"Earth", by David Brin
I finished this book last night. It took a lot longer to finish than what I originally expected. Basically, the book is written around 2038 (I believe), and scientists have just found out how to make singularities using something called "cavitronics" (don't ask me). One scientist thinks that one of his black holes escaped into the earth, and he finds it, but he also finds another, more menacing singularity. The second one (called Beta) is also far too complex for anyone one earth to have created it, but where the man-made one will evaporate, Beta will eventually destroy the earth. However, the book isn't just about the singularity threat - it's also about the top layer of earth, where over 10 billion people are struggling with global warming, flooding, and dangerous UV levels.
It's an interesting book. Brin brings a lot of complexity into the mix, and this has its' good and bad points. It's good because he shows just how complex the world is, and bad because it makes it much harder to keep track of all the story lines. In the end, though, I don't think it works. I've read good science fiction that has a lot of plot lines that seemed easier to follow than this book. Furthermore, the story took too long to hit its' stride. Once it did, I found it hard to put down, but the ending was so frantic and you really had to suspend your disbelief to buy it that it felt like a letdown. Overall I felt like the time was worth it to finish the book, but I don't have strong feelings for it.
* Posted at 11.19.2004 10:29:01 AM CST | Link *