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Probability Space (The Probability Trilogy) Hardcover – September 7, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: The Probability Trilogy (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (September 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765301709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765301703
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,493,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As Probability Space opens, the future looks grim, though humanity has spread across the stars. Humans have gained control of a moon-sized, immensely powerful super-weapon abandoned by a long-gone alien race--an artifact that should protect humanity from its implacable enemy, the Fallers, a ruthlessly xenophobic alien race. Unfortunately, the Fallers have found another of these abandoned super-weapons, and if both are discharged at the highest setting at the same time, then the very fabric of space-time will be shredded, destroying not only all life in the universe, but the universe itself. But for the Fallers, victory may be more important than survival. And a violent military coup has put an insanely ambitious general in command of human space....

A novel of literary hard SF, Probability Space concludes the trilogy that begins with Probability Moon and includes Probability Sun. Author Nancy Kress has received the Hugo Award, the Sturgeon Award, and three Nebula Awards. --Cynthia Ward

From Publishers Weekly

The action-filled final volume in Kress's Probability Trilogy (Probability Moon; Probability Sun) spectacularly resolves the human-Faller stalemate. The story's setting moves from Earth to Mars to the planet World, all of which lie within the nexus of wormholes that somehow link space together. Central to the security of humanity is an alien artifact that has the capacity to protect-or destroy-entire star systems. Two of these devices are known to exist: one is held by humans, the other by the alien and hostile Fallers, with whom humanity is at war. When a military coup knocks the current leader out of power and he's replaced by a fool, Pierce, three people realize that Pierce may seek to use the artifact to utterly annihilate the Fallers-and likely the fabric of space-time. Physicist Tom Capelo, who found the artifact, military man Lyle Kaufman and sensitive Marbet Grant concoct a wild plan to save the day, a plan that involves hijacking the artifact and making direct contact with the enigmatic alien race. Meanwhile, Tom's daughter, 14-year-old Amanda Capelo, finds herself on the run as she's chased by military personnel who believe she knows something about who kidnapped her father. Worse, the young Greek man who befriends her may not be trustworthy. Admirers of the author's shorter work may be put off by inconsistent characterization and some utterly improbable situations, but followers of the trilogy will find much to enjoy here.Hugo and Nebula awards for her short fiction.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The war between mankind and the Fallers goes unabated as humanity's enemy still ignores any transmissions from their opponents. If anything, the hostilities are turning worse at least for humans as it looks inevitable that the Fallers are going to win. An alien victory means the end of humanity because no one survives a battle let alone a war with the enigmatic Fallers.

The taste of defeat leads to an earthly coup with the new leader apparently willing to use a "not of this earth" doomsday machine (that the Fallers also possess) to annihilate the enemy. However, not everyone agrees with the wisdom of deploying a device not fully understood as to its ramifications and most likely will also rip the space-time continuum. Physicist Capelo, Major Kaufman, and sensitive Grant try a Hail Mary ploy to communicate with the Fallers before the galaxy as it is relatively known is ripped asunder forever.

The final novel in the "Probability" trilogy (see Probability Sun and Probability Moon) is an exciting climax to a strong series. The story line of Probability Space can stand alone yet brings closure that will please fans of the series and coax newcomers to seek out the previous books. Though the probability of some of the events occurring as written seems statistically unreliable, Nancy Kress furbishes a strong climax to a delightfully intelligent triad.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Hunter on March 10, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was so enthralled with the previous two Probability books that I read each of them in a single sitting, which is very rare for me. I also really enjoyed "Crossfire". But this book I almost didn't finish at all. The characters in the previous two books were solidly drawn and acted with intelligent and interesting motivations. Here, they seem almost random. The plot is strung together from coincidences and blatant contrivances. Like reviewer Sparks, I too became convinced that the author had no idea what this book was supposed to be about. Furthermore, it seemed to me that key background information about the story was repeated almost verbatim every few chapters, making the author look like a student trying to hit a page count. This is a bad book and wholly unworthy of a writer of Kress's obvious talent.
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Format: Hardcover
Interstellar war never was so grim, with humanity posed to lose a war with the Fallers, what is going to keep us from being completely wiped out? Well a coup on earth for one as the Fallers hedge in on the planet and defeat looms in the popular mind. With some predictability, the doomsday scenario card is played in the book that could wipe out the enemy, but with the standard, should we shouldn't we do this argument, the book starts to meander. Ok if you want a good story, and the subject is worth exploring, but like the cold war, we could kill many people, and possibly destroy space time in this book, the impact of that choice is something that we still would have to deal with. Especially when we try to figure out where to actually use the device. This is the last book in the series, and brings about good closure, but would have preferred a more substantial entry to finish this book off, but then having decent closure is important, some readers might find the ending satisfactory. Overall Ok, 3 stars, worth getting and reading.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David W Sparks on January 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two books in this trilogy, I feel that the third volume falls somewhat flat. Kress alternates between two main storylines (one following Amanda Capelo, and the other following Lyle Kaufman) both of which are at best reactionary and at worst aimless. The absurdity of the plot devices in the Amanda storyline are only outdone by the impossibility of the plot devices in the Kaufman storyline. Motivations for the characters are often unclear.
Halfway through the book, I was convinced that even the author had no idea where it was going. Somewhat late in the game (about page 200) the book does find its pacing and races to finish things off, but I found the conclusion unsatisfying.
I would only recommend this book to fans of the first two books who are obsessive compulsive completists. Casual fans would be better off reading Kress' short fiction.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The storyline was connected, the plot was interesting, the conclusion was satisfying. I read the negative reviews before purchasing the book, and found that discussions about inconsistent plot flow and skipping around, etc. were unfounded.

I gave this book 3 stars because Kress cut some corners in her writing. To save redescribing certain characters or universe characteristics, she copied and pasted paragraphs from the earlier two books. This was just being straight-out lazy. I also felt that some of the plot moves were a little rapid, perhaps forced to be so in order to move the plot through the 350 pages.

Otherwise, I am happy to have read the 3rd book and concluded the saga within the probability universe. If you've read the first 2 books, this is a must - and it is a pleasant read overall.
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By P. Budney on March 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed the Probability trilogy very much. Interesting, believable characters, exciting story, and a fine, appropriate ending.

The Fallers were wonderfully alien and I would love to learn more about them. World had a fascinating culture , at least before the artifact was removed.

Two minor annoyances. There was some repetition of material from the previous volumes, evidently to allow this book to stand alone. Perhaps that should have been left out or put in a separate section. Also, the physics behind the operation of the artifacts was explained in more detail than I wanted. However, these small defects detract very little from a great trilogy and its fine concluding volume.
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