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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Marrow (Great Ship, #1)Marrow by Robert Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All right then, this SF is WELL off the beaten track and for the ideas alone, I want to jump up and down.


We've got a fantastically big BDO (Big Dumb Object) here. Fashioned out of the materials of a gas giant, this ship that was probably built 5 billion years ago is big enough to conveniently lose a whole planet in its deepest inner-workings. That's Marrow. The Captains, humans who've conquered mortality, explored, conquered, and eventually opened up the Great Ship to countless alien species across so much time and space, stumble upon Marrow and look like a bunch of fools, getting lost there for thousands of years, get children, eventually have to get over THAT, and find their way back to the comfortable, normal, VAST ship again.

Wild, right? We're dealing with a story that lasts many thousands of years, and it doesn't even end there. There's other mysteries, great aliens, mischievous AI, a bit of deep-time mysticism, and other idiocy.

I'm reminded fondly of Bank's Culture ships, Neal Asher's Shipminds, Niven's Ringworld, Baxter's BIG BIGNESS, but all written in Reed's inimitable style.

Fortunately, I love stories written like vignettes and the sense of living tons of history is pretty spectacular. For sheer imagination, I would love to recommend this book to any SF fan. It is definitely a book of big ideas if not one of lyrical style. The plots are fascinating, however, and nicely grounded for all that they keep landing us in weird situations.

*rubs hands* I'm looking forward to a lot more.

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