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Context: Book Two of the Nulapeiron Sequence [Hardcover]

John Meaney
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Feb 2006 Nulapeiron Sequence
Nulapeiron is a world isolated for twelve centuries. Its billions of inhabitants occupy subterranean strata, ruled by a trained aristocracy of lords and ladies whose power base is upheld by oracles. But, revolution has touched all of its many cultures - failing in its intent, yet changing everything. Now, Lord Tom Corcorigan - the commoner-turned-noble who renounced his power; the poet, logosopher, and holder of the key to understanding the myriad wonders of mu-space; the legendary one-armed warrior, former revolutionary, and would-be peacemaker - lies fatally wounded. His survival is dependent on his meeting with a mysterious seer whose spacetime-warping talents transcend the merely Oracular. It is a confrontation that will result in bitter tragedy and loss. Can the woman he loves be truly dead, or can quantum mysteries lie beyond the grave? Turning his back on a society sliding once more into anarchy and chaos, a disillusioned and despairing Tom wanders this strange, stratified world in search of meaning, love, and his own salvation. But, it seems Nulapeiron is threatened by a vast, insidious, and terrifying enemy whose origins may lie beyond their world, beyond their understanding. And, now is the time for legends to be reborn. A sequel to the acclaimed 'Paradox' and the second book in the 'Nulapeiron' sequence, 'Context' is a thrilling, daring and complex novel that confirms John Meaney as one of British science fiction's most original and exciting practitioners.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (13 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591023351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591023357
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 16 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,834,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm John Meaney (aka Thomas Blackthorne), writer of hard SF, gothic SF/dark fantasy, and near-future thrillers. Having studied physics and computer science, I've been a globetrotting IT consultant and taught software engineering on three continents. Nowadays, I hide in a Welsh valley and write full-time.

I've trained in martial arts since I was a kid, primarily shotokan karate. I'm a trained hypnotist, so don't look into my eyes... And I adore cats. (And www.johnmeaney.com is my online home - pop in and say hi!)

P.S. For readers shopping at amazon.co.uk - please note that Black Blood is a US import, being the title the American publishers chose to use for the book that's called Dark Blood over here. (Writers don't choose titles or cover art or any of that stuff. We don't like it when something appears under 2 different titles, because in the long run it costs us readers!) To be fair to the publishers, Black Blood was my original working title, but it changed a year before US publication. The US edition contains later revisions compared to the British version, but they're minor.

Publishers buy the rights to publish in certain countries, so the US publishers weren't thinking of American books being sold in Britain. The business is country-based, but the Web is global.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Context is a direct sequel to John Meaney's well-received SF novel Paradox, whose hero Tom Corcorigan sparked an impossible revolution in the teeming underground regimes of planet Nulapeiron. What next?

Tom's ingenious, paradoxical insight was how to short-circuit the ruling "Oracles" whose knowledge of unchangeable future facts held Nulapeiron frozen in slavery and stasis. Now it's AD 3418, and after that partly successful revolution, the logic of paradox rebounds on Tom. His lady love dies or seems to die, yet a Seer shows him a future in which he rescues her. His new path is shaped by the need to make this vision possible.

Meanwhile, an unpleasant force called the Dark Fire or Blight is grabbing power in one subterranean community after another. Initiates become non-people who work and fight with eerily perfect synchronisation. "They're part of the Blight, just components, and that means they're no longer human." Following his personal quest through the wonders and dangers of Nulapeiron's exotic deeps, Tom keeps colliding with the machinations of the Blight.

An alternate storyline in the far past, AD 2142, follows the early life of Ro--the first human Pilot to be born adapted for vision and flight in "mu-space". (Her mother Karyn's story formed a similar strand in Paradox.) This is partly a murder mystery featuring multiple assassins, a cryptic dying message, and the intriguing alien Zajinets from Beta Draconis 3 who know more about mu-space than they're letting on. Ro's father, lost in that strange continuum, may have become a kind of god...

Besides violence, battle, torture, martial-arts extravaganzas and nanotechnology, Context is pervaded by webs of mysticism. There seems to be another, more sinister man-made god behind the Dark Fire. A blue fire is central to the mystery of the Oracles--not to mention the Zajinets--and when Tom himself touched by this fire, the effects are awesome.

This is a big, demanding, compelling novel, full of rewarding complexities and alive with that quantum strangeness where hard science intersects with the unknowable. A third Nulapeiron volume is promised: Resolution. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'A hard-hitting action-packed sequel...all the attributes one would expect from a first-class fantasy novel' -- Enigma

