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Sister Alice by Robert Reed

Sister Alice (edition 2003)

by Robert Reed

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185463,896 (3.78)10
Title:Sister Alice
Authors:Robert Reed
Info:New York : Tor, 2003.
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:science fiction, mil

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Sister Alice by Robert Reed



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WARNING! Some familiarity with advanced particle physics required (well, at least a passing knowledge of the difference between baryonic matter and dark matter). Not for anyone who thinks that science fiction is all 'Star Wars' stuff.

Brian Aldiss' description of a certain kind of science fiction as 'wide-screen baroque' could have been invented for this book. Godlike, near-immortal super-potent humans rule the galaxy and play mud pies with universes. Inevitably, things go wrong when even gods overstep their powers and trigger the explosion of the galactic core. The person responsible - the Alice of the title - flees to her family home to await judgement but also to plot with her baby brother how to evade the consequences of her actions. (By 'baby brother' we mean someone probably only 500 years old or so.)

Add to this intrigues between the thousand Families who make up the ruling caste of super-humans, and we have another large-scale novel from Robert Reed.

Although I sometimes have problems with novels where the protagonists start engaging in metaphysical finger-painting and intellectually grappling with the space-time continuum (when some novelists start doing this sort of thing, they tend to overlook minor issues like 'plot' and 'characterization'), in this case I was pleased that Reed kept us quite well-focussed. Characterization in particular was quite well-done and certainly better than some of his earlier novels; and although some of the plot became quite abstract, by concentrating on individual protagonists, the novel didn't lose its way. ( )
  RobertDay | May 30, 2010 |
Most of humanity has ceded control of superhuman/posthuman power and/or technology to a select group of families.

The main character in this book is the youngest in the Chamberlain family, and he becomes involved in the machinations of his older siblings. Older, meaning millenia older. His sister Alice contacts him and tells him to seek out one of his brothers.

Despite the superhuman powers these people still screw up, and when one of their experiments starts destroying large swathes of space including many populated planets Ord's family becomes reviled.

Sister Alice : 1 Sister Alice [short story] - Robert Reed
Sister Alice : 2 Brother Perfect - Robert Reed
Sister Alice : 3 Mother Death - Robert Reed
Sister Alice : 4 Baby's Fire - Robert Reed
Sister Alice : 5 Father to the Man - Robert Reed

Young posthuman conflict training.

4 out of 5

Two of the oldest of a family of superhuman overlords of the galaxy have plans for their youngest sibling. With stellar screwups.

4 out of 5

Blow up huge chunks of a galaxy, people will want to punish you.

3.5 out of 5

Godlike types chasing each other around.

3 out of 5

Family conflict and universe making.

3.5 out of 5

After meeting his brother Perfect he begins to act in opposition to his family and the other families. Part of his mission is to stop the galaxy destroying mistakes caused by the others of his clan. This is the part where it goes wide-scale in a big way.

http://superprose.blogspot.com/2007/01/sister-alice.html ( )
  bluetyson | Jan 9, 2008 |
Set in the far future, 'Sister Alice' portrays a galaxy where a small sect of humans have amazing powers. God-like in their abilities, they change and mould the universe as they see fit. Formed into 1,000 "families" future humanity is set to try one last fatal experiment.

This book is fun to read. Sister Alice maintains suspense and has excellent characters: the mysterious Sister Alice; mocking Brother Perfect; peaceable Ord; sly Xo and furious Ravleen. It is well written (more artful than his other work, 'Marrow') and full of suspense; combined, this makes it difficult to put down and I got through the book in a few days.

This suspense has a flaw - its conclusion, which is unsatifying. Having painted a huge stage, filled it with grandiose characters and hinged the very universe on the plot the final few scenes fail to live to their billing.

However, after such a good read quibbling over a final few paragraphs is minor criticism. ( )
1 vote laphroaig | Apr 30, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Reedprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, LeeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184149125X, Paperback)

Some 10 million years in the future, in a galaxy heavily populated by humans and other advanced species, a thousand trustworthy humans and their cloned offspring have been granted an incredible power that they may preserve a peace that has endured for eons. They can build worlds wherever they wish and can terraform any wasteland. But the arrival of a woman as old as the great peace itself brings uncertainty and fear. For she brings with her a warning: the tale of an ancient crime that threatens to destroy the peace that has been so carefully crafted. A far-future epic of god-like humans and their colossal blunders, SISTER ALICE is a novel of incredible imagination from the author of the acclaimed MARROW. Find out more about this title and others at www.orbitbooks.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Millions of years in the future, mankind is on the brink of self-destruction. The creation of a genetically enhanced super-race saves mankind and makes the future safe for the rest of the galaxy. But one of these beings, Sister Alice, soon becomes part of an experiment that destroys countless worlds.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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