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Tides of Light (Galactic Center) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2004
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Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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The novels are grouped in two's - the third, "Great Sky River", introduces us to Killeen Bishop and his clan, human scavengers in the dominant central galactic machine civilization some 30,000 years in the future. "Tides of Light" continues the story of Killeen, now captain of the Bishop clan, landing on a new planet with fascinating new alien life-forms imagined in realistic physical and mental detail. These mechanically augmented myriapodia, large many-legged burrowing insect-like creatures, skilfully manipulate the most exotic physical element in the series: a planet-sized cosmic string. The myriapodia use their cosmic string to burrow through entire planets, extracting the metal-rich cores to weave artificial structures on the scale of entire solar systems.
Part of the fascination of the story is the state of the humans here - good at surviving, but fearfully low in skills and abilities, and filled with knowledge of decline from a much more prosperous state. Fighting not just the myriapodia and the machines, but fellow humans led by a despotic leader, Benford manages to couple exciting action with insights into human nature, singly and in groups.Read more ›
"Tides of Light" is a direct sequel to his novel "Great Sky River" in fact you can go from the last page of one book to the first page of the other and pick right up on the story. In "Tides of Light" the first human settlers on the planet Snowglade espoused a live and let-live attitude towards the machine aliens - think intelligent road graders and mining equipment with automatic gun ships and tanks for defense. So much for peaceful co-existence - the machine aliens set out to transform the planet to an arid waste while exterminating the settlers. Through an intriguing sequence of events many of the human remnants of Snowglade escape on an ancient starship hidden by the 1st generation settlers. "Tides of Light" continues the fascinating story of survival and redemption on one of the strangest planets you may possibly ever encounter in a science-fiction story - think a molecule thick saw cutting the planet from pole to pole and up heaving rare elements for a starter.
"Tides of Light" is book 4 in Benford's Ocean/Galactic Center series. The encouraging news for readers is that you don't have to read books 1 and 2 - "In the Ocean of Night"(1972) and "Across the Sea of Stars"(1984) but you must, if you can read book 3 "Great Sky River"(1987) to enjoy and fully comprehend this novel. I have read all four books within the past several months and so I can make this statement with confidence. The overall general themes from books 1 and 2 are carried over but none of the characters and there are no cliffhangers to be reconciled.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While the book itself will be fine content, I'm not even sure I will be able to read it: it arrived smelling of not just must but mold, and I've been letting it air out, outside,... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Richard Jewell
I really enjoyed the first six of this series but I couldn't get into the restPublished 15 months ago by John
Gregory Benford writes about very complex topics in a way that leaves the reader to ponder further. What is life? Given the resources does it always produce intelligence? Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Howard Miller
this series started off so good. and I've loved other novels of benford's. But it was like he almost completely lost it with this one. Read morePublished on April 25, 2012 by milkfilledandroid
I can't review it because I haven't read any of the series. A friend read book one and was so enthused about it he wanted the entire series.Published on January 1, 2011 by Snowflake
From the incredible Great Sky River, this book continues the story of Killeen, now a leader who must get his people to the promised spot, though he still doesn't quite know why. Read morePublished on October 17, 2010 by Robert J. Crawford
Robot centipedes aren't good.
Or, this book follows on from Great Sky River, with Killeen in charge of his particular group of chess piece clan human strugglers. Read more