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Recursion Paperback – Unabridged, 17 Jun 2005

3.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, Unabridged, 17 Jun 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; 1 edition (17 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330426990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330426992
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,453,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'An exceptional first novel. A new British star has arrived to join the likes of Hamilton, Reynolds and Banks.' -- Vector

Book Description

Herb returns to the remote planet he has been furtively trying to build a city on, to find it a swarming nightmare of self-replicating machinery. Eva has taken desperate steps to escape the tedium of her pointless life ... only to end up in the super-intelligent clutches of a yellow mechanical digger. Constantine arrives at the remote part-idyllic, part-nightmare settlement of Stonebreak and - unsettlingly - begins to confront the truth of his own unreality. Meanwhile in the farthest reaches of outer space, the Enemy is plotting the final overthrow of the human race which created it.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ballantyre tells 3 loosely connected stories in 1 during this book via linked novelletes that are interspersed amongst each other - the sum definitely being greater than the parts would have been in isolation. It's an engrossing read the first time through as the `big ideas' are gradually leaked to the reader. However a second reading would be rather tedious since much of the enjoyablity is tied up with not knowing the outcome - and once this tension is defused, the actual action within the book is rather pedestrian.
Worth reading if you enjoy space/AI, but probably not the kind of book to join a limited permanent collection.
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Format: Paperback
A brand new author with an interesting tale to tell, perhaps the thing that should be mentioned about this novel from the outset is that the back reads like one hell of an idea for a computer strategy simulation and as such will put the reader into that frame of mind from the beginning. That said the reader does try to outguess the outcome and possible strategies as if they were playing a game but the author takes the readers into all directions leaving them never sure where the tale will end up. As a first novel this is a great start and as such will be interesting to see how Ballantyne develops over future presentations.
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Format: Paperback
Ballantyne's debut novel follows three characters in three different timelines.
In the earliest period, Eva is a suicidal waitress. On her well-planned second attempt to commit suicide by overdose, she was miraculously raised from the dead and sent to a facility for therapy.
Eva has long been convinced that an Intelligence has raised itself to awareness on the internet and is watching Humanity. No one believes her and now she is also hearing the voice of her dead brother in her head.
About a century later Constantine Storey is sent to a top-level meeting. Constantine is something of a secret agent, working for the Environment Agency, the nature of whose business is somewhat unclear.
Constantine also hears voices in his head, but they are drug-based additional personalities who possess additional skills for Constantine's use.
The meeting is to decide whether or not to launch the first interstellar colony ship which will be accompanied by a terraforming AI. There are concerns as to whether the warp drive was invented by humans or by AIs and Constantine himself is forced to question his own reality.
A hundred years on from this, Herb is a wealthy spoilt techie who has infested a world with his own Von Neumann machines in an attempt to create his own city. This has gone horribly wrong and the planet is now a seething mass of voracious machines.
The Environment Agency have been watching him however, and he and his ship are boarded by one Robert Johnson, who conscripts Herb to join a war against something so vast it takes up a scary percentage of the galaxy.
It's a very clever piece of work. Ballantyne makes it clear that there are connections between the three, but you have to get a long way into the novel before things start matching up and a pattern emerges logically and inevitably.
Ballantyne is a fairly recent addition to the British SF scene of the Noughties, and it will be interesting to see the direction in which his work goes.
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Format: Paperback
I'll give it a B or even a B+, which isn't at all bad for a first-timer. He's dealing with characters who are not sure (at times) whether they're real humans or software copies, so yes, character development might get a little dicey.

He deals with it well. Looking for further work from Mr. Ballantyne.
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