Context (Nulapeiron 2) Hardcover – 4 Nov 2002
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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
'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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Top Customer Reviews
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
I really enjoyed this book, and it sets up for the even better sequel.
Gwan buy it...