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Avg. Rating: 3.57
epilogue was the insult to any sci-fi reader intellegence
This book was a five star and probably the best Clarke work in the last decade for sure, up to the epilogue, and specifically the idea within it .Although there is not a single original idea this novel presents, it still shows what good science fiction writers can accomplish. The worm-holes and basically the idea of this book is the same as in Isaac Asimov short story written in 1951 and called THE DEAD PAST (I beleive it is still available in Complete Short Stories By Isaac Asimov Volume 1). However, Clarke and Baxter fail to mention Asimov's short story in acnowledgements, for some reason. The novel has also got plenty of same ideas as in Haldeman's Hugo- Nebula winner FOREVER PEACE( brain pluges, which allow linked societies, etc). Now, the whole epilogue's idea is EXACTLY THE SAME as in Farmer's RIVERWORLD SERIES written in 1970th and also Hugo winner. The fans of Clarke and people, who do not read a lot of science fiction will probably enjoy THE LIGHT OF OTHER DAYS, because it is fast paced and loaded with sci-fi technologies and ideas; others, who read a lot of science fiction, will not be disappointed by reading this novel also, but they will not be impressed.
More tingly sense-of-wonder from Baxter!
I was joyed to see two of my favorite authors together on a book cover when I walked into Barnes and Noble! Sir Arthur and Stephen don't disappoint. I've come to really love Baxter's stuff in the last year, and I believe you can see more of his influence in this book than grandmaster Clarke's.
A fairly short book, an easy read, a fast pace throughout. Nicely deals with people's reaction to a paradigm shift in how we see each other. If anything, I think the reaction of society should have been more extreme.
I'm not giving away much when I say the book's wormhole past-viewing capabilities allow us to follow the lives of historical figures...including a touching and respectful chapter on Jesus (the authors could have done even more, but shied away toward the end), but the plot does not focus on any one period of history.
The plot focuses on the arrogant leader of the company who developed wormhole technology, and the difficulties that he puts his family and associates through, seamlessly integrating high tech speculation with personal stories. All this occurs under the spectre of a huge comet impact several centuries in the future. As humanity nears its possible end, we are given our past.
If you've read Greg Egan you might like some of the themes at the end, which concludes with a great Baxter sense of wonder chapter...he's great at the big-picture stuff (see the Xeelee books!), and a cool Clarke-ian epilogue.
I think the novel might make a good movie.
I think reviewers here bandy about the 5-star ratings a bit too liberally, so I'll give it a 4, since there are other books by the two I like even more, but seriously, don't miss this one.
I picked this book up because of Arthur C. Clarke, and it is my first time reading Stephen Baxter. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The exploration of how society reacts when all privacy is absolutely stripped away, and when all of Earth's history - back to the first life form - is available for everyone to see with 100% accuracy, could have been explored at greater length. "True biographies" of famous people such as Jesus and Abraham Lincoln are obtained with the WormCam technology, and found to be significantly different from what is widely believed. I found the book somewhat predictable, but the ideas were engaging.
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