On February 23, 1987, the light of a supernova reached the Earth. Among with the star data, a scream choked by the roar of explosion, finally wakened by time and distance, arrive to us.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
In among the star data, a scream choked by the roar of the explosion, finally wakened by time and distance, arrived to us. Five years later, a woman found the message and thought it had been emitted by some civilization destroyed by the explosion. The United States Government arranges for a highly-skilled, specialized team to analyze this message, but are soon surprised by what they discover.
Would mankind be prepared to understand the message? In order answer this question, scientists are forced to penetrate profound concepts about conscience and self-organization. At the end, one question will still remain: Why?
Is humankind ready for extraterrestrial contact ? A mysterious coded message from space arrives, leaving the characters in Song of the Swan to determine who sent it and why, what it means, and if it means anything at all.
The characters are a bit flat- however they serve their purpose in making the investigation into these questions understandable to the average reader. The destiny of humankind is in their hands, this small group of scientists that were selected to decode and understand the message, so while the characters may not excite you or intrigue you, their mission certainly will.
The book is written with intelligence- although the editing errors may prevent the pickiest of readers to agree. D'Alembert does a great job of holding the reader's interest to the end. It's a good quick one night read, that will leave you pondering the future of our planet.
Editor A Writer's Choice Literary Journal ISSN: 1521-2319 [...] & The Bear's Den- Spoken Word Poetry [...] icq# 33958401
He's talking about pseudo-prime numbers, even has a web page warning us about Feb/29th/2000. However, in chapter 2, Susan, the scienfific girl, is studying tapes with recorded data between 25th and 29th of February, 1987.
I can't remember that date, Feb/29th/1987. There has never been such date in calendar, so I guess I should read the book in a very forgiving mood; because if the rest is written with that care, I will find more basic mistakes like that.
Perhaps if this novel had appeared before Carl Sagan's "Contact", it would have been a hit.
In the other hand, I enjoyed the basic idea; identifying an ET contact thru mathematics using number sequences not found in nature.
I guess we should watch the next books from the author, I hope he learns to concentrate to avoid these basic mistakes
The best part of this book is that I learnt what pseudo-prime (or Carmichael) numbers are. I had never heard of them prior to this. The book itself was not altogether original -- anyone who has read Sagan's _Contact_ will see this. Pseudo-primes = prime numbers. Details for creating a machine = details for creating a wormhole device. And so on. I must admit though, that the idea of having a computer program totally change the _insides_ of a computer to be a new one. I would not know if this would be possible -- you'd have to ask a computer engineer that -- but I must say that I found it entertaining.
The plot was well done, and engrossing to a point, but the characters are leaden and it destroys the effect that the plot created. The characters are little more than pawns twisted and turned to lead the plot on, but could never sustain their own ground. The only character whose viewpoint I thought was strong did not last very long. The main characters though, or what I think were supposed to be the main characters! -- were weak and did nothing for the story.
One thing that was somewhat annoying what D'Alembert's constant explanations of common acronyms. There were explanations of CIA and NSA, which any person who reads this type of book should already know from previous encounters. There were a number of typos that I gritted my teeth over -- but then, I'm pedantic and get into a snit whenever a typo breaks my concentration of a story.
Something that he should not have done was begin chapter five in the way he did. It appears like he had a long spell where he did not write anything and then came back to the manuscript without reading what he had done previously. Going over the characters again when he had introduced them well - one could say almost too well - in the previous chapters is overkill.
I believe that perhaps his editor should have gone over the manuscript a little more carefully and picked up on the things I have mentioned. His writing does have some promise, but this book should have been published much later, when D'Alembert had the time to look upon it cold and work with it until the obvious flaws had been ironed out.