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Summertide (The Heritage Universe) Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 1990
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From Publishers Weekly
This promising first installment of the projected Heritage Universe series stands on its own, even though many threads are left dangling. In A.D. 6219, mankind has spread across the galaxy, discovering two other star-traveling races and 1236 artifacts, from three to 10 million years old, left by beings known as the Builders. Now one person from each race has detected clues that might lead to another artifact, or perhaps even to the Builders themselves. Conflicts among the three races fuel most of the plot. Wishing to keep the findings secret, their respective governments provide only covert aid--a device Sheffield ( Between the Strokes of Night ) may have employed to justify the small size of his cast, six members of which will clearly be the main characters in future series volumes.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
While the twin planets of Opal and Quake prepare for the violent season of Summertide, two planetary administrators investigate the reasons behind a tenacious group of visitors' sudden interest in the ancient artifact that serves as an "umbilical" connection between the two worlds. Political intrigue, mystery, and fast-paced action highlight this hard sf novel, the first in a series by the author of Proteus Unbound. For most sf collections.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Good stuff, about multiple human colonies, and friendly and enemy aliens in the spiral arm of the Milky Way, all trying to make sense of gigantic Builder artifacts that seem to electromagnetically converge on the planet Quake at Summertide.
The only odd part, especially for the late author Sheffield who usually wrote hard sci-fi, was the superluminal travel via Bose Nodes, apparently some sort of piggyback off the Bose-Einstein quantum phenomenon.
But it isn't explained and so it's wave-of-the-hand technology more commonly found in space opera. Nevertheless, it was a thrilling read and I commend the tale to you and have already bought the sequels for myself.
only get a taste of in this first of four books.
Each chapter makes you yearn for the discoveries to come in the next, and the book as a whole makes you eager to learn about the rest of the 'mysterious artifacts'.
The characters are fairly well developed with a hint of romantic interest here and there. The story centers on the action and a relentless countdown to the event the book is named after; "Summertide".
I haven't had a book stay on my mind between readings like this in a while. I'm ordering the next three books so I can continue with the characters and artifacts introduced in this book as soon as possible.
It was a fun escape into a well developed future universe.
Good: The artifacts are interesting and unique, and present a great backdrop of the story that Sheffield is telling. He also has a great description of the aliens and presents them interestingly enough.
Bad: It was quite hard to care about these characters. They seemed like caricatures more than people, and they didnt seem real to me...they were mostly stereotypical, especially the characters presnted in the last two books. These people are in the middle of events of epic proportions on a galactic scale, but they repeatedly acted with only their own interests in mind. Which brings me to my main gripe...The plot focused only on the charactures, and you never got a sense that the rest of the galactic arm cared about what was going on. I cant help but compare books like this to Hyperion and its sequels, and these books pale in comparison. I felt like I was reading a Piers Anthony space epic. Decent fun, not a bad read, but could have been so much better. And the secret to the Builders was cool, I must admit.
An interesting collection of characters independently come to the conclusion that some of those secrets may be unlocked during Summertide, a time of violent seismic disturbances on the planet Quake caused by a rare alignment of planets. There's Darya Lang, the leading, but naive, human authority on Builder artifacts. Julian/Steven Graves, elite Alliance counciler and possessor of two personalities and two brains. He's in pursuit of two teenage girls charged with genocide. There's the ruthless Cecropian, Atvar H'sial, sometime ally of Louis Nenda, a shady, equally ruthless human, and Kallik, Nenda's smart but cong