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Neverness (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #0)
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(A Requiem for Homo Sapiens #0)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,291 ratings  ·  89 reviews
The universe of Neverness is and filled with extraordinary beings, such as the neanderthal-like Alaloi and the Order of Pilots. Against this backdrop stands Mallory Ringer, who penetrates the Solid State Entity. There he makes a discovery. One that could unlock the secret of immortality.
Mass Market Paperback, 552 pages
Published June 1st 1989 by Bantam Spectra (first published 1988)
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Liam Proven Yes.

Or, at least, it will help. The RfHS trilogy is a sequel to Neverness.…more

Or, at least, it will help. The RfHS trilogy is a sequel to Neverness.(less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  1,291 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really enjoyable 'big idea' science fiction novel that takes place millenia in our future on the planet Icefall, also called Neverness. It's kind of Dune meets Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol 1 with high level mathematics, posthumanism, and trippy metaphysics thrown in.

The story follows the life of Mallory Ringess, a trainee enrolled at "the Academy" that was founded by a pseudo-monastic order of truth-seekers called 'the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffabl
4.5 to 5.0 stars. WOW!! This is epic, "big idea" science fiction at its best. Reminded me a lot, in tone and scope, of such great novels as Radix by A.A. Attanasio and The Golden Age by John C. Wright. If you like those books, you will definitely like this one. Absolutely superb!!! Highly recommended!!

Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1990)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best First Novel (1989)
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
I am a lover of mathematics. I am also a lover of good sci-fi that poses big questions. This novel has both, homerun right? ... Well no.
Let me first say; his book had many things going for it that I could love. Mathematics is a sort of magic, mathematicians use their abilities to calculate and navigate through a manifold (subtle enough poke at string theory possibly) which allows them to explore the universe at amazing scales. In this exploration they can have philosophical conversations with g
Sep 02, 2013 is currently reading it
Although still at 7% through the book, I'm putting 'Neverness' next to 'Dune' as one of the (two) best science fiction books I've come across. Of course in important respects the two books are incomparable - 'Dune' is an epic in whose solemnity 'Neverness' does not, and does not aim at sharing. However maybe there is a reason other than pure admiration that made me compare 'Neverness' to my otherwise all-favourite epic 'Dune': the philosophical depth of the book, the incredible sensitivity with ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked this up because I read several comparisons to Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, and there are similarities - dense, evocative prose; rich, textured, and unique world-building; a taste for the striking strange - both in well-written imagery and concepts; a young, arrogant, first-person narrator who is not a philosopher but is given to philosophical pondering; a combination of humanity's past with humanity's far-flung future.

Zindell definitely takes his own path though, inspired as he may
Tudor Ciocarlie
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is everything that Ridley Scott's Prometheus wanted to be.

An excellent blend of almost every science-fictional sub-genre out there: space-opera, horror, post-singularity and superhuman, apocalyptic fiction, military and anthropological science fiction and even a little bit of post-cyberpunk and time-travel.

Unfortunately, in 1998, Neverness was probably too much and now, after all its themes were overused in the last 25 years, its newness and shine have disappeared a little. Still, Neve
Lori Penn
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At a young age, this booked changed my perspective on life. An amazing journey worth taking.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marinus Opperman
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
No respecting reader of speculative fiction would dare to neglect reading this book a few times. Although probably intended as a single volume, it starts the reader on a four book journey.

This book starts in a universe where mathematics enable one to traverse the universe and discover the wonders and dangers our galaxy holds. Many disciplines are touched from the art of poetry to that of anthropology and philosophy.

Enjoy this first book with the knowledge that the best is yet to come.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The Good:
- great world building
- some compelling and original ideas
- a good introduction to an (hopefully) epic story
- definitely makes me want to read The Broken God soon

The Bad:
- unlikeable hero
- the other characters aren't great either
- at times repetitive and could have used some editing
- for something so often compared to DUNE it's nowhere as brilliant nor as deep

Overall it was an interesting read and I'm looking forward to digging into the next book (although I'll try to lower my expecta
Chris T
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review Source @

The story follows Mallory Ringess, a young Pilot of the Order that finds himself in deep space on a mission that could have been entirely avoided if he wasn’t such a hot-headed, arrogant and stubborn man-child. Zindell expertly tells this tale in the first person and gives us the insight into Mallory’s personality necessary for us to warm to him. It’s ultimately this decision that allows the novel to succeed so completely. As a reader you find yourself sympathising w

magdalena dyjas
This is a huge, complex books full of big SF ideas. But it's also one of the most uneven or inconsistent books I've ever read. I think it's simply way too big, and too heavy going. Zindell could've written 3 really, really good books based around the plots, characters, worlds, concepts etc. which he's tried to cram into this one. There were parts of the book that I really, really enjoyed (Alaloi), and parts I could do without (Agathanians), but I know what I would really, really enjoy - a well m ...more
Jun 17, 2014 rated it liked it
"I journeyed on, and my ship seemed like a dark, stale tomb imprisoning me, darker by far than the Timekeeper's stone cell. As a germinated seed seeks its way out of the ground into the light of day, I longed to break free of the old thought ways that stifled me and restrained my inspiration". David Zindell's Neverness balances itself as an epic tale of an anthropological expedition set out in deep space, written in densely earnest philosophical prose, often contemplating what it means to be hum ...more
Fidan Selim-Zade
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It has been a long time since I read a sci-fi novel on Space Opera genre, though it is one of the my most favorite genres.. The reason is I've read so much of it I was struggling to find a new one that could hook me on from the very beginning. Neverness has vastly amused me with its world, and perspective of human civilization in the Universes of space and mind. I found it to be true science fiction novel with the nontrivial idea of future, human society, and vision on evolution of mind.

