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on 30 August 2003
Neverness is the sci-fi equivalent of Lord of the Rings. The universe that David Zindell creates is as intricate as it is beautiful. The characters, situations and landscapes portrayed are exremely believable in a fictional setting. The space flight which seems extremely complex to begin with, with its complicated mathematics and mapping of space, becomes so familiar you forget that it is so mind boggling. Action, adventure, conspiricy, high technology all the way through, it keeps you turning the pages again and again. This is truely a classic and one that should not be missed.
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on 9 September 2002
A brilliant story which requires a great will to put down. From the humble beginnings of the tribes folk to the outlandish scope of evolution displayed here, it is clear to see that Zindell has put together quite a masterpiece, with every measure painstakingly taken to describe all the intacracies inbetween. This story, ultimatley part of a four book saga, really enagages your mind as it takes you on a jouney from man to godhood.
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VINE VOICEon 9 July 2003
I'm amazed that Zindell is not more popular than he is. First, a misconception. This book is described as hard SF - I don't agree. Sure, it deals with complex mathematical concepts, the future far-evolution of humanity...but it does so in a poetic, mythic way. It also covers philospophy, religion...This is a SF Odyssey, it is Homeric in its ambition, and it has quite the most beautiful prose I have ever read in a SF novel. Each chapter seemed to me a novella in its scope and depth when I read it. This is an epic quest of a book that stunned me when I read it and I urge you to try it.
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on 6 July 2001
Put simply, the book persuaded me to study for a mathematical physics degree simply so I could get a better grip on the concepts behind it. Possibly the best SF book I've ever read covering subjects from gene-tampering, through the meaning of godhood to modern mathematics (described in an amazingly colourful way). I believe that Voyager are reissuing it next year in their SF Classics range, which is where the book belongs...
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on 9 November 2001
This book is impossible to categorize properly. It, and its successor series, "A requiem for Homo Sapiens", combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, space opera, philosophy and mathematics to make one of the most thought-provoking and fascinating things that I have read in several years. However, judging by several other reviews that I have read, some people seem to miss the point. Just read it as a work of literature and enjoy the prose, and you'll probably enjoy Neverness more that if you approach it as a work of hard sci-fi. Its also one of the few books that I have read that lives up to its cover blurb, incidentally.
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on 12 January 2001
Compelling, wide-screen plot delivered in a highly literate style. A quest for knowledge that spans the universe and the human psyche. It's been pigeonholed as hard SF but I'm not sure it is - it has a more mythic feel. In it's style and scope and narrative drive this is a fantastic book. You should read it.
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on 25 June 2013
Neverness: A milestone SF classic, Prequel to A Requiem for Homo Sapiens (3 Volumes) Neverness deserve to stand on the same shelf as Frank Herbert's Dune Sequence. How are gods made? A Space Opera which gives new meanings to the concept of Death and Transfiguration.
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on 15 February 2004
One of my favourite books; characters with real depth and complexity, a plot which takes unexpected twists and turns, and a superbly realised setting.
The description in this book is not as rich as some later Zindell books, but this actually works in its favour, allowing the author to develop other elements better. If you read the 'Requiem for Homo Sapiens' trilogy which follows this book, you may find the longer descriptive scenes more difficult, as they go on for several pages, and, whilst gorgoeusly rich and intricate, are sometimes just too much!
Mallory, the central character in 'Neverness', is headstrong, likeable and stupid, the conflict between Mallory and Soli is believable, and his friendship with Bardo is touching and amusing. The only character I found disappointing was Katharine, but then she has her own reasons for being mysterious, and since the narrative favours Mallory, perhaps this merely reflects his perception of her.
This novel manages to capture something few modern SF authors can even attempt - a sense of wonder. There are references to the history of mankind between now and the future Neverness exists in, intriguing and complex, remensicent of Frank Herberts pre-Dune imaginings.
The best part of this story though, is the city itself, Neverness, and the people that inhabit it.
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on 26 March 2001
When I picked this one up in the library, I realised how long it was (700 pages) & I thought it would be heavy-going. How wrong I was!! It turned out to be 700 pages containing some of the most delicious SF I've ever read. A multi-faceted storyline, vivid characters, high adventure, and a brilliantly-conceived way of achieving interstellar travel. A story that succeeds on almost every level. I am very glad I didn't put it back on the shelf. It's a wonderful book.
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on 31 July 2000
A number of years ago I was getting a little bored with the sci-fi I'd read - thought I'd seen it all before. Then I read this amazing book. It contains hard sci-fi, philosophy, computers, space battles, action and deep space adventure, but written with style not like a pulp science fiction book. I would certainly recommend this novel to non sci-fi fans, it is a wonderful read.
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