Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's always nice to pick up tales about generational starships, a repeatedly cloned crew, and an AI that helps them make the journey.
Sound familiar? I mean, we've had stories like this for many generations aboard this starship and have discussed AIs for as long. We've had a long line and a recent bout of great novels touching upon all these aspects, such as KSR's Aurora and Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, not to mention Tchiachovski's Children of Time, to mention some of the very best among the latest.
Fortunately, this isn't a rehash. It's a serious thought experiment combining new thought in the fields of psychology, sociology, artificial intelligence and even DNA hard data storage techniques. :) I appreciated the subtle explorations and the different directions the author took them, showing me that she knew her SF history like an expert, never running over precisely the same ground.
But it is still all very familiar. And adding that to solid characters with their own personalities, some much more interesting than others, of course, we always have an entertaining and nicely flowing tale. Very few hiccups at all. I especially liked the exploration of Earth after their return. It could have gone so many ways and I'm very pleased with Numenon's final direction.
I can't say this is the best novel of its type but it is written in a nicely flowing modern style with a big focus on characters. It doesn't stint on the science, either, and the big, big focus on the AI is a major bonus in my book. :)
I do recommend this for you fanboys and fangirls. :)
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