The Golden Age by John C. Wright
John C. Wright's The Golden Age is a worthy read. Taking place in the far future, 10,000 years from now, it is a world where the transhuman 'singularity' has occurred long before and the population of the solar system is made up of humans of massive (and varied) intellects and powers as well as the “Sophotechs,” huge supercomputers of intellectual capacity to dwarf even their superhuman creators who make sure that the society of humanity does not lack for anything except perhaps risk and adventure, “deeds of renown without peer” as the main character would have it.
This main character is Phaeton, the aptly named son of Helion. His father is one of the seven peers who are the richest and most powerful men in the richest and most powerful age that humanity has ever known. Something does not sit well with Phaeton though, even in this golden age of peace and pr... Read More
John C. Wright(1961- )
John C. Wright is a retired lawyer. He was a Nebula Award finalist for his fantasy novel Orphans of Chaos. Publishers Weekly said he “may be this fledgling century’s most important new SF talent” when reviewing his debut novel, The Golden Age. John C. Wright is married to author L. Jagi Lamplighter. You can learn more about him at his blog.
The Golden Age — (2001-2003) Publisher: The Golden Age is Grand Space Opera, a large-scale SF adventure novel in the tradition of A. E. Van vogt and Roger Zelazny, with perhaps a bit of Cordwainer Smith enriching the style. It is an astounding story of super science, a thrilling wonder story that recaptures the excitements of SF’s golden age writers. The Golden Age takes place 10,000 years in the future in our solar system, an interplanetary utopian society filled with immortal humans. Within the frame of a traditional tale — the one rebel who is unhappy in utopia — Wright spins an elaborate plot web filled with suspense and passion. Phaethon, of Radamanthus House, is attending a glorious party at his family mansion to celebrate the thousand-year anniversary of the High Transcendence. There he meets first an old man who accuses him of being an impostor and then a being from Neptune who claims to be an old friend. The Neptunian tells him that essential parts of his memory were removed and stored by the very government that Phaethon believes to be wholly honorable. It shakes his faith. He is an exile from himself. And so Phaethon embarks upon a quest across the transformed solar system — Jupiter is now a second sun, Mars and Venus terraformed, humanity immortal — among humans, intelligent machines, and bizarre life forms that are partly both, to recover his memory, and to learn what crime he planned that warranted such preemptive punishment. His quest is to regain his true identity. The Golden Age is one of the major, ambitious SF novels of the year and the international launch of an important new writer in the genre.
The Golden Age by John C. Wright
The Phoenix Exultant by John C. Wright
I was really disappointed with The Phoenix Exultant, the second novel in John C. Wright’s THE GOLDEN AGE series, especially considering how much I had enjoyed its predecessor, The Golden Age. In many ways The Phoenix Exultant just did not feel like a true continuation of the first book.
One of the major stumbling blocks for me was that I just couldn't believe the way Wright handled the voices he used for the characters in this volume. Considering his mannered and baroque set up in the previous volume I found the dialogue to be way too colloquial (and 20th century colloquial at that). Maybe Wright was trying to show Phaeton “stepping down” a level, both socially due to his exile and intellectually due to his loss of certain artificial brain upgrades, but it really grated on me. Atkins and Daphn... Read More
Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance is the best anthology I’ve ever read. These stories will be enjoyed by any SFF reader, but they’ll be ten times more fun if you’ve read Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, because they are all written in honor of that fantastic work. Each tale is written in the style of Vance, which is quite amusing in itself, and each takes place on the Dying Earth, that far-future wasteland in which natural selection means survival of the cleverest, nastiest, sneakiest, and most self-serving.
Songs of the Dying Earth was written by “many high-echelon, top-drawer writers” (as Mr. Vance says in the preface):... Read More
The War of the Dreaming (Everness) — (2004-2005) Publisher: Young Galen Waylock is the last watchman of the dream-gate beyond which ancient evils wait, hungry for the human world. For a thousand years, Galen’s family stood guard, scorned by a world which dismissed the danger as myth. Now, the minions of Darkness stir in the deep, and the long, long watch is over. Galen’s patient loyalty seems vindicated. That loyalty is misplaced. The so-called Power of Light is hostile to modern ideas of human dignity and liberty. No matter who wins the final war between darkness and light, mankind is doomed either to a benevolent dictatorship or a malevolent one. And so Galen makes a third choice: the sleeping Champions of Light are left to sleep. Galen and his companions take the forbidden fairy-weapons themselves. Treason, murder, and disaster follow. The mortals must face the rising Darkness alone.
The Chaos Chronicles — (2005-2007) Publisher: What if your teachers taught you everything — except who you really are? For Amelia and her friends, the strict English boarding school she lives in is all she has ever known. The sprawling estate, bordered by unknown territory on all four sides, is both orphanage, academy, and prison. The school has a large staff, but only five students, none of whom know what their real names are, or even how old they are. Precocious and rebellious, all five teenagers are more than just prodigies. Amelia can see in four dimensions. Victor can control the molecular arrangement of matter. Vanity can find secret passageways where none existed before. Colin is a psychic. Quentin is a warlock. And, as time goes by, they’re starting to suspect that none of them are entirely human…
Count to a Trillion — (2011-2012) Publisher: Hundreds of years in the future, after the collapse of the Western world, young Menelaus Illation Montrose grows up in what was once Texas as a gunslinging duelist for hire. But Montrose is also a mathematical genius — and a romantic who dreams of a future in which humanity rises from the ashes to take its place among the stars. The chance to help usher in that future comes when Montrose is recruited for a manned interstellar mission to investigate an artifact of alien origin. Known as the Monument, the artifact is inscribed with data so complex, only a posthuman mind can decipher it. So Montrose does the unthinkable: he injects himself with a dangerous biochemical drug designed to boost his already formidable intellect to superhuman intelligence. It drives him mad. Nearly two centuries later, his sanity restored, Montrose is awakened from cryo-suspension with no memory of his posthuman actions, to find Earth transformed in strange and disturbing ways, and learns that the Monument still carries a secret he must decode — one that will define humanity’s true future in the universe.
Null-A-Continuum — (2006) Publisher: In this heart-stopping sequel to A.E. van Vogt’s World of Null-A, Gilbert Gosseyn, the superhuman amnesiac with a double brain, must pit his wits once more against the remorseless galactic dictator Enro the Red and the mysterious shadow-being known as The Follower. And he must do it while he is being hurled headlong through unimaginable distances in space, in time, and through alternate eternities to fend off the death and complete the rebirth of the Universe itself!