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Sea of Tranquility

by Emily St. John Mandel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,2291624,146 (4)204
"Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal--an experience that shocks him to his core. Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She's traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive's best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him. When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe"--From the publisher's web site.… (more)
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» See also 204 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Brisk story with reflections on the pandemic that strikes harder than expected (too soon?). Sci Fi somehow doesn't describe its genre appropriately. Separate storylines wind together in a time travel plot that builds with tension and a twist at the end. I could totally imagine this as a Christopher Nolan movie. ( )
  janichkokov | May 3, 2024 |
Free flowing and short novel on themes of time travel, pandemics, and the nature of reality. I enjoyed the speculation about planetary colonization and time travel, as well as how the characters connected through an "anomaly" in space and time. However most of the important questions raised in the book remain unanswered and I found myself wanting more when I reached the last page. ( )
  spuddybuddy | Apr 10, 2024 |
This is a VERY short, unusual piece of work. It is set in four different time frames, early 20th century British Columbia, roughly present-day New York City, 23rd century moon colony and 25th century Time Institute.

The different threads are pulled together through the presence of a time traveler from the 25th century named Gaspary. Gaspary is recruited to work at the Time Institute to investigate what is essentially a “glitch in the Matrix”. As you might imagine, time travel is very strictly regulated in order to prevent corruption of the time line, which any reader of time travel genre can appreciate. Unfortunately, or not, Gaspary is not as meticulous in this regard as his overseers would like.

As stated, this is a very short work, easily consumable in a single sitting (3-4 hours), which is probably wise, given the complexity of the subject matter. The payoff is pretty decent and makes the effort worthwhile, ( )
  santhony | Mar 22, 2024 |
LOVED!!! ( )
  rocketshackgirl | Mar 13, 2024 |
Sea of tranquility.
This is a speculative fiction story of time travel across several centuries.
The main character Gaspery is the one who time travels and his job is to investigate characters in the past. His sister Zoey works at the Time Institute, a government body that controls time travel. She pulls some strings and gets him the job. The only rule is that he cannot alter the path a person in the past or future can take.
I was not a fan of this book. I found it confusing and hard to follow. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Mar 9, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
An ambitious time-travelling panorama of pandemics and parallel worlds
added by aprille | editGuardian, Alexander Theroux (Apr 20, 2022)
 
One of her finest novels and one of her most satisfying forays into the arena of speculative fiction yet
 
Bold and exciting . . . Sea of Tranquility is Mandel’s most ambitious novel yet. Inventing and mind-bending
added by Dariah | editThe Economist
 
Emily St. John Mandel, who, like an ingenious origami artist, seems determined with each new work to add yet another fold to our perception of what is real and one further twist to what we think of as time . . . Transcendent
added by Dariah | editWall Street Journal
 
A trippy, wistful story . . . Although Sea of Tranquility is set largely in the future and adorned with sci-fi flourishes, it raises old questions about how we can make meaning
added by Dariah | editWired
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emily St. John Mandelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Knighton, Anna B.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weintraub, AbbyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Cassia and Kevin
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Edwin St. John St. Andrew, eighteen years old, hauling the weight of his double-sainted name across the Atlantic by steamship, eyes narrowed against the wind on the upper deck: he holds the railing with gloved hands, impatient for a glimpse of the unknown, trying to discern something--anything!--beyond sea and sky, but all he sees are shades of endless gray.
Quotations
Illness frightens us because it's chaotic. There's an aweful randomness about it. (p. 83)
But doesn't everything seem obvious in retrospect? (p. 92)
Was the death of the prophet in "Marienbad" too anticlimatic? It seemed possible ... -- but on the other hand, isn't that reality? Won't most of us die in fairly unclimatic ways, our passing unremembered by almost everyone, our deaths becoming plot points in the narrative of the people around us? (p. 95)
You can say "It's the end of the world" and mean it, but what gets lost in that kind of careless usage is that the world will eventually literally end.... But then they found the grave of another four-year-old girl.... "If her parents loved ," Meiying said, "it would have felt like the end of the world." (p. 103-104)
If we were living in a simulation, how would we know it was a simulation? (p. 129)
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"Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal--an experience that shocks him to his core. Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She's traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive's best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him. When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe"--From the publisher's web site.

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