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Lost in Transmission Mass Market Paperback – March 2, 2004
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"An ideal blend of wit and superscience, set in a brilliant future age when wealth and immortality just aren't enough. McCarthy gives an adventurous new spin to the ongoing rebellion of the young."
-- David Brin
"A standout job...full of action, humor, top-notch speculation and intriguing characters...Such ambition and creative playfulness should serve this book well when award lists are made up."
-- Paul di Filippo, scifi.com
"If Robert Heinlein had written Lord of the Flies, he probably would have come up with something like The Wellstone."
-- Rocky Mountain News
"Wil McCarthy considers post-scarcity economics, leadership politics and immortality--all in an adventure that would have made Robert A. Heinlein proud."
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Top Customer Reviews
I tend to avoid so-called 'hard scifi' books because I prefer a good story to a clever bit of scientific extrapolation. I find hard scifi books to dwelve too much into scientific exposition, as they seem to be too much in love with their own concepts to care about their characters.
This is partly true of Lost in Transmission, but it's far from annoying. The science displayed in this novel is, to be frank, absolutely stunning and well worth the expositions, especially as its workings have major consequences on the rest of the story. Not only does McCarthy tackle a frighteningly original and awe-inspiring concept, but he takes the time to think on its consequences on human life.
And that's what stands so perfectly at the core of this novel... It's the way the technology forms the basis of a fascinating study on human psychology, of a humanity that has no more material need and knows immortality. The protagonists are given this gift, then it slowly falls away from them as the story progresses.
The structure of the novel might seem disjointed, but it is perfectly appropriate for the nature of the story, that of the life of an immortal. The main character changes his mind a few times, gets close then drifts away from friends and lovers... In that regard, the story's pace is perfect for an immortal life, if quite unconventional.
Another thing I found awesome with this novel is the fact that there is no Bad Guy and Good Guy in this story.Read more ›
The former rebels make it to planet P2 and at first it looks like they will have the freedom to pursue their dreams. However, the planet is short on tracer metals needed to keep people healthy and young. As the technology wears out, there is nothing to replace it and for the first time these immortals know what final death is. One brave former revolutionary conceives of a plan to rescue some of the population but it is history that will judge whether he is a hero or a pirate.
In LOST IN TRANSMISSION readers will find that immortality leads to stagnation and a need for the status quo, a situation that drives the second generation of immortals into rebellion so they can break free of the social constraints. The irony is that when they "grow up" in tens of centuries they are much like their parents except for a few "old" revolutionaries who are not content with their situation and intend to change it (sounds like the love children of the sixties). Will McCarthy has written a fascinating book about a future the audience hopes will never come true.
All three books are set in a wondrous technological future, based largely on programmable matter and on instantaneous matter transmission. Crucially, the latter wonder also leads to near immortality: one can be maintained at any desired age by filtering software in the "faxes," and one can be reinstantiated from stored copies in case of accident. In the first two novels, we saw how this bounty led to near-utopian conditions, but how human nature represented the snake in that garden. The first novel, The Collapsium, is an episodic story in which the great scientist Bruno de Towaji thrice saves the Solar System from destruction. Here the problem is human jealousy and the great power available from such high tech. In the second novel, The Wellstone, Bruno's son Bascal and his friends, frustrated by the place of youth in a world of immortals, play a number of increasingly dangerous pranks, and end up exiled to Barnard's Star.
Lost in Transmission, then, is the story of the journey to Barnard's Star and the effort to colonize one of the planets of that star. The main character, as in The Wellstone, is Bascal's close friend Conrad Mursk. Conrad is First Mate of the Newhope, their starship. His lover Xiomara Li Weng, or Xmary, is the Captain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Starts out well, moves into a flashback, which is the bulk of the book. At the very end, the tale moves back to the future, but not only fails to explain what exactly is happening,... Read morePublished on September 16, 2009 by Diane C. Howard
This is the third book in McCarthy's _Queendom_of_Sol_ series, and the first I picked up (the first two in the series are not available in ebook editions!). Read morePublished on July 14, 2007 by Bluejack
Collapsium was great. End there. Do not proceed. Warning, do not proceed, you will be bored. The first book is great. the second is ok and this one is mund numbingly boring. Read morePublished on October 7, 2005 by G. Nappi
Here we have the penulimate chapter in McCarthy's "Queendom of Sol" series and in it McCarthy rises to become one of the best science fiction writers around. Read morePublished on September 17, 2005 by A. M. Jordan
There's more of McCarthy's physics in this novel. He's found a way to show how even the best laid plans ... Read morePublished on July 15, 2005 by sabadash
McCarthy in his earlier novel, "The Wellstone," postulates his children's rebellion as a response to a world where people can live practically forever (possessing the "engineered... Read morePublished on February 19, 2005 by M. A. Plus
Some reviewers have commented that this book stands well on it's own. I wouldn't know, because I've avidly read The Collapsium and The Wellstone, which are just about my favorite... Read morePublished on April 21, 2004 by Ben
Lost in Transmission is the third novel in The Queendom of Sol series, following The Wellstone. In the previous volume, the Queen's Navy and the Royal Constabulary arrested Prince... Read morePublished on March 22, 2004 by Arthur W Jordin