Sunday, 2008-08-24

Incandescence by Greg Egan

Hard SF about a future race of aliens living on an engineered asteroid orbiting a neutron star at a significant fraction of c. It doesn’t get much harder than that!

A big part of the book is devoted to the aliens trying to make sense of the bizarre orbital mechanics they can observe. This is tedious, as the terms used are the native ones and the explanations are couched in terms that you really need to pay attention to if you want to know what’s going on.

There’s all too many pages of this, and even if the alien society is nicely visualised it’s a hard slog.

Basically, this is one neat idea padded into a novel. Avoid if you’re not a fan of hard SF.