'A worthy follow-up to PARADOX' -- Starburst

'John Meaney is one of the rising stars of British SF. CONTEXT is a rewarding novel...rich, often dark, deeply seamed' -- SFX --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing follow up 5 Jun 2003
When I learned that John Meaney was writing a sequel to Paradox I was pleased, unfortunately Context was a disappointment.
Context shares the worst features of the previous book with few of the best features. The main character, Tom Corcorigan, appears to move from situation to situation in an extremely disjointed fashion, with little justification ever given for why. Due to this there was little sense of the character ever developing or being anything other than a vehicle for plot events. Given the excellent sense of the character growing and developing in the first half of the previous book this was a sincere disapointment.
There are good aspects to Context, mainly the end sequences where issues are resolved. However I cannot really recommend this book unless you are a serious fan of his writing style and the Nulapeiron world
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Richest of Worlds... 18 July 2003
By Stretch
In Context, John Meaney describes in terrific detail a futuristic world of classes and complex societies, with the finest in SF techo wizardry.
I really enjoyed this book, and it sets up for the even better sequel.
Gwan buy it...
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LOOKING FOR THE FUTURE 17 Jun 2006
By Sesho - Published on Amazon.com
At the end of the first volume of the Nulapeiron Sequence, Tom Cocorigan risked his life to save Lady Sylvana, the Noblewoman who he had dreamed he was in love with. He had to save her from the very revolution he had began with the wanton killing of Oracles in a bid to gain the freedom of all of Nulpeiron and free the lower stratum from the kind of abuses he had suffered as young man due to the stratification of society. He no longer believes in that cause. After all is said and done, nothing has really changed all that much. Tom just wants to fade into obscurity and be left alone. Alas, the quiet life is not to be, for when Tom is summoned to an audience with an Oracle, his only companion, Elva, inexplicably commits suicide and soon after that the Oracle himself is killed by what seems like assassins who can bend space and time. After the death of Elva, Tom suddenly realizes that he was in love with her, but now it's too late to do anything about it. Well, that's not entirely true. Before he died the Oracle showed him a vision in which Elva is still alive. Tom will stop at nothing to learn where she is and how she can still be alive, even as dark forces threaten to take over his world!

I'm not going to beat around the bush and so I'll tell you what brought this book down from a masterpiece to an "OK" novel. These three things would be martial arts, rock climbing, and jogging! Whatever happens in this book seems to bring up these too overtly personal interests of the author. Every time Tom gets in trouble he has to resort to one of these techniques. If some enemies are after him, he climbs a cliff, he has to work himself up a ventilation shaft, he has to suspend himself on the ceiling, etc. And then all these supposedly advanced humans are still kung fu fighting and everybody knows one fighting art or another. But the worst facet is the jogging. Whenever Tom feels down or stressed, he goes jogging, which Meaney has to recount over and OVER again, describing his breathing, the scenery, with very little contemplation. He even joins a monastery where the monks jog to gain enlightenment! If I wanted to read about these activities, I would get books on them. They stick out like sore thumbs in Context and it seems like the writer bent the plot just so he could include his hobbies in this series. What a waste. Another thing that brings down the book is Tom's what seems like insincere love for Elva. I mean, it's like there was no clue in the first book and he doesn't love her until she's dead. And then he just wanders around in an aimless plot that is a pale imitation of a picaresque adventure tale without showing much urgency to find her. The book just kept repeating itself to me. Tom gets beat down. A stranger heals him. Tom is almost killed. Somebody heals him over and over, making the coencidences seem trite and unrealistic. The last thing that just wounded the novel was that Meaney even injects analogies to WWII and the Jewish Holocaust into the plot which seem just dumb and out of place. While the end of the book begins to make up for the shortcomings in the work, even that is a retread of the climax of the first volume in my mind. Probably some of the concepts in these two books would have been easier to digest if Meaney's first book, To Hold Infinity, which has not been published in America, would have come out first, since it concerns the same universe.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Paradox was better 21 Dec 2008
By Christopher J. Phoenix - Published on Amazon.com
Paradox, the first book in this series, was chock-full of ideas and story. There was some violence, but it advanced the story, and the descriptions were ... not restrained, but appropriate.

Context is chock-full of blood and gore. Resolution, the third book, is worse. It's as though Meanie ran out of ideas, even ran out of story, but had to keep going to make a trilogy, and replaced the science fiction with shock value. Context and Resolution together could have been told in half a book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just amazing! 28 Mar 2014
By C Duncan OConnell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this book for the second time. It was even better this time. There are nuances in the story that knowledge of what comes after brings to light (but the story made perfect sense the first time, too). The whole series just builds a universe that drew me in and made me want to stay!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader 3 Sep 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on Amazon.com
Tom is now Lord Tom, and doing the whole rise and fall thing ends up seriously hurt, and having to involve himself with those annoying future predicting seer people again.

He wants to turn the use of these Oracles to his own ends, and to help the underprivileged, basically. He also wants to get his woman back, or see if she is not dead, anyway.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sequel to PARADOX finally arrives! 18 Mar 2006
By D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Nulapeiron is a world which has been isolated for twelve centuries, which occupies a subterranean strata ruled by an aristocracy - until revolution within the ranks changes everything. Now the new Lord Tom Corcorigan, a commoner-turned-noble who renounced his powers, is wounded and must meet with a mysterious Seer who might save him. CONTEXT is a sequel to PARADOX and the second book in the Nulapeiron Sequence: familiarity with PARADOX is recommended for an easier introduction to the complex world receiving ongoing drama in CONTEXT.
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