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Collapsium [Mass Market Paperback]

Wil McCarthy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: £4.81
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Book Description

1 Nov 2002
In this stunningly original tale, acclaimed author Wil McCarthy imagines a wondrous future in which the secrets of matter have been unlocked and death itself is but a memory. But it is also a future imperiled by a bitter rivalry between two brilliant scientists--one perhaps the greatest genius in the history of humankind; the other, its greatest monster.

The Collapsium

In a world of awesome technology, the deadly substance called collapsium has given humans all the powers and caprices--including immortality--of the gods they once worshiped. Composed of miniature black holes, collapsium allows the instantaneous transmission of information and matter--as well as humans--throughout the solar system. But while its reclusive inventor, Bruno de Towaji, next dreams of probing the farthest reaches of spacetime, Marlon Sykes, his ambitious rival in science--and in love--has built an awesome telecommunications network by constructing a ring of collapsium around the sun. It appears Sykes may be the victor--until a ruthless saboteur attacks the ring and sends it falling toward the sun. Now the two scientists must put aside personal animosity to prevent the destruction of the solar system--and every living thing within it.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (1 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055358443X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553584431
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.7 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,440,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The stunning new novel from the author of BLOOM - chosen as one of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

SALES POINTS * A brilliantly written novel * Wil McCarthy is one of the brightest new stars on the American SF scene. * Bloom won widespread review acclaim. * 'Swiftly paced, consistently inventive and tightly written. This is a novel that knows its business' - Gregory Feeley, The Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Widescreen baroque 8 Aug 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wil McCarthy's stylish and baroque tale of laconic scientist Bruno de Towaji is both original and refreshing, set in a Solar System where Tamra, immortal Queen of Tonga has been elevated (due - it would appear - to popular demand) to the position of Queen of the Solar System, attended by a court of Declarants and a royal guard of robots.
This novel could also be considered as the 21st Century version of Gernsback's `Ralph 124C 41+' since it features the most brilliant scientist in society as the hero, a dastardly foe, women to be rescued and problems to be solved by power of the scientific mind.
Bruno is the inventor of Collapsium, a material constructed of interlocked neutron sized black holes. It is a substance which has many varied uses, the royalties from which have made him inestimably rich.
Because of the dangerous nature of his further experiments, Bruno has been `banished' to an tiny artificial world in the Outer System which orbits a just-as-artificial miniature sun. One day his solitude is interrupted by the arrival of the Queen who demands that he return to court to work on a scientific problem. A rival of Bruno's, Marlon Sykes, has begun the construction of a Ringworld-style band of Collapsium around the Sun, a construction which will vastly increase the speed of human and data transmission across the system. The partly constructed ring however, has lost its position and is beginning to fall into the Sun. It goes without saying that the consequences of millions of tiny black holes falling into the Sun would be disastrous.
It is up to Bruno to find a solution and save the Solar System from Stellar collapse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wil is the new Larry Niven 5 April 2002
Beautifully written, this. Particularly in the first half; there are passages so well crafted they leave the reader grinning broadly: Mr McCarthy has the stylistic flair and punchy style of Larry Niven.
His future-building is thorough and believable. The picture he paints of the solar system is vivid and realistic, fanciful yet plausible, and you'll feel entirely at home within it. Wil's characters deftly flit around this accomplished environment and really show you the sights.
The characters are well crafted and charismatic with nary a cliche in sight. As for the plot, it's ambitious, original, imaginative, well thought out, well paced and entirely satisfying.
In fact the only thing that let this book down was a tendency towards the end to rely too much on real physics, real science, real mathematics: to the point where the impact of the plot's climax was eclipsed somewhat by Wil's desire to explain the why's and how's of this new branch of science he's dreamt up. Wil clearly knows his stuff; ironically, it's his desire to share so much of the detail that prevents this novel from being truly perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Golden-Age Sci-Fi revival 7 Feb 2009
By Youngs
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book, but would disagree with other reviewers who tout it as modern hard science-fiction. It reads like one of the better examples of Golden-Age science-fiction, quite reminiscient of E.E.Doc.Smith's seminal Skylark novels with ever-increasing doses of super-science pulled out of thin air by a modest super-intelligent protagonist as the situation demands. Ideas such as multiple-embodiment (i.e. cloning both mind and body) are used as an amusing plot device without any attempt to explore the deeper ramifications. It's a fun first-time read, but lacks the depth to be worth adding to ones permanent collection.
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