Recursion Paperback – Unabridged, 17 Jun 2005
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'An exceptional first novel. A new British star has arrived to join the likes of Hamilton, Reynolds and Banks.' -- Vector
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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Worth reading if you enjoy space/AI, but probably not the kind of book to join a limited permanent collection.
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.
He deals with it well. Looking for further work from Mr. Ballantyne.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The freshman novel of Tony Ballantyne is a cheesy mixture of bland dialogue, unrefined plot points and boring characters. Where do I begin? Read morePublished on 11 Oct. 2011 by 2theD
I think I'm always prepared to be a little easy-going on a first book (or at least, a first one in print, we don't know how many Mr Ballantyne wrote before Recursion... Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2008 by Roger Cawkwell