2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Too much science, too little story,
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This review is from: Incandescence (Paperback)
Greg Egan's stories often have a strong science component. That's not a problem for me, I generally love having my mind twisted by maths or physics while enjoying the story, but in Incandescence the balance is totally lost.
The novel comprises two ultimately related stories, one follows two members of the Amalgam as they journey deep into the territory of the Aloof who control the hub of the galaxy and who passively resist any attempt by the Amalgam to be understood. The other story follows that of a group of aliens living in the Splinter surrounded by the Incandescence.
It's this second story where the real problem lies. Too much of it is taken up with one character explaining physical theories and of them conducting experiments, and that dominates that portion of the novel. It's okay as far as it goes, but both parts of the novel are very thin on characterisation or just plain story.
However some of the old Egan magic is here, and he offers some nice hints on the nature of the Aloof at the end of the book while cleverly avoiding the mistake of actually revealing their exact nature.
In summary, disapointing, but Greg Egan at half power is still better than many writers at their best.