m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Incandescence Again

At io9, a belated review of Greg Egan’s Incandescence:

Although occasionally uneven and frustrating, the book is a terrifically interesting thought experiment that will appeal to anyone who likes a strong, intelligent science mystery. And Egan’s civilization-building is simply breathtaking. His deft creation of an alien civilization of tiny insects living in orbit around a neutron star at the center of the galaxy provides such an appealing narrative throughline that you won’t be able to put Incandescence down until its extremely weird conclusion.

The novel is split between the point of view of a tiny insect named Roi, and the point of view of Rakesh, a bored human living in a far-future civilization known as the Amalgam.

The market is small for novels that require an advanced degree in theoretical physics to appreciate properly, but Greg Egan has boldly cornered it with Schild’s Ladder and now Incandescence.