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The Eternal Flame: Orthogonal Book Two

The Eternal Flame: Orthogonal Book Two [Kindle Edition]

Greg Egan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

Classic hard science fiction from a master. The generation ship Peerless is running out of space, and fuel - and prospects for survival...

Product Description

The generation ship the 'Peerless' is suffering from a population explosion, and the only way to reduce the number of children is by drastically limiting the females' food intake. So population control consists of two barbaric choices: starvation, or suicide.

Trying to find a better way, a biologist starts experimenting with animals, and stumbles on a technique that radically alters the reproductive cycle. But while the advantages are obvious, there's a major drawback: while it spares women from their old role - reproduction without hope of survival - it will essentially wipe out an entire sex.

Amid the turmoil created by this new possibility, physicists on the ship are working to develop the technology they will need to complete the mission of the 'Peerless'. One of the expedition's founders dreamed of discovering the Eternal Flame: a way to generate thrust without consuming any fuel at all.

The inhabitants on board the 'Peerless' have some hard choices to make -- and the wrong one could spell extinction for their entire race!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1380 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0575105720
  • Publisher: Gollancz (18 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008K5T1TS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #169,184 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Greg Egan lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has won the John W. Campbell award for Best Novel and has been short listed for the Hugo three times.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science as story 23 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has been a hard review to write. "The Eternal Flame" is a very particular type of book, less a story than an extended physics lecture - the physics in question being different from that of our own universe, but perfectly consistent and worked out in great detail by Egan. In places it reads like Feynman Lectures on Physics restated as a Socratic dialogue. I have a physics degree and found sections pretty tough going. There isn't a lot of plot, and the characters are fairly rudimentary. Even more than the preceding volume, The Clockwork Rocket, science is the central character in this book. Given that, it is especially hard to give a start rating to. If you like this kind of stuff, you'll probably think it should be four or five stars. If you don't, you probably won't gte more than few pages in and I suspect you'd be inclined to give it one or two stars.

That may put you off. I wouldn't blame you if it did. But if you are happy to follow Carla and her colleagues as they argue the physics, developing, before your eyes, their universe's equivalent of quantum theory, and begin to apply it, creating analogues of devices like lasers, you may find it more worthwhile. For me, it was like eavesdropping on Bohr, Dirac, Einstein and, yes, Feynman. And there's more. The "Peerless", the generation ship upon which Carla lives and works, is dedicated to science, launched to develop the technologies that can save her species' world from annihilation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Continuation 12 Sep 2012
Those who have read my review of part one The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogonal) of this series will already know that I like Greg Egans work.
This continuation of the story takes the physics of the orthogonal universe to delightful, surprising, and consistent new levels. Empathising with the characters involved in this process of discovery makes the book a very enjoyable read. The challenges and opportunities faced by the individuals and the society are so well interwoven with the science that it is difficult to pause reading for long enough to give some of the more complex ideas the contemplation time they deserve.
I expect I will read it a few times and find as much pleasure in appreciating the richness and depth of Egans latest creation as I have with his other work.
Thank you Mr. Egan.
Five stars. Again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much focus on science 14 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Did not like it too much, he got bogged down in science, requiring too much thinking. It needs clearer descriptions for the science. I would not read it again. My benchmark for a good book is that I would reread it at least once.
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5.0 out of 5 stars stunning 23 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is not "unputdownable", because every now and again you have to put it down and ponder. The physics and maths seems right to me , as a non mathematician , and the way he leads the folk from one discovery to the other ( from antimatter to lasers to spintronics) is brilliant - why can't the textboks be writen like this ?, I finally understand why electrons need to rotate twice to get to the same position ( 4 dimensional vector addition ).
There's the odd quibble - population size on the mountain space-ship must be small enough everybody knows everyone else , so the politics arising from the biology discoveries didn't ring true to the same extent, but gave the story the needed momentum .
Physical resources must be limited, and a lot of precious air seems to be being used up profligately , but these are small potatoes - this is hard science fiction written by someone who takes no prisoners . Only one question - when is the nextone coming out?
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