|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Wil McCarthy is a certified science fiction treasure. A real-life rocket scientist with a gorgeous writing style and rapier wit to boot, McCarthy continually sets a very high standard for good old-fashioned space stories. In The Collapsium, McCarthy builds on a lovely novella to tell the far-future story of two scientists entrenched in a rivalry that may save, or destroy, the solar system. Tamra Lutui, the Queen of Sol, brings together the brilliant enemies in order to prevent the Ring Collapsiter, a vast ring of strange matter, from falling into the sun. So it is that Bruno de Towaji, inventor of collapsium--crystals made up of tiny black holes that can transport matter instantaneously across vast distances--must find a way to work with Marlon Sykes, who came up with the Ring to change the nature of communication forever. McCarthy makes liberal use of his extensive science knowledge, especially when he describes the nature of high-concept physics ideas like collapsium or wellstone (programmable matter!), but luckily, his literary skills are up to the task of moving the narrative along, keeping us in suspense, and creating characters who are worth reading about. His descriptions of the physical phenomena surrounding the artifacts of high-energy material manipulation are deft and fascinating:
A handful of collapsons in low orbit had become--seemingly overnight--a nested cage of fractured spacetimes, one within the other like wooden babushka dolls, magical ones, straining at the very underpinnings of universal law. And orbiting right overhead!
Towaji and Sykes labor to save the Queendom and outwit the saboteur trying to wreck the Ring, all the while burdened by a byzantine and bureaucratic social structure with demands for party appearances, verbal sparring, and quick thinking. While those of us who aren't physics mavens might quail at some of the terms and ideas McCarthy casually uses, it's his characters and story that make The Collapsium a book to savor, a complex and layered story in the grand tradition of science fiction's masters. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Even when faced with multiple disasters created by mankind's over-reaching itself, the future as robotics expert McCarthy (Bloom) sees it is a wondrous place, filled with interesting scientific problems and intelligent people eager to tackle those problems. Foremost among the titans of the future is Bruno de Towaji, a scientific genius so exceptionally rich he has built his own miniature planet. There he performs experiments on collapsium, a crystalline matter composed of black holes that allow for the "bending and twisting of spacetime to his personal whims." He has been at this for many years of his immortal life, until he is called out of his happy hermitage by his former lover, Her Majesty Tamra Lutui, the Virgin Queen of All Things. Her scientists, led by Declarant Sykes, have built a collapsium ring around the sun that is now dangerously unstable; Bruno's expertise is needed to save the day. Bruno is used to having people need too much of him. Yet as the story progresses, what with murder and treachery being uncovered and the problems the queendom faces growing ever more complex, Bruno grows nobly into his role of both scientific and heroic savior. While there are amusing attributes and quirks to McCarthy's characters (such as Queen Tamra's virginity being a renewable asset), the greater pleasures of this novel lie in its hard science extrapolations. McCarthy plays up his technical strengths by providing a useful appendix and glossary for the mathematically inclined reader. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This is my first McCarthy book and what an all around surprise. First off, great writing, full of sharp wit and engaging observations. Read morePublished 18 months ago by T. B.
ITS GREAT TO BE ABLE TO FIND THE BOOKS MY HUSBAND LOVES TO READ. NICE CONDITION FOR ITS AGE. WILL BE REREAD OVER & OVER.Published on May 12, 2013 by Wendlyn M. Carrington
I love when a book is written with a bit of remove, so that you're not terribly anxious about what's going to happen, but the plot is compelling and so it remains a page-turner. Read morePublished on March 4, 2012 by milkfilledandroid
I've been waiting for a long time to get a hold of this book since it's out of print here in Japan. But I'm glad they published it again. Read morePublished on January 28, 2010 by Ryles
There's a lot of marketing done in the SF publishing world, where the marketing isn't reflecting the book properly. Read morePublished on February 3, 2009 by 2theD
Decent book. The plus side is that it is readable, but there are some serious flaws as well. First of, the book starts off like a collection of short stories but when it finally... Read morePublished on July 23, 2007 by P. Breakfield IV
Don't get me wrong--this was a good book, I enjoyed reading it, and savored it up until the end. But apparently there are more books in this storyline, and I'm just not interested. Read morePublished on September 13, 2005 by ascetic
This truly is hard science fiction. Its good stuff. None of this Lois Mcmaster Bujold garbage, this guy actually understands what sci fi is. Read morePublished on August 13, 2005 by G. Nappi