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The Last Legends of Earth (Radix, #4)
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The Last Legends of Earth (Radix #4)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  445 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
"A grand and glorious visionary epic."-Robert Silverberg *** Set in the artificial planetary system of Chalco-Doror, which is no more and no less than a vast cosmic machine, The Last Legends of Earth is a love story, a gripping saga of struggle against alien control, and an examination of the machinery of creation and destruction. Above all, it is world-building of the hig ...more
Leather Bound, 481 pages
Published 1989 by Easton Press
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Matt You won't have any trouble reading this book if you skip books two and three. These four books are linked thematically*, not through narrative. There…moreYou won't have any trouble reading this book if you skip books two and three. These four books are linked thematically*, not through narrative. There isn't any overarching plot connecting them, or any recurring characters -- each book is a standalone novel. (Well, there is one recurring character, but she only shows up for a couple of pages and she doesn't impact the plot.)

*Each book is thematically structured around one of the four dimensions: height, width, depth, and time. It is exactly as crazy as it sounds.(less)
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Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
Spoiler free summary: An alien archaeologist digs through dead Earth's past to use humans as bait for the purpose of intergalactic pest control. Humans don't like being bait for alien spiders who drink their neurological pain endorphins, so they resist, ally, or betray one another to the exterminator. Centipedes, spiders, humans, gnomes, robots, ghosts, and zombies clash in a space war fought across 15 planets and two sentient "suns" that are actually machines designed to maintain the insect tra ...more
Harold Ogle
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jack Vance fans, space opera nuts, science fiction fans
WARNING to my friends: do NOT read reviews or summaries of this book on Goodreads, as every one I've seen has casually given away a big portion of the book, explaining what's going on in a way that the book intentionally takes a long time to reveal. A second NOTE: this book stands alone, so do not be fooled by the "Radix #4" label, as if it is fourth in a larger cycle.

That said, this is an A.A. Attanasio book. Among other things, this means that it is a big story that has been intentionally and
Complex. Disjointed, in a way. I didn't realize it when I began, but this is the fourth book by Attanasio in a tetrad devoted to the four cardinal dimensions that rule our lives - height, depth, width, time. In retrospect, it makes sense for the one about time to be disjointed. That's not a bad thing, of course.

Distant. As with any book that covers a span of seven thousand years, there are plenty of characters that are introduced, make their effects felt, and disappear - a handful of characters
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Describing this book is almost an impossibility. It is a love story spanning cosmos and millennia through pure chaos.
TLLoE brings to mind the following adjectives: Wondrous, herculean, mesmerizing, psychedelic, chaotic, challenging and extremely provocative.
Conceptually is excitingly challenging: Attanassio presents philosophical concepts from a pure scientific point of view, only to tease and trap the reader to extrapolate these concepts ad infinitum if, of course, the reader dares.
I need to di
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite possibly the best science fiction book I have ever read. And that's saying a lot. Epic on a scale rarely attempted in a series, let alone a single novel.
Brian Welch
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down one of the best SF books ever written and one of my favorite books of all time. The plot is, essentially, a love story across time, space, death, and reality. The story sprawls across six thousand years and involves a number of characters, but always seems to drive forward with purpose. The settings and storylines are imaginative and grandiose. The core themes of the book are epic and unforgettable.
J.T. Hartke
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in High School, when it first came out. I have also committed to reading it again as an adult.

I was drawn into it instantly. I loved its exploration of what love, life, and death are all about, while inside a vastly weird and wonderful plot involving mankind as bait -- bait who earns the compassion of its fisherman.
Tudor Ciocarlie
Mind blowing. The entire history of a binary solar system and its civilizations, with really alien gods, sinister alien demons and lots of time travel, in only 500 pages.
There were parts of this I loved. It was an original idea with complex characters who had competing but logical interests. It was fascinating to see the different civilizations pop into and out of existence. Yet I thought the book started dragging in the last quarter or so. I felt like the author was throwing in unnecessary complications to keep the book going. I also felt like the ghosts, and people being reborn as needed, just a little to convoluted to really make the story as effective as pos ...more
This is a most excellent of reads if you like epic science fiction/ fantasy. I have read it twice and will read it again. It is brilliantly written. It is delicious like the very best dessert and when you are finished reading, it is the moment when all the dessert is gone. But you are full, content and possibly introspective and savoring the taste in your mouth.
Michael-Scott Earle
Quite possibly the best science fiction novel ever written. You don't need to read any others in the series. Just start with this one, finish, then read it again a few years later. It gets better with each read.
Brent Hayward
Dec 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the craziest plots ever. Attanasio uses language beautifully.
Jeremiah J.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has the most outrageous plot I've ever encountered, but the author never loses control and the book provides a fantastic read.
In my lexicon, two stars is a "meh" book, probably something else to read out there.

