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Macroscope Paperback – November 30, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

New York Times-bestselling author Piers Anthony has written over one hundred books. His first fantasy, A Spell for Chameleon, won the August Derleth Fantasy Award for best novel in 1977, and commenced his acclaimed Xanth series.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Mundania Press LLC (November 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097236708X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972367080
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on March 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A long, long time ago when the world was young and Anthony was a fresh new face in the science fiction world, he blessed us with works of power, incredible imagination, great originality, depth and meaning. This is one of those very early works, and by some measures it may be his best, or very nearly so, standing with his Chthon and Orn as a seminal work that introduced ideas that are still fresh and very different from the standard run-of-the-mill stuff of both then and today.

The main idea behind this novel is the macroscope itself, an instrument that focuses a new particle and allows the user to effectively look anywhere and anytime at people, places, and events. Clearly this has an implication of being usable as a 'spy' scope, where everyone's most private actions can be discerned. It is this use that gets the scope dubbed as the 'Pooper Scooper' and leads to political machinations for control of its use. But the scientists running the scope have also stumbled across messages encoded within the particle stream, messages sent by alien civilizations for unclear purposes and which when viewed leave the viewer with a burnt out mind. Into this hardware scenario Anthony sends a very enigmatic individual, one Ivo Archer, (note that name choices are important here), an apparently normal person who happens to have some very wild, super-genius level talents in certain very restricted areas, to help determine what these messages are and why they are so destructive.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Long before Piers Anthony wrote his successful fantasy novels he penned "Macroscope"- one of the most imaginative and original science fiction novels ever written. The characterizations may be a bit weak, and the dialogue a bit wooden at times, but the ideas, and the scope of the novel boirder on the breathtaking.
Imagine: A huge instrument is set up in Earth orbit that has the ability to view a recently discovered particle that lets it peer anywhere in space- not only in the present, but in the past as well. What started as a research instrument has been revealed as the ultimate spy satellite. This alone makes it a political hot potato, as different factions fight over control of the scope .
Unknown to the governments on earth fighting over the scope, the researchers on board have discovered that other civilizations are broadcasting information viewable by the scope, if you're smart enogh to figure out the code. But there's a catch: Everyone of the brilliant scientists who has thus tried to read the signal has ended up dead or brain damaged. The last man to try sent for a childhood friend before the attempt that left him in a vegetative state. What's odd is the friend he sent for isn't a genius like the others; he's downright dull, by all appearances.
Affairs come to a crisis when a powerful and very intelligent Senator demands access to the scope- and is killed by it. Faced with the seizure of the scope by the military, the researchers on board cut it loose and flee into space.
That's just the first chapter. What follows is one of the most original and imaginative novels in SciFi. I first read it back in high school, in 1970; it's still fresh today.
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By GLT on December 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am rereading this book after a number of years, having first read it some time in the mid 1970's. Again I find that it is one of those books that changes how one thinks about things, and a work that can be appreciated on multiple levels.

First, it can change one's view of what's possible within the genre of science fiction. It impressively weaves a tapestry from such diverse threads as music, mathematics, classic American literature, philosophy, psychology, and sheer imagination, just to name a few. To a degree I've seldom seen equaled, the combination of these elements after all these years still create in me a sense of wonder at the grandness and richness of Creation. Anthony's work here is truly a microcosmic reflection of the very universe of which he writes.

That leads into something else I've kept noticing on this re-reading. I've been constantly struck by way the story suggests the interrelationship of things ranging from tiny (like the macron particle) to immense (like the universe); and by the synergy possible between people with diverse and seemingly disparate gifts. Ranging from the "ordinary" Beatrix to the "super-genius" Schön, each of the central characters is vital to the story, though each stands out as truly individual. The plot shows each of these characters as vital to the group's success, despite what appear to be huge differences in intellectual or personal development.

The "hard" science fiction elements at first glance today might appear a bit dated, given a nomenclature that dates from the late 1960's. But then hard science and technology are not really central themes of this novel.
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