Sheffield seems to have a flair for writing characters and dialog that can pull a reader into a story. Sadly, in this book the characters and their words are mostly wasted on an often silly plot. What happens in a world deprived of all its electronics could have been, should have been, fascinating reading. But this post-disaster book trots out all the cliches. There's genetic manipulation and cloning, here mixed up with a serial killer and his turtle; a wild-eyed shades-of-Waco religious zealot and her fanatic followers; sex, political intrigue, and ambition. Worse yet, the book is obviously intended as the beginning of a series, with a coy epilogue that promises more to come. No thanks.
Charles Sheffield has givin me a gift of several hours of pure escape. This is a great book and I could not put it down. Fast moving, love interest, politics, survival, it is all there. I am looking forward to reading \"Starfire\" the sequel to this book.
Very enjoyable read. What happens when Alpha Centauri goes supernova and the EMP kills all microchips? Read it to find out.
I enjoyed this book tremendously! It was fast paced, had believable characters and story. It could happen!
Alpha Centuri goes supernova. For about a month there are two suns in the sky in the southern hemisphere, then the EMP hits just as man kind is pulling out of the weather deluge of rain, snow and hurricanes. Was it a fluke or was it a delibarate?
This was a great book! It starts off a little bit slow, but once it gets started it is very enjoyable. I really liked the characters, and the very end has a twist that is worth the read.
For most of the book, we get to follow Art and Dana, though we do get snippets of other people like the astronauts, the US President, the leader of the militant sect, etc. Dana is practical and a survivor. Art is sometimes too polite, but also determined to survive. Seth is creepy, but by the end I was rooting for him. Perhaps because Charles Sheffield gave us other, bigger bad guys to worry about. There are little diary entries by the mad scientist (Oliver Guest) and he is truly brilliant and deadly. We get to meet the leader of the militant sect who has designs towards seizing power and cleansing the world of all evil, even if that means scraping to the bone. Hmm.who would I rather face in a darkened room mad scientist or delusional religious cult leader? Hard to choose.
This book started off a bit slow, but once the set up was complete, I had a great time following along as the individual characters chase after what is most important to each after a world calamity. I did have a giggle over Mr. President Saul Steinmetz. So, supernova hits, some countries suffer horrendous loses due to violent weather, etc. It is weeks, if not months, before any kind of phone service can be restored. It finally is and calls flood the White House. Mr. President literally has over 500 calls to return, including to military and political leaders world wide. However, his first call is a booty call. Yep, he returned his old flames call first and set a date *shakes head*. Then, he actually gets to leave the White House, first trip out since the calamity struck, and it is to inspect a nearby military basesort of. He meets his presidential aid, a very hot young lady who has her own ideas of how to climb the ladder to power and fame. So, his first trip out turns out to be a tail chasing expedition *face palm*. You would think that while all the power was out and little to do after the sun goes down, someone would have been servicing the President? Anyway, just a humorous side note.
I really liked that there was a great mix of characters: the elderly, Jews, gays, Black-Hispanic, Asians, etc. This book was originally written in 1998 and it has stood the test of time. The tech described in this tale is still just beyond what we can do today. Having characters from all walks of life, just like in real life, instead of an all Caucasian cast, is excellent. Sheffield also writes women characters quite well like they are real people. So, for all that, he gets my applause.
More fun apocalypse fiction--a threat from space drops the world into the dark ages.
This was a great read! Post Apocalyptic story - modern science fiction at its best and a good story line. I will not say that this ranks up there with the Greats of the 20th Century....but the writing is close.
I liked this one enough to order more of Sheffield...say no more?
If you are just starting out reading sci-fi, try this one....not way out there in the impossible, quite plausible.
A after Alpha Centauri goes super nova and the earth is seriously damaged and what happens
"One of Charles Sheffield's most cleverly plotted and vigorously entertaining works to date"- Locus
"Charles Sheffield is one of the very best hard science fiction writers in the world". - Kim Stanley Robinson
"Sheffield clothes the most advanced speculations of modern science in alluring forms of beauty and danger".-The Washington Post Book World"