(I could have swore I did this review already, but doesn't seem to be here. I read this a few weeks ago)

Attanasios' Last Legends of Earth is innovative and clearly shows that Attanasio is a force to be reckoned with in terms of sci-fi and imagination. But for me, it was slow, hard to get in to and by the time I began to actually relate to the characters it was all over. The enemies, the Zotl, were particularly on
Marie Winger
Wow! This is so huge it is difficult to review. Apparently the fourth in a series. The premise is the re-animation of humans from their stellar molecules to serve as bait for a spider race that feeds on pain. Filled with quantum physics, a love story through 1,000 years, a sort of tessering, and am epic war over 7,000 years! Plus the creation of an amazing system of planets. What is the responsibility of the creator to his creation? Dose a noble goal justify any means? How much free will do we h ...more
Carl Barlow
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sprawling tale, very well told. The timespan precludes much reader involvement or any real attachment to any character (they die quite often), but the whole premise is quite fascinating (even if the science is a little stardust and golden). I think I enjoyed the same author's Radix more, but I will be rereading The Last Legends of Earth and seeking out the other two books in this sequence (as well as Attanasio's other works). Certainly recommended.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book I have ever read... period!
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book I stopped reading two other books to finish

This book pushed several other books to the demanded my complete attention.the only thing that kept me from giving it a better rating was the lack of development of the spiders,they seemed more one dimensional than the other major characters in the book I understood that they fed on fear or the emotions of others but not how they came to be I guess. I wanted to understand more about how how they developed into What they were.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.A. Attanasio takes sci-fi worldbuilding quite literally.

The Last Legends of Earth is a fantasy/sci-fi epic that details the formation of an artificial planetary system in the far future. After being populated by Earth humans from the distant past, the saga tells how various cultures rise and fall within the system over a course of thousands of years.

The story has a lengthy time-scale, and is structured by telling us the story of several protagonists who traverse both time and space within this
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"And where there had been worlds hung against the splendor of the galaxy, there was nothing."

This book was a journey. Questions of life, death, faith, love, ethics, race, society, technology, communication, humanity, sentience build this epic space opera to its almost devastatingly beautiful crescendo.

That's not to say this book is perfect. It has some of the flaws often seen is Sci-Fi epics. Some drier story telling in parts which requires (and is eventually worth) the patience and perseveranc
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A fantastic read. Attanasio really should return to science fiction as it is what he does best. This dense, imaginitive story is a must read for anyone who enjoyed Radix. This is another book I re-read every few years and it always leaves me saying "wow....".

From Last Legends of Earth: "We are all fugitives. We have always been fugitives from the void. Whatever comfort, whatever power we gain from outside ourselves diminishes us - because comfort and power, unless they are won from the void ins
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's big (huge, collossal, overwhelmingly large) in time, societies and surroundings. It's complicated, with characters coming and going and coming and going, sometimes in both directions. And it's interesting, in a "how the heck is this all going to hang together?" kind of way. But,as much as the authour tries desparately to hold the whole thing together, in my case he failed to hold onto my interest. The best characters and civilizations come and go, and the boring, underdeveloped, predictable ...more
Salam Tims
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LLOE, as Attanasio's fans refer to it, is a science-fiction epic and should be a classic. The scope and dazzling brilliance of the book defy easy description. It tells the story of characters living in a universe created by a god-like alien for the sole purpose of attracting and destroying another alien race of predators. The humans who inhabit its worlds are bait for the predators. Earth, their original home, has long since been destroyed. They have been recreated from waveforms in the void of ...more
Randy French
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this for somewhere between the 5th & 10th times. One of my favorite books. A "periodic re-read". Its been a while..and I'm on p 100 & seeing again already why I do re-read it!

As a review on the cover says:
" As complex and spellbinding a bit of science fiction storytelling as I've ever come across"
A very complex -- ultimately too complex -- story, with many characters, settings, and ideas. Lot's and lots of ideas, philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific. Very beautiful descriptions, with an original, unexpected, yet very fitting, use of words. The scattered nature of the story, however, prevents the book from being truly great.
Zane Jon Dickens
This is a complex massive saga that somehow the author fits into 400 pages, it felt vaster than Wheel of Time, yet succinct and well paced. It does have tangents where certain characters come in seemingly randomly but they do tie in and I felt there were no loose ends. As a young writer I recommend it to all aspiring authors as it has a style and structure that is very different.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few years ago and I still remember the feeling that I got from it. There are not many books that make me cry, but this one did - not in a bad way. It is a marvelous read and all this time I did not know that it was part 4 in a series. Silly me.
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I liked the spiritual overtones (like the Tryl), the story-line of this book was so convoluted that it was easy to get lost. There are many characters and their stories get fragmented. Attanasio's Arthurian series had me spellbound. This book felt like heavy going.
Brian Smith
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
Beautifully mind-blowing novel. While it has immense scope there are so many small moments that are vividly memorable that explore the cultural and emotional impacts on the characters --- even those characters that only cover a scant number of pages.
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Sequel?? 1 9 May 03, 2010 04:16PM  
  • Starfarers
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I’m a novelist and student of the imagination living in Honolulu. Fantasies, visions, hallucinations or whatever we call those irrational powers that illuminate our inner life fascinate me. I’m particularly intrigued by the creative intelligence that scripts our dreams. And I love carrying this soulful energy outside my mind, into the one form that most precisely defines who we are: story.
More about A.A. Attanasio

Other books in the series

Radix (4 books)
  • Radix (Radix, #1)
  • In Other Worlds (Radix, #2)
  • Arc of the Dream (Radix, #3)

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“before pain came to mean not what was lost but what remained.” 1 likes
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