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Sunstorm (Gollancz) by Arthur C. Clarke
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Sunstorm (Gollancz) (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Arthur C. Clarke

Series: A Time Odyssey (2)

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9731115,964 (3.62)3
Returned to the earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth's history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance? Bisesa's questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun's core -- an anomaly that has no natural cause is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation. Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort. And all the while, the Firstborn are watching ...… (more)
Member:ncw
Title:Sunstorm (Gollancz)
Authors:Arthur C. Clarke
Info:Gollancz (2006), Paperback, 336 pages
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Sunstorm by Arthur C. Clarke (2005)

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This is a really interesting novel on a completely different level from the previous. They're linked almost tangentially to each other, focusing only on the grand design of these inscrutable aliens called the First Bornes and the MC from the previous novel who was returned from the Riverworld-type stitchwork Earth with so many times combined as one.

This Earth's direct challenge is dire as hell... a solar storm strong enough to scour the surface of the Earth and do significant damage WAY out at Jupiter, possibly Saturn. We're talking an extinction-level event here.

5 years to prepare. It's a future world about 35 years from the time this was written in the mid-2000's and even with the help of AI's and some advancements, the outlook is still poor as hell.

Clarke's characterization comes in very handy with Baxter's wild science, and we've got a much earlier look at what made Neal Stephenson's Seveneves so interesting. Neal's OMG let's save humanity right after the moon exploded might be rooted in a closer science-take than this one, and therefore better in that respect, but this one goes all out and pulls a Kim Stanley Robinson level of HUGE projects.

You know, like creating a refraction device wider than the sun, grown nanofilaments in the most interesting of plot twists. :) And the combined efforts of all humanity and AIs to save ourselves? Pretty damn amazing. :)

The focus is not on the characters, although they're pretty great. The focus is on the science, the Big Dumb Object, the means and methods, and the social problems surrounding it all. In that respect, I give this novel top marks.

It's SO different from the first one in the trilogy. I've got this impression that we're dealing with a trilogy-attempt at something super-huge and grand. Where it doesn't quite hit that EPIC GRAND mark, it still hits the OMG this is SO COOL line. :)

Really, it's pretty perfect for anyone tired of weak-ass SF who want huge projects with awesome huge stakes, not focused on war, but just plain survival. Bravo! :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Lots of interesting science, not a whole lot of good story. I mean, it was good enough to carry me through, but not to make me want to read the rest of the series. I'd probably have liked it a lot more when I was young and avidly curious about astronomy and cosmology. I do recommend it only if you can sit down in chunks - reading a few pp at a time wouldn't be v. effective. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
much better than book one of the trilogy. kept me reading from start to finish. didnt bog down like book one. cant wait to start book three. ( )
  kewaynco | Apr 10, 2016 |
Excellent read. Even better than Book 1. ( )
  rondoctor | Sep 7, 2010 |
Much better and more exciting plot than the first book in the series however still develops at a painfully slow pace and requires a few suspension of disbeliefs (i.e. why would two key characters fail to meet for most of the book). Also, so say that it is anticlimactic would be an understatement as the slow build culminated into an intense event that is never brought to closure- just skipped over in the next chapter. I mellowly enjoyed the story but not excited about the style. ( )
  dvulcano | May 14, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baxter, Stephenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Schroeder, JulieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Bisesa Dutt gasped, and staggered.
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Returned to the earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth's history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance? Bisesa's questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun's core -- an anomaly that has no natural cause is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation. Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort. And all the while, the Firstborn are watching ...

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