First, the good:
We're split in the action between the digital new year coming up for us in about 25 years, at a time when Michael Poole has a stalled career and is still trying to overcome personal tragedy. The worldbuilding at this time is pretty awesome. Sentient houses and landscapes, severe environmental guilt that has led ...more
This book in particu ...more
More 'anyhows' than a freshman term paper. 'Baling' for 'bailing'. 'Five percent proof'?!! Did an editor read this at all?
If you can get past the bad editing and the dopey anthro-guilt global warming plot, it isn't altogether terrible. Reading 'the Warming' (capitalized so you know it's really bad and all mankind's fault^tm) as 'the Warmening' added some much-needed levity for me.
Oh, and while certain hand-wringing busybodies might consider a refrigerator that verbally warns you not to drink a ...more
My favorite part was how the future storyline showed some of the extremes of humanotypes based on all the different environments we could end up in. Absolutely left me wanting more chap ...more
Anyway, the beginnings of serious climate change ...more
The characters introduced in "Coalescent" have evolved along nicely, although their ecological preoccupations in this volume aren't the most exciting. The cor ...more
The most interesting part of the book for me was the description of the Warming. The year is 2047. Climate change has happened. Florida is receding; Miami is basically underwater. They try to discourage anyone from flying anywhere ...more
>Setting verisimillitude and detail (how much sense does the setting make?): 2
Plot design, presentation and originality (How well-crafted was the plot, in the dramaturgic sense?): 4
Plot and character verisimillitude (How much sense did the plot and motivations make? Did events follow from motivations?): 3
Characterization and character development: 4
Character sympatheticness: 5
Page turner factor: 4
Mind blown factor: ...more
Like many of Baxter's books, it felt smooth to read and the science of the science fiction was at least (generally) based in real science. In this case, often in philosophy as much as anything else. What happens to a humanity that is embroiled in a war that spans millennia?
Sitting in this chair I have seen, heard and felt the history of humans as the galaxy is conquered, lost and conquered again. I have thought with near-gods as they transcended to cope with the universe entire. I am inspired with the incredible effort and brilliant creativity of this work. It could even be reality.
The plot and characters are boring and stupid.
It is boring because the characters, don't do anything; things are done to them. The characters have the emotional maturity of 15 year old kids.
It is stupid because he has taken the ideas of a Russian mystic and turned them into a "science fiction" story.
The mystic was "... Fyodorov, a futurist, who theorized about the eventual perfection of the human race and society (i.e., utopia), including ...more
Adult/High School-Set in the same vast time scale and future as Coalescent (2003) and Exultant (2004, both Del Rey), Transcendent can be read independently. Michael Poole is a middle-aged engineer in the year of the digital millennium (2047) and Alia is a recognizably human (but evolved) adolescent born on a starship half a million years later. Michael still dreams of space flight, but the world and its possibilities are much diminished due to environmental deg
I inadvertently skipped the second book in the thematic series and went for the third; coming off of Coalescent, I was nervous as to what Baxter would decide to go with for this one. And it immediately looked like it was more of the same methods we have come to know the author by. Sure it's not perfect, but it's good. With the cherry being the implementation of some canon material ...more
The brazenness of the premise is only superseded by its laughable implausability.
Yes, it's part of a series that raises some interesting concepts. Skip this one, however - it contributes nothing.
Thank goodness there are a collection of short stories after this book, as it didn't tie up ALL the loose ends of the series!