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Beyond Infinity (Benford, Gregory) Hardcover – March 18, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
In this novel, Cley is an Ur-human, a form of Original and the oldest extant version of humanity (the Originals were reconstructed by the Supras during the rejuvenation of Earth). She grows up in her Meta Family knowing only her current MOM - Mother Of the Moment -- and imagining her father. She knows that her mother is probably someone living within the Meta, but her father left the Meta when she was three. Cley yearns for his return.
When she is old enough, Cley starts work at the Library of Life, where various species of Mankind catalog and rerecord the DNA and other data of Earth's history. She has a passionate attraction toward Kurani, a Supra who lives in the present as well as within the realm of abstraction. They are working together when agents of the Malign attack the Library and kill Kurani. They also try to kill Cley, but fail; her body slowly mends itself.
Seeker After Patterns, a highly modified and intelligent raccoon, finds her body and helps restore her to health. For some time they dwell in the forest, amidst ancient networks of life, while Cley recovers in body and mind. Then Rin, another Supra, discovers them and takes them back to the Library of Life.
Cley is told about the attack and learns something of the Malign and other human encounters with higher dimensions. While working outside one day, Cley and Seeker encounter Morphs, manifestations of higher dimensional beings within normal spacetime.Read more ›
The scale of time is such that the sun has gone around the galaxy four times, and the continents are no longer recognizable.
Enter Cley, the heroine. She is an "Original" or one of the "Ur-Humans" which is close to our kind. Close as is desirable, since Supras in resurrecting our species added to the basic gene type telepathic abilities and the ability to live several centuries. It is so hard to latch on to her motivations that the author had to resort to more-extensive-than-necessary explorations of her sexual development. Her first affair is with a Supra, who dies in an attack that nearly kills Cley as well. It does kill off her entire tribe and she is the only one left.
The rest of the story is about the journey Cley has in the battle against the thing that attacked. In this she is saved, then abetted, then led by a raccoon-type creature that turns out to be another higher intelligence. Through all this she is understandably but frustratingly passive, doing little other than surviving while events unfold around her. Through it all she has obscure and occasionally enlightening conversations with Supras and her raccoon friend, centered around Benford's well-founded ideas of astrophysics, biology, and sociology.
Only if you are interested in these topics will you get anything out of this book.Read more ›
The vision of humanity in the distant future drew me to Clarke's original book, and Benford offered a chance to explore this dynamic further. At times, Benford's book delves into some hard-core science themes, including multiple universes, multidimensional physics/"branes," and transcorporeal existence (which reminded me of the ascended beings in the Stargate universe). The highly evolved, six-legged raccoon-like creature known as Seeker After Patterns throws in an element of mystery, with hints of divinity.
A great deal happens to Cley and Seeker as they face conflict both with the advanced humans of the time and with the noncorporeal Malign intent on destroying Cley's kind. The adventures are pretty out there, but if you stay with the book you do find a touching ending. Benford's training as a scientist is clear in this book, and I'm glad I took a few days to read it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
in the far flung future life abound even in the airless spaces between planets. written in a manner as if it is a known fact even to we primitive people. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
A little deus ex machine at the end but as usual with Benford, good "future science derived" content even though some of that content was hard to fathom. Read morePublished 12 months ago by W. Thomas Amen
It is seldom that an author truly upsets me with their writing. Benford has become one of those with this book. Read morePublished on October 12, 2009 by Ali Vossughy
Lots of interesting ideas but an extremely weak plot. Barely worth reading for the ideas. Supposedly happens a billion years in the future, but the changes are weakly justified... Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by William B. Swift
'Beyond Infinity' presents some very interesting ideas and contains some compelling prose. Unfortunately, both of these two commodities are clustered in the book's very beginning... Read morePublished on May 10, 2009 by Christopher H.
Cley, the last Original human, and her non-human friend Seeker set out on a mind-bending adventure in this far-out sci-fi novel of the distant future. Read morePublished on September 9, 2008 by Dave Deubler
This is one of Benford's better books - the surprises are connected logically enough, but not so tightly that they fail to surprise. Read morePublished on June 11, 2007 by Amazon Customer
folks if you like the hard stuff then benford is for you, with an imaginative mixture of theoretical physics and creative fiction, his books bound with possibilitys.Published on January 30, 2007 by Dave Theriault
This book, like many Benford offerings seems to mistake confusion for art. The story line is weak and development is weak. Read morePublished on July 30, 2006 by D. Bernard