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The Children Star - An Elysium Cycle Novel Paperback – December 4, 2009
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"By the time the conflict she introduces in Part One has moved to center stage, you not only know the antagonist intimately, you care passionately about the outcome."--New York Times Book Review on A Door Into Ocean
"Slonczewski, a biologist, effectively describes a scary new world, filled with quaint-talking humans and primitive ways, whose fate is not resolved until a young female embarks on a quest that reveals the true nature of the aliens."--The Wall Street Journal on The Wall Around Eden
From the Publisher
"Slonszewski, a noted biologist, has written a novel that features enough absorbing material on genetics and planetary ecology to satisfy and aficionado of hard SF. At the same time, she tackles a wide range of moral issues, from overpopulation to ecological responsibility and the ethics of machine intelligence. Remarkably, Slonczewski accomplishes all of this in a story that is not only exciting but also filled with memorable characters, human, alien, and sentient machine." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This is the third book set in Slonczewski's Fold universe after "A Door Into Ocean" and "Daughter of Elysium." This is a universe where the only life is human, perhaps descended from Earth but this is so far in the past but that it is difficult to know, or creatures that humans create... until they go to Prokaryon. Unlike previous colonizations where terraforming was the standard practice, events in "Daughter of Elysium" has made this unacceptable. In order to live on Prokaryon humans must be modified and this process can take years and years as well as a lot of money.
Money, power, and population pressures are sadly still the driving forces of humanity in this universe. If you have not read "Daughter of Elysium' you will not understand this book, some of the characters are the same and the background of political and social changes makes sense if you have read the previous book. It isn't as necessary to have read "A Door Into Ocean" but you'll understand the world better if you do.
I can't wait to read "Brain Plague" next.
Slonczewski portrays aspects of modern society as species of the "Fold", cleverly having them play out a modern day drama in the discovery of the new planet Prokaryon. The immortal Elysiums (the wealthy) in cahoots with the profit minded Proteus Corp. (big business) combine to find a new home for the overpopulated L'li that doesn't involve the refugees cluttering up the home world of the rich and powerful. These pathetic L'ils, like poverty stricken populations of our third world country, even take desperate treks through space on overcrowded starships to crash land on planets where they have no home, no money and no hope for survival. The fact that Prokaryon is already teeming with inhabitants, perhaps intelligence ones, does little to hinder the Fold's plan to create a new colony for the sick and poor. Money and influence quickly win and a tense struggle to save the indigenous species ensues.
This story unfolds around a religious colony struggling to co-exist with the planet, where young orphans live off the land, taken care of by sentient machines who have found their calling in the "Spirit". The author's play of species off species, including sentient machines that earn their freedom through consciousness and work furlough, was fascinating. While I just skimmed through the biology lecture sections of the book, I didn't feel that took away anything from the story, and some may find it enhances it for them. I haven't read the other books in the Elysium Cycle (Door into Ocean and Brain Plague) but I plan to now. I'm hoping they have less bizarre alien physiology and more inter-galactic policy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A super continuation of the elysium Universe with the introduktion of the micros which will be the gamechanger in her last fantastic elysium-book The Brian plague.Published on January 27, 2014 by Jens H. Petersen
I simply love Joan Slonczewski, and I wish she authored more books! Alas, I suppose she's busy with her hard-core research (she's a biology professor). Read morePublished on December 20, 2009 by Amazon Customer
I read this 10+ years ago when it was serialized in Analog. I kept reading month after month, mainly because I liked Brother Rod's story, where the rest of the universe didn't... Read morePublished on May 26, 2008 by Evan the Dweezil