The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan
(Orthogonal)

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Synopsis

In Yalda's universe, light has no universal speed and its creation generates energy. On Yalda's world, plants make food by emitting their own light into the dark night sky. As a child, Yalda witnesses one of a series of strange meteors, the Hurtlers, that are entering the planetary system at an immense, unprecedented speed. It becomes apparent that her world is in imminent danger — and the task of dealing with the Hurtlers will require knowledge and technology far beyond anything her civilization has yet achieved! Only one solution seems tenable: if a spacecraft can be sent on a journey at sufficiently high speed, its trip will last many generations for those on board, but it will return after just a few years have passed at home. The travelers will have a chance to discover the science their planet urgently needs, and bring it back in time to avert disaster.
 

About Greg Egan

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Greg Egan is the author of the acclaimed SF novels "Diaspora, Axiomatic, Quarantine, Permutation City, and "Teranesia. A winner of the Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Mr. Egan lives in Australia.
 
Published July 1, 2011 by Night Shade Books. 344 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Clockwork Rocket

Publishers Weekly

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Scientific treatise (with charts and diagrams) melds with character study and social commentary in Hugo-winner Egan's stand-alone steampunk SF novel.

Jun 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogo...

City Book Review

The solo heroine proposes to launch a rocket, like an ark, in which enough can survive to repopulate wherever they are after it has been destroyed, assuming it’s gong to be destroyed, of course.

Apr 30 2012 | Read Full Review of The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogo...

Portland Book Review

For readers who haven’t dealt with any kind of physics before, the explanations and graphs can still be slightly overwhelming, but not understanding the mathematics doesn’t take much away from the story line.

Apr 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogo...

Monsters and Critics

The premise of a world facing destruction by meteor bombardment is not so farfetched as to stretch credibility and Yalda’s view allows readers an intimate window into her world.

Jul 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogo...

The British Fantasy Society

They are indeed truly alien, with their own reproductive processes, societal norms, etc., but the situation Yalda finds herself in is one many can relate to: she is a loner in her own society, one generally made up of male and female twins (she is a ‘solo’), and her love of science puts her at th...

Jan 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Clockwork Rocket (Orthogo...

Fiction Reviews

However unlike his previous novels this really is an SF novel mixed up with an exposition in universe-building with the story itself blatantly a vehicle for exploring the physics and biology of Yalda's space-time continuum and species respectively.

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Reader Rating for The Clockwork Rocket
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