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Beyond Infinity by Gregory Benford
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Beyond Infinity (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Gregory Benford

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264843,112 (3.26)2
Member:dennymeta
Title:Beyond Infinity
Authors:Gregory Benford
Info:Orbit (2004), Paperback, 464 pages
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Beyond Infinity by Gregory Benford (2004)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The timescale and ideas in this book have an extensive span. From theoretical physics to philosophy to evolutionary biology... it touches on all of them. The problem is, the scope is so grand, the times so vast, the setting so strange, it is difficult for the reader to identify with the characters, making it interesting but ultimately unsatisfying. I enjoy science fiction, and a bit of satirical fantasy is fun too, but I prefer my fiction anchored to reality, or at least the bits of it with which I'm familiar. Beyond Infinity felt more adrift, with a setting in a distant, unfamiliar future and characters biologically diverse and yet seemingly childish at times. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
Benford is a physicist, so he writes with a very hard scientific perspective. In this case, way TOO hard. First of all, I couldn't follow the science (I'm not a scientist myself, but I'm educated enough that I can usually follow such things). Second of all, his descriptions of very odd things was not very interesting- he seems totally hooked on color; when describing scenes there is always a cornucopia of color descriptions, which was almost worthy of parody. I don't expect or need great writing in sci fi, but this was particularly poor.

It's too bad, because the concept had potential- set in the REALLY distant future, billions of years from now. Some thought-provoking stuff- history that is so vast that much of it is literally forgotten. I thought that was pretty cool.

But the science, including a lot of stuff about beings in 4 dimensions, was just too tough to follow. ( )
  DanTarlin | Nov 18, 2014 |
I've been reading SF for over 40 years, and this was one of the more difficult books to read. Seemed like a flimsy plot that simply allowed Benford to introduce a wide variety of fascinating concepts -- from the pinwheel to the brane and his evolution of the human species. No sooner though was I getting my mind wrapped around the idea he was presenting then we'd jet off to another one -- so quite disjointed reading from that aspect. ( )
  skraft001 | Apr 11, 2012 |
This is only a review of the first hundred or so pages as I could not get any further. The 'plot', such as it is, seems to come from pre-60s 'sensawunda' science fiction and appears cartoonish. The writing tries to be deep but only succeeds in being irritating. The central 'character' Cley is a cardboard cut-out. A failed experiment (is it meant to be a 'Young Adult' book?) from an otherwise excellent writer. ( )
1 vote AlanPoulter | Jul 7, 2009 |
http://nhw.livejournal.com/155939.html

I liked it. Based on his shorter "Beyond the Fall of Night" and very much in the tradition of Arthur C Clarke with nods to Stapledon and Aldiss. ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 26, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gregory Benfordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dixon,DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044653059X, Hardcover)

Takes a scientist's imagination to the uttermost ends of time. Set more than a billion years from now, the novel begins with a young woman who yearns to escape the rigid, timeless Earth she knows. So she flees, in the company of an intelligent beast wise beyond recognition. But there are mysterious forces afoot among the planets that she never foresaw. Alien agencies have learned to span parallel universes, ones that lie only a millimeter away but are invisible to any device known to man. Soon these beings confront the travelers and a struggle beyond imagining begins.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:04 -0400)

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"Cley is an Original, a genetically pure member of the most ancient Ur-Human beings. Like others of her forest-dwelling tribe, she expects to spend her few centuries working in the great subteranean Libray of Life." "Then catastrophe strikes when strange, transdimensional life-forms obliterate the Library and kill all of Earth's Originals - except Cley. These uncanny beings also attack the planet's most advanced human species, the highly evolved Supras, who cannot reconstruct the knowledge and DNA lost in the Library's ruins. Nor can they protect Cley." "Forced to flee, Cley must begin a desperate quest for survival, answers, and hope. Joined by a raccoonlike companion called Seeker, she will journey across the myriad environments of her wildly transformed world...and then far, far beyond." "For somewhere - past planets that have been reengineered, past sentient ship-worlds evolving deep between stars, past creatures the size of solar systems - waits the Malign. A being so powerful that it can escape a black hole, the Malign is destroying the galaxy as it hunts down the one thing it fears...Cley."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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