- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager; 1st edition (April 10, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006105142X
- ISBN-13: 978-0061051425
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Metaplanetary: A Novel of Interplanetary Civil War Hardcover – April 10, 2001
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Hugo Award nominee Daniel (Earthling and Warpath) projects a complex, mind-stretching future in his third SF novel, a cross between Bruce Sterling and Doc Smith that teems with vivid characters and surprising action. A thousand years from now, humans use omnipresent nano-matter, "grist," to engineer nonhuman forms for themselves and house their disembodied electronic consciousnesses. Tension has developed between two centers of power. On one side are the inner planets, knit together by massive cables and ruled by a monomaniacal dictator who is sure he knows what's best for everyone. On the other are the inhabitants of the outer planets and the massive spaceships/beings that are beginning to visit the stars. This latter group values diversity and freedom, but decentralization puts it at a disadvantage when the dictator plots to gain total control. As the preparations toward a system-wide civil war gather momentum, the vocabulary and relationships that at first seemed confusing suddenly become simply part of the onrushing action. The novel's only real drawback is that it breaks off early in the war, just as the two sides have squared off against each other. Keeping any moralizing tendencies nicely in check, Daniel seems to want to create an epic vision of humanity. If he can finish the story with the intelligence and energy he shows here, he may achieve that goal. Agent, John Ware Literary Agency. (Apr. 20)Forecast: With first serial rights sold to Asimov's Magazine, a plug from Greg Bear and credentials that include producer of the Seeing Ear Theater for scifi.com and host of a monthly radio show on New York's WBAI, Daniel should reach readers hungry for challenging, sophisticated science fiction.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In a far future, humanity has achieved a society in which biological and artificial intelligence exist in symbiosis. When war breaks out between the human colonies of the inner planets and the inhabited regions on the edge of the solar system, the future of the human race depends on a select group of individuals whose varied skills hold the key to preventing disaster. The author of Earthling launches a panoramic tale of men and women engaged in a war that spans both virtual and normal realities and that calls into question the nature of human intelligence and the price of freedom. A strong choice for most sf collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Cool stuff in this book includes ubiquitous nanotech, humans that are combinations of virtual and physical, cables connecting the inner planets, giant nebulous ships with human minds, unlimited body modification, a dictator who eats people's personalities, and much much more. There is plenty of hard science scattered throughout - the first book includes a detailed explanation of the Casimir effect, for example, and the sequel explains the basics of quantum cryptography. Tony Daniel has clearly done his homework. But it's presented in a fun and lighthearted way that actually helps to provide breathing spaces between the intense, world-shattering action sequences.
The best thing about this book, however, is the way the author makes this crazy high-tech world really come alive and feel natural and lived-in. Other authors - Greg Egan, Charles Stross, John C. Wright, etc. - have written plenty about posthumans with divided personalities, personality upload, body modification, etc., but their posthumans generally just don't feel...well, human. Daniel is an absolute wizard in terms of his ability to create characters and situations that could never exist in our modern technological milieu, but nevertheless are as poignant and instantly familiar as any scene from realist fiction. In fact, the entire plot of Metaplanetary is about the existence of something timeless in the human character. Reading Metaplantary, you find yourself believing in a man whose wife is his house. Very few authors have the magic touch to make that happen.
Unfortunately, Metaplanetary is the first in an unfinished series, of which only two books have been written. It is not certain when or even if the series will be finished. This in itself is a tragedy, since it and the sequel are two of the greatest science fiction novels I've ever read. If you don't like reading great things that go unfinished, then save yourself the heartbreak and skip Metaplanetary. If you don't mind, and you just want to plunge into one of the most awesome sci-fi universes ever created, then buy this book right now, and enjoy.
It's entertaining for the most part, if a bit on the wild side. You may find yourself using up your entire annual quota of suspension of disbelief on this one: In Mr. Daniel's construction, the planets of the inner system are tied together by nanotech cables (who would do that? why? how could it be made affordable?), the AIs (they serve as the Group Against Whom There Is Predjudice) can have biological children (wait for it!), and the sentient cloudships debate endlessly out there by the Oort Cloud (skim those parts!). The book's far too long though. It seems as if the author doesn't really yet know how the war, just begun here, is going to turn out, and maybe he even lost interest half the way through and simply decided to concentrate on the characters he created and figure it all out later. Not a bad thing, actually, but clearly Mr. Daniel sent "Metaplanetary" out to warm us up for the main act, and that's apparently still in the dressing room.
Notes and asides: For all the far-out science here, Mr. Daniel seems to lack basic knowledge of astronomy. From page 464: "the sun set in the west, and a crescent moon rose in the sky. Venus burned near the moon's arms." Oh really?