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Reviews of Metaplanetary (2001)

Review by richparisi (2010-03-09)
Like the other review, I too really learned to care for the characters in this and the next book, Superluminal.

That EOS did not go for paying for a third book is a real disappointment for me.

Anyone willing to put up $100 or more to see that third book should write a review saying so. After a count, we should be able to determine whether a subscription based payment approach can work in getting Mr. Daniel to complet and 3rd book in this series.

Thanks!

(This review refers to the 2001 version titled “Metaplanetary”)

Review by archren (2006-03-12)
The first thing that you should know before picking up this book is that it isn’t a stand-alone novel. It is the first book of a trilogy. The second book is called “Superluminary.” The third book is called… well I don’t know what it’s called. Eos apparently declined to pay Mr. Daniel to write the third book, so he understandably hasn’t. This is a shame on many levels. This could have been (and hopefully perhaps one day will be) a science fiction epic that might have stood the test of time.

The closest comparison to this book that I have read recently is Peter Hamilton’s “Pandora’s Star” and “Judas Unchained” duology. This book is filled with hard SF and questions of how humanity will move into the future. It doesn’t deal with the singularity at all, but deals impressively with questions of how we will cope when human personalities are no longer confined to their individual bodies. In this book we meet humans who primarily reside in their physical bodies, but with a cloud of nanites (called “grist”) to help them with memory and computations. We meet humans who have distributed their personalities between many bodies and the omnipresent grist and are called “Large Array Personalities” or LAPs. There are people who exist only in the grist and are called “free converts” and then the children of “normal” people and free converts who are “half-converts.” And let’s not forget the cloudships!

We meet a huge cast of characters in this, and start many plot lines. None of them are resolved, as one would expect. Basically, the dictator Amés is starting a war between all the factions of the solar system. His ultimate goal involves uniting all the human personalities existing under one rule: his. To this end he is particularly interested in enslaving all the free converts. The descriptions of his concentration camps and their Mengele-type experiments aren’t particularly violent, but they are very disturbing. We also learn the stories of himself, his victims and his opponents, with lots of hard-SF world building and history. This is exactly my sort of thing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will read “Superluminary,” and then I will join the ranks of those who are really annoyed at Eos for not funding the conclusion of this amazing epic of science fiction.




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