By Karl Schroeder
After his well-received first SF novel, Ventus (2000), Canadian Schroeder bargains a fancy, conceptually pleasing tale of interstellar intrigue, cosmology, theology and nanotechnology. The scattered contributors of the book's far-future intergalactic tradition inhabit both house stations (aka "halo" groups) round brown dwarf stars which are provided through Cycler craft on prescribed, intergalactic routes or "lit" planets with fusion-based suns which are associated through faster-than-light ships. Meadow-Rue Rosebud Cassels, a tender lady dwelling at the house station Allemagne and desirous to break out her violent half-brother, discovers an alien artifact as soon as possessed by way of a succession of militaristic participants, either human and alien. Rue's artifact, it seems that a brand new Cycler, ignites a fight for cash and tool that alternately switches her from outcast to special house owner. As Rue masters political infighting and conflict strategies, she selections up such unswerving fans as Michael, a mystic and anthropologist, and Max, her ingenious cousin. Amid the entire fast moving area event, a few readers may need for clearer information to assist advisor them from one scene to the subsequent. The narrative quite bursts with fascinating principles, just like the faith of Neo-Shintoism and the philosophy of Permanence, however the outcome too usually resembles digressions that belong in an anthropology learn, now not a singular. truthfully, the writer packs in sufficient fabric for numerous volumes. but Schroeder is aware the way to entertain and will proceed to construct an viewers throughout a vast variety of SF enthusiasts.