The Medusa Chronicles by Stephen Baxter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Two of my favorite authors collaborated to bring me a continuation of a classic Arthur C Clarke story.
I admit I was a bit hesitant. Not overly much, mind you, because these authors are all heavy-hitters, but the fact remains we're dealing with a character-driven transhuman cyborg from the science of 1971. His name is Falcon. For me, I was thinking it was going to be like one of those spin-offs of golden-age SF revamped for modern consumption and excised of nasty and/or embarrassing elements.
I was *mostly* wrong.
Instead, Falcon and the machine intelligence Adam are treated to over a half-century of future history as we deal with our natures. And as for "we", I mean ANY kind of intelligence. Machine, human, Medusa (in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter) or OTHER.
I was pretty much "okay" with the character development and the ongoing history and the treatment of old-SF ideas such as machines pushing us organics aside or interplanetary war over resources or just the focus of a single good man (or cyborg) playing fair with all sides in mind with a long-term good.
This was all very nice and a very welcome change from the darkness or utter realism of most modern SF. I steadily got more interested in the tale as time progressed, and far from the tired "humans unshackle themselves from our machine overlords" kind of tale, we get something awe-inspiring and optimistic.
I dare say we got a true by-the-heart continuation of Arthur C. Clarke. :)
Well worth the admission price. Would make a delightful Sunday afternoon cartoon marathon. :)
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