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With Earth’s presence, however, it would be possible to abandon the Way once again and go into orbit around Earth. Don't let that put you off, this is immense sci-fi with big ideas and worthy of a place in the SF Masterworks series. All five of them are interned in the main settlement, Axis City, where they become the pawns of complex political games between various factions. It attempts to stir up a sense of wonder, maybe even guilt, over the contrast of what humanity achieves in the Stone versus what the Death brings to Earth.

Bear emphasizes that just because one belongs to a group doesn’t mean one’s own identity and choices are subsumed into that group. They all have their own goals, and the Stone’s reappearance in Earth’s orbit upended many of their plans for the future. It’s a great book, which may not have aged too well, but still instills a sense of wonder in the reader.

Each new discovery leads to a new focus, until the discoveries spiral out of control and the reader is left breathless and stunned.

His books have won numerous international prizes, have been translated into more than twenty-two languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. On the first cover you included, note the clever and careful use of the word “may” in that Washington Post quote.

Describes a book or dust jacket that has the complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc. The description of the war is NATO’s most closely guarded secret, and politicians race to prevent a war in Patricia’s own universe.

future inhabitants of the Stone rather uninteresting – I didn't really care about their internal politics. They make sense, but there's no real mystery to them, not enough depth to explore, and so became predictable. And not only that, it includes a version of the Singularity, a vast space battle across a vast number of realities, a closer-to-home apocalypse, and massive geo-political rivalries right here on Earth. You do have to concentrate; it’s rather like watching a particularly Moffat-esque episode of the modern Doctor Who.His work covered themes of galactic Granted the Soviet Union gave up on communism a few years after publication and the idea of it still existing seems to have put a few reviewers off their stride.

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