In Robson's U.S. debut, a thought-provoking SF stand-alone, the British author of Sliver Screen and Mappa Mundi revisits the disquieting territory of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. Advances in genetic engineering have created the Forged, human/machine hybrids that carry out tasks too mundane or too dangerous for the Unevolved, as non-Forged humans are called. Soon after a Forged explorer, Voyager Lonestar Isol, returns from a 15-year trip with the Stuff (a sentient chunk of gray quartz capable of instantly transporting her anywhere), Isol announces that she's found an empty Earth-like planet in a distant star system. By claiming it as a home world, the Forged can finally break from the resented Gaiasol, the political entity that rules Earth's solar system, and become what they were meant to be. While many dream of moving out, others suspect that the Stuff's offer is too good to be true. Archeologist Zephyr Duquesnse, commissioned to study the proposed home world and make sure it's truly free of life, finds no easy answers. Fans of the sweeping, politically and psychologically aware space opera of Iain M. Banks and Ken MacLeod will be intrigued by Robson's setting and the new slant she takes on universal questions.
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"Thought-provoking.... Fans of the sweeping, politically and psychologically aware space opera of Iain M. Banks and Ken MacLeod will be intrigued by Robson’s setting and the new slant she takes on universal questions."
One of the most amazing books I have read in a while. In a not so distant future, after Earth resources have been depleted, the Forged (nano-bio-mechanical entities, human... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Andreea Pausan
Well written, very imaginative... The kind of semi-plausible science fiction I enjoy.Published 5 months ago by peter b
by Justina Robson
This one is hard to rate and review. Many amazing ideas but they are sort of thrown together without much story. Read more
This is a very imaginative science fiction story -- the kind of risk that might work magnificently or fail catastrophically. It fell somewhere in the middle for me. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Doctor Moss
I love Bear, Niven, Pratchett. Robson equals them all. The depth of each moment's speculative imagination rivals Pratchett, who could craft a pun that astounds and fleshes out the... Read morePublished on January 27, 2013 by AnywayThoseGuys
Justina Robson's "Natural History" is a science fiction novel about individuality, loneliness, isolation, connection, freedom, purpose, the thirst for knowledge, speciation,... Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Michael Lichter
Hard science fiction in both senses of the word, it will richly repay the time you put in. Brilliantly imagined and worked out. Challenging, involving and thought-provoking.Published on January 17, 2011 by C. Conly
whatever I expected, I didn't get it. One thing I wanted desparately was to know more about Isol; the other was to understand Zephyr more fully. Neither happened. Read morePublished on September 16, 2008 by constantread