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Singularity's Ring Hardcover – February 5, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This superior debut initially resembles a straightforward YA adventure but abruptly veers into much stranger territory. Various factions struggle for control of the Ring, a colossal space station built around Earth by engineers who turned most of humankind into a group mind called the Community, which promptly figured out how to access other realities and vanished from this one. The few remaining humans genetically engineer their children to form pods of individuals so closely bonded that they function as one person. After stumbling on secret research during a training exercise, the teenage pod called Apollo Papadopulos soon find themselves on the run from shadowy forces who want to seduce or kill them. The setting extends from Earth orbit to the Amazon jungle, and the action ranges from a tense space rescue to an almost idyllic trek through the Rockies with a family of genetically altered bears. Though some loose plot ends dangle a bit, the ingenious character development and startling images and ideas are deeply satisfying. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Earth is surrounded by an artificial ring, former home of the human-cybernetic Community, which vanished in the Singularity, years after which multiple person Apollo Popadopulos (a pod of five individuals) is one of several competitively training to captain the starship Consensus to search for the vanished preponderance of humanity. Training is arduous, and returning to Mother Redd’s farm to await assignment proves harder. Apollo meets Malcolm Leto, recently removed from stasis, who was once part of the Community. As Apollo falls victim to more and more accidents, and Leto schemes to bring back the Community, harsh truths come to light about Apollo’s origins and the bleak reality of the Community’s disappearance. Melko’s world is a fascinating one, in which single humans are increasingly rare, pods like Apollo are the norm, and the Singularity did not necessarily improve the human condition. This strong first novel boasts engaging characters and tight, fast-paced action sustained through some acrobatic plot stunts. --Regina Schroeder
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531777X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765317773
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,886,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The idea of humans who can share thoughts and feelings is not a new concept in SF but I have never read a book that pulled the reader into the personal experience so completely. The personalities of the characters have depth and the reader becomes involved as they get to witness "linking" from the point of view of each of the participants. Action is laced throughout as the pace kept me totally engrossed and wanting to turn the page. Very good book and made me want it to be about twice as long. This is an author to watch.
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Format: Hardcover
`Singularity's Ring' (Tor, $24.95, 316 pages) is pretty much straight hard science fiction - which you don't find much any more, if only because modern science is so complex as to be almost incomprehensible to a lay reader. When authors start talking about entangled Bose-Einstein condensates resonating across the galaxy, or virtual superstrings snapping in and out of existence, it makes good old-fashioned rocket science seem like Legos.

But Paul Melko does an excellent job of making biotechnology, advanced artificial intelligence and space elevators seem like a natural part of the landscape, and delivers a nice, action-packed book with heroes and villains that are clearly delineated. `Singularity's Ring' is a fun read and will open your eyes to some possibilities you may not have considered, as well as being a cautionary tale about moving too far too fast.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Paul Melko's SINGULARITY'S RING, is a delightful experiment in characterization. As the book's dust jacket says, it is set in a "posthuman future." Interestingly that future is on earth, and the characters, Strom, Quant, Moira, Meda, Manuel - collectively Apollo Papadopulos coming of age in a dangerous time - are a real team; they travel it (the Rockies, the Amazon, Congo) and space above (Columbus Station, the Ring). Imaginative concepts, adventure and a well-paced plot result in an exceptional first novel. Quick to read, engaging, thoughtful, solid sci fi, I enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved reading Singularity's Ring. I became quite involved with the characters and found myself quite concerned over what became of them. Is that somewhere in the definition of a good read? Short and sweet, I wanted this book to go on and I can hardly wait for more from Paul Melko. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
For the most part this is more of a three star book. Decent read, but it has plot holes, motivation problems, etc.

The reason for the extra star is that, as some other reviewers noted, it does a very fine job with (this is revealed on the first page, so not a spoiler) the concept of grouped human minds. It has been done before, but I found this treatment to be quite interesting. Without spoilers I can't think of any easy way to convey how this is done, so go read the book.

Based on this book I checked out of the library Mr. Melko's next two books (not related to this book's universe at all):

A WARNING ON THE NEXT TWO BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR "The Walls of the Universe" & "The Broken Universe":

They are bad and really bad. I won't go into detail about them here but...

I assume either:

A. They were written well before "Singularity's Ring" and Mr. Melko's writing ability has vastly improved. If so, such things happen, one sells a book and is "hot", so dig out the ones that didn't sell (for good reason) and shove them out the door. Many fine authors have one of these stinkers in a box someplace, letting two be published... Not so good.

B. Mr. Melko (or his family) should have himself checked for some form of health problem that could cause writing related problems, sudden loss of faculties is a sign of several serious conditions.

C. The author of "Singularity's Ring" has been replaced by a doppelganger who can't write as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Which is pretty nice when it's my only complaint. The book presents an amazingly rich and well thought out world, and I couldn't help but wish we'd gotten a chance to see more of it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For the folks who are giving this book a hard time, you must have assumed you were going to read Science Fact. Well, this isn't it. It's "fiction," so the hard science doesn't have to be there for me. If I'm looking for that, there are plenty of other authors out there selling those wares. Is it a hard-core science-based book? No. Is it a fun read with good hooks and solid pacing? Yes, and I'm glad I took a chance on it.

At the end of any book I ask myself if it was worth the time and money, and Mr. Melko's book was that and more. Sometimes I like in-depth, informative sci-fi books, and sometimes I like page-turners. This one is the latter, and if that's what you're looking for you'll be pleasantly surprised.

If you don't purchase this book, there's a high likelihood that another you in another universe will.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a real standout in science fiction- good ideas and interesting characters... and at the end, everything makes sense... everything has an explanation that is organic to the plot. I was very pleased and surprised that no gimmicks were used to make it all work. Well done.
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