".. our
Tibor Merlak
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
one of my favourite books of all time. Its a total mystery to me how the author of this very unique and inspirational book could have also written "the EA-Cycle" which was very dull and stereotype in my opinion
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful reading experience. Looking forward to the adventures (sequels) lying ahead ...
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tasting notes: the society-building of Jack Vance, a hint of the arrogance of youth in many of his central characters; coupled with the scientific imagination of Stephen Baxter, particularly his Xeelee sequence of novels; there’s something also of Brian Stableford around the way he plays with genetics and human existence; I also detected a soupçon of either Allan Moore (Voice of the Fire) or perhaps William Golding (The Inheritors); an after-taste perhaps of Huxley in the way a purported utopia ...more
V Nash
Oct 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF 15%. I couldn't connect with this book.

In a distant future a man tries to join an order of pilot/mathematicians who navigate though the galaxy by solving theorems.

The story starts on solid ground. The man, his surroundings in a faraway planet in a faraway future, his friends and family are introduced. The foundations of the plot and the world are built up a little in a few episodes where the man is learning/training to be a pilot in a kind of college town on an alien planet. This is all fi
Jul 17, 2017 added it
I can't even work out whether I like this book. There are things about it that are interesting. There are some issues. It jumps around between quite different sections that seem concerned with different ideas and different kinds of storytelling. Which could be a good thing, and there are still common threads to hold it together somewhat, but still a lot that didn't land for me.

I don't regret reading it but I'm feeling relieved to be finished.

And yeah, pretty bad at depictions of women, and som
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
Easily one of the best and most ambitious books that I'm given 2-stars. The book stretches from surviving a hunter-gatherer life to the end of technology approaching godhead. Unfortunately the execution is horrible. SF ideas are continuously thrown against the wall like wet clay and the author doesn't care if they stick or fall off or even make it to the wall. A lot of science is simply wrong, in a few cases deliberately but usually not. Some scenes are beyond ridiculous, the worst being sentien ...more
Drew Schott
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the finest pieces of literature I've read. I don't expect to write something like that for a sci-fi book, but this was an absolute mind thrill ride.

The book takes place mainly in the protagonist head; Mallory Ringess(not Ringer, the description for this book on here is complete garbage.)

The semi-bizarre, thought-provoking mix of existentialism and stoic emotion had me re-thinking my view of the world.

I highly recommend this to anyone.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Good, hard Sci-fi with lots of issues to ruminate. One of the most interesting things about this book is that normally, science fiction examines Sociology by putting characters into situations that couls not exist in this world; Zindell seems to examine Philosophy in this light, which makes for a very interesting read. I found the story to be very enjoyable and the plot to be good. Interesting read, and may hunt down the others in this series.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Absolutely amazing sci-fi.

A very original world without most of the sci-fi tropes, interesting and imperfect (character wise) characters, a deep and interesting and compelling story.

A few very minor things that I would have liked differently, but not enough to sway me from giving this book a solid 5 star rating. Absolutely excellent!
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, philosophy
A bit too fond of monologues and philosophical discussion about not-quite-physics-but-whatever-the-Universe-is-weird-sounds-plausible-enough-to-me-it's-fiction-why-do-I-care-now and if-I-wasn't-so-ignorant-I'd-probably-find-this-infuriating-mathematics. And that's coming from someone who likes such stuff.

Ultimately, it's pretty damn good. See you further down the trilogy, Zindell.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating tale of growth and enlightenment. David Zindell has written a very interesting space opera that combines math, enlightenment, and cavemen. A great story with growth, development and some very interesting thoughts.
Jamie Rich
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Neverness (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #0) by David Zindell

The prequel to the series. And the only book in which Mallory and Soli do anything together. It's well written, tightly paced and character driven. Go read it!
Rita Telhada
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Though by no means a classic, Neverness is still a highly recommendable sci-fi trip whose conceptual and thematic richness is only undercut by its occasionally slow pace and dated treatment of female characters. Am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the saga.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing and beautifully written, this novel explores the relationship between gods and mortals. The best book in the entire series, as the sequels are a bit long-winded. Philosophical, poetic SF.
Keso Shengelia
The introductory novel for the Requiem of Homo sapiens trilogy. If you loved Dune and The Left Hand of Darkness, this is your book.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Brilliant, complex sci fi trilogy that I enjoyed years ago. A lot of the maths - all of it was beyond my understanding but it did not dampen my enjoyment.
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