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4.0 out of 5 stars A True Tragedy of the Future
In the far future, humans only inhabit the stars as personality simulations, subroutines in vast, powerful artificial intelligencies that form a "galactic brain". One such uploaded mind is Christian Brannock. As an engineer, he helped build the first great works in space and was one of the first to work in intimate symbiosis with the AIs who, rather than man,...
Published on April 7 2001 by Randy Stafford

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3.0 out of 5 stars Is it Real or is it Memorex..?
I am particularly fond of what has come to be termed "Hard" Science Fiction. As one who understands the concepts of quantum mechanics if not the math, I find it refreshing to read a book without wincing, if you know what I mean. I am reminded of the many errors that were made in "Sphere" (some of which, thankfully, were worked out for the movie, bad...
Published on July 19 2001 by R. Black


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3.0 out of 5 stars Is it Real or is it Memorex..?, July 19 2001
By 
R. Black (Cobden, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
I am particularly fond of what has come to be termed "Hard" Science Fiction. As one who understands the concepts of quantum mechanics if not the math, I find it refreshing to read a book without wincing, if you know what I mean. I am reminded of the many errors that were made in "Sphere" (some of which, thankfully, were worked out for the movie, bad as it was). Be that as it may, I was not really happy with the diminishing returns I got from this book. The idea was good and, I suppose, there is validity in the way things eventually wound down, but it was disjointed and hard to read, the characters seemed made of paper mache, and, believe it or don't, it seemed rushed. Despite the fact that there were parts of the book that read so slowly I almost fell alseep at the switch. Thing is, I love Poul's writing. I thought Starfarers, for instance, was an excellent book, with characters so endearing that I was brought to tears more than once. Perhaps therein lies the problem; I'm used to better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A True Tragedy of the Future, April 7 2001
By 
Randy Stafford (St. Paul, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
In the far future, humans only inhabit the stars as personality simulations, subroutines in vast, powerful artificial intelligencies that form a "galactic brain". One such uploaded mind is Christian Brannock. As an engineer, he helped build the first great works in space and was one of the first to work in intimate symbiosis with the AIs who, rather than man, colonized the stars. On Earth, the reigning intelligence is Gaia, a computer that rules human affairs and also posseses, in its libraries, presevered human minds it uses to ruin elaborate simulations of real and alternate histories.
Millions of years pass in this novel's almost Stapledonian sweep, and the galactic brain becomes concerned about the seeming obsession of Gaia with Earth history, her secretiveness, and her unresponsiveness to their proposal on whether the now geologically ancient Earth should be saved from a bloated sun, a test run for greater galactic engineering to come. A version of the Brannock mind is copied and sent on his way to Earth.
There he, and a slightly different copy, attempt to figure out what Gaia's up to. One version, inhabiting a robot's body, explores the dying Earth. The other engages in talk and travel with Lucinda Ashcroft, a personality inhabiting Gaia.
This novel puts together, in a surprisingly successful way, just about all the strains of Anderson's previous works from the epic sweep of TAU ZERO to his heroic fantasy to the uploaded minds of some of his most recent science fiction to alternate histories and time travel. The novel's sense of true tragedy is not new to Anderson, but, as the title hints, there is an unexpected theological flavor that is rare, but not unknown, in his work.
This novel should not only satisfy any fan of Anderson's but also serve as a good introduction to the rest of his work.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Disgrace, Aug. 10 2002
By 
James C. Shortt (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
Poul Anderson ought to be ashamed of himself. He took the worked-to-death theme of sentient machines, presented the same dead-tired ideas in a grandious backdrop - I suppose that was an attempt to make his readers think he said something new - integarated them loosely with some old short stories of his and called it a "new" book. What little story the book has lurches along until Anderson apparently got tired of writing and quit. It certainly had no ending in the normal sense of a novel. At times, Anderson's prose is almost poetry. It flows beautifully. Unfortunately, when examined for meaning, it's often complete nonsense. Add the fact that the only two characcters in the book are two dimensional strawmen that Anderson made no effort whatsoever to flesh out and what you get is a real stinker. The only interesting aspect is whether Anderson is a cynical old man trading on his reputation to grub some easy money or whether he's really that far over the hill.
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4.0 out of 5 stars emotional view, Aug. 12 2001
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
This book deals with the future assimilation of humans into electronic existance ,much like the famed "Tommorow and tommorow" of Charles Sheffield. True ,it's lingering taste is more emotional ,as Gaia trys to give the human-race the choise to live ,because she is more human then all other nodes in the galactic-brain ,but in the science-fictional aspect I feel "T&T" has been more wild ,maybe more ingenius. I've been more dumb-founded by the sheer influence of Drake Merlin on the universe ,Than touched with the understanding of Gaia's motives.
Maybe it's only me ,though I'm not a "only hard" sci-fi man ,but I believe "T&T" and "Genesis" investigate the same sector of the future ,and although "Genesis" is an excellent book - "T&T" is better. Still I recommend "Genesis" it as a great read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, if a little tough to identify with at times, Aug. 10 2001
By 
James Sidey (New York City, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
When I read this book I immediately thought of Olaf Stapledon's book "Last and First Men." Both books are very well written, explore some very interesting ideas, and cover such a wide swathe of time that you really have no individual characters to identify with. They are almost closer to history books than they are to science fiction novels (merely an observation, not a criticism).
Having said that, "Genesis" does maintain some characters throughout the