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Macroscope Paperback – November 30, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
The main idea behind this novel is the macroscope itself, an instrument that focuses a new particle and allows the user to effectively look anywhere and anytime at people, places, and events. Clearly this has an implication of being usable as a 'spy' scope, where everyone's most private actions can be discerned. It is this use that gets the scope dubbed as the 'Pooper Scooper' and leads to political machinations for control of its use. But the scientists running the scope have also stumbled across messages encoded within the particle stream, messages sent by alien civilizations for unclear purposes and which when viewed leave the viewer with a burnt out mind. Into this hardware scenario Anthony sends a very enigmatic individual, one Ivo Archer, (note that name choices are important here), an apparently normal person who happens to have some very wild, super-genius level talents in certain very restricted areas, to help determine what these messages are and why they are so destructive.Read more ›
Imagine: A huge instrument is set up in Earth orbit that has the ability to view a recently discovered particle that lets it peer anywhere in space- not only in the present, but in the past as well. What started as a research instrument has been revealed as the ultimate spy satellite. This alone makes it a political hot potato, as different factions fight over control of the scope .
Unknown to the governments on earth fighting over the scope, the researchers on board have discovered that other civilizations are broadcasting information viewable by the scope, if you're smart enogh to figure out the code. But there's a catch: Everyone of the brilliant scientists who has thus tried to read the signal has ended up dead or brain damaged. The last man to try sent for a childhood friend before the attempt that left him in a vegetative state. What's odd is the friend he sent for isn't a genius like the others; he's downright dull, by all appearances.
Affairs come to a crisis when a powerful and very intelligent Senator demands access to the scope- and is killed by it. Faced with the seizure of the scope by the military, the researchers on board cut it loose and flee into space.
That's just the first chapter. What follows is one of the most original and imaginative novels in SciFi. I first read it back in high school, in 1970; it's still fresh today.
First, it can change one's view of what's possible within the genre of science fiction. It impressively weaves a tapestry from such diverse threads as music, mathematics, classic American literature, philosophy, psychology, and sheer imagination, just to name a few. To a degree I've seldom seen equaled, the combination of these elements after all these years still create in me a sense of wonder at the grandness and richness of Creation. Anthony's work here is truly a microcosmic reflection of the very universe of which he writes.
That leads into something else I've kept noticing on this re-reading. I've been constantly struck by way the story suggests the interrelationship of things ranging from tiny (like the macron particle) to immense (like the universe); and by the synergy possible between people with diverse and seemingly disparate gifts. Ranging from the "ordinary" Beatrix to the "super-genius" Schön, each of the central characters is vital to the story, though each stands out as truly individual. The plot shows each of these characters as vital to the group's success, despite what appear to be huge differences in intellectual or personal development.
The "hard" science fiction elements at first glance today might appear a bit dated, given a nomenclature that dates from the late 1960's. But then hard science and technology are not really central themes of this novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best science fiction novels of all time! I read it years ago and still think of it often. Read morePublished 10 months ago by E. Tom Jorgenson
This book has been a favorite of mine for years. I think that the juxtaposition of Astrology and a long lyric poem of one of the US's Poets Laureate is fascinating. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sally Pursell
This ranks with Ender's Game and The Demolished Man as the finest SCIFi novel, if not one of the finest novels period, I have ever read. Read morePublished 13 months ago by MICHAEL Y.
I wish I could give this 4 stars. Easily one-quarter of the book deserves 4, or even 5, stars. Unfortunately, there's the other three-quarters, much of which is wordy and seems... Read morePublished 14 months ago by James Kenney
Let me say first of all that I absolutely LOVE this book. I still have my falling apart paper copy in my library and was so excited to find it available for my Kindle. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Florida Gal
Although I LOVE this book, this e-book edition appears to have been through an OCR and edited by an alien. The formatting is so poor it made some passages very difficult to read. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
Taking a moment to consider it, there are five ways I purchase novels: (1) on a whim, like when books are only $1 and I have an entire suitcase to fill; (2) for romantic nostalgia,... Read morePublished 20 months ago by 2theD