Author Topic: The eternity artifact.  (Read 1507 times)

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Offline Zardoz!

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The eternity artifact.
« on: November 06, 2007, 12:58:19 AM »
The Eternity Artifact, by L.E. Modessitt, is an excellent hard SF novel that I recommend to anyone who likes good, solid SF.

It's a good sized book and is written from a multiple first person perspective that changes with the chapters, and it does use some obscure terms that'll have you reaching for a dictionary, but it's still an excellent read.

The plot can be summarized thusly: In the far future, humanity has spread across the stars. Finding no aliens to make war with, the human race has fallen back on it's time honored pastime of balkanizing and fighting among itself. There are numerous factions in the TEA universe, and at least two of them are militant theocracies. One is based on Sunni islam, the other is based on Old School Catholicism. Neither is portrayed as a place most people would choose to live in and both practice conquest and murder. Neither is portrayed very favorably. Perhaps the author put two different theocracies in to avoid being accused of picking on any one belief, or perhaps he and I share the same view on theocracies: There is no such thing as a good one.

Into this volatile mix we drop a spark in the form of an artifact of indisputably ancient and alien origin. The artifact is discovered at the edge of the galaxy, on a course that will soon put it beyond human reach. An expedition is quickly assembled and dispatched to study this alien object and gather any information or technology it may have to offer.

The crew is a mixed bag and includes scientists, technicians, pilots and a few non standard characters. Without giving much away, it's a character one would not normally expect much from that makes most of the major discoveries.

An interesting and plausible theme to the novel is that the very discovery of such an artifact and the proof of alien intelligence it brings may be more powerful and have a more potent effect on human politics and culture than any technological or scientific knowledge it may yield.

It's got some space combat for you action types, and some good, solid archeology for you science types.

All in all, a great, solid SF novel.
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Offline Zardoz!

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Re: The eternity artifact.
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 02:47:13 AM »
Sounds like Rendezvous with Rama, only more soap-opera-y.

I wouldn't call it a soap opera, more political and with more realistic characters that ACC usually did. I'm not dumping on ACC, he was a great writer and intellect, but his characters tended to be a little too neat and tidy and oh so british at heart.
Everyone who believes in justice, racial equality and free speech should support Duane "the Dog" Chapman and boycott anyone who takes action against him.


Offline Zardoz!

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Re: The eternity artifact.
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 11:47:50 PM »
Sounds like Rendezvous with Rama, only more soap-opera-y.

I wouldn't call it a soap opera, more political and with more realistic characters that ACC usually did. I'm not dumping on ACC, he was a great writer and intellect, but his characters tended to be a little too neat and tidy and oh so british at heart.

Would you say it's like Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books? Cos I found those tediously melodramatic.

Can't say as I haven't read them...
Everyone who believes in justice, racial equality and free speech should support Duane "the Dog" Chapman and boycott anyone who takes action against him.