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Incandescence 1

by Greg Egan
Publication Date: 01/08/2009
2/5 Rating 1 Reviews
A million years from now, the galaxy is divided between the vast, cooperative meta-civilisation known as the Amalgam and the silent occupiers of the galactic core known as the Aloof. The Aloof have long rejected all attempts by the Amalgam to enter their territory, but have permitted travellers to take a perilous ride as unencrypted data in their communications network, providing a short-cut across the galaxy's central bulge.

When Rakesh encounters a traveller, Lahl, who claims she was woken by the Aloof on such a journey and shown a meteor full of traces of DNA, he accepts her challenge to try to find the uncharted world deep in the Aloof's territory from which the meteor originated.

Roi and Zak live inside the Splinter, a world of rock that swims in a sea of light they call the Incandescence. Living on the margins of a rigidly organised society, they seek to decipher the subtle clues that can reveal the true nature of the Splinter. In fact, the Splinter is orbiting a black hole, which is about to capture a neighbouring star, wreaking havoc. As the signs of danger grow, Roi, Zak and a growing band of recruits struggle to understand and take control of their fate. Meanwhile, Rakesh is gradually uncovering their remote history and his search for the lost DNA world ultimately leads him to a civilisation trapped in cultural stagnation and startling revelations about the true nature and motives of the Aloof.
Science fiction
Publication Date:
Orion Publishing Co
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Greg Egan

Greg Egan is a computer programmer, and the author of many acclaimed science fiction novels.

He has won the Hugo Award as well as the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Egan's short fiction has been published in a variety of places, including Interzone, Asimov's, Nature, and He lives in Australia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

2 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Don't Bother!

    by on

    This book was very, very difficult for anybody other than a scientist or mathematician to read. I persisted, however, because despite all the jargon, the basic plot was quite interesting. I don't know why I bothered. The book had two separate story-lines, giving the impression that these would eventually come together. This did not happen. The two stories were not properly combined, leaving the reader with the sense that the book just ended suddenly, as though the author just ran out of words. This would be disappointing at any time, but after wading through all the maths and science to get to this point, I feel as though I wasted my time. The first set of characters came into contact with a world like that on which the second set reside, but we are left wondering if this is a similar world, the same world in the past or the same world in the future. This book just wasn't worth the effort.