July 1, 1994
—"В нашей ракете застрял обрывок суперструны мироздания! Он весит четыре миллиарда триллионов тонн! Мы не можем двинуться с места!" (реальная цитата из книги)
Baxter has big ideas and a brilliant imagination, which makes up for the fact that his characters are inclined to be a little unbelievable and repetitive. In Ring, as in his other books, he throws together a disparate group of individuals and explores their adjustments to each other and to dramatic challenges and events, It doesn't quite come off, because, beneath the surface, it seems they weren't really that dissimilar.
Those criticisms aside, Ring stands alone as a work of vision and innovation, which left this human reader feeling very appreciative of the solidity of planet earth. There are some neat links to earlier Xeelee stories, such as Flux and Raft, and, overall, it is gripping stuff on a cosmic scale. Skim the science lessons and you won't be able to put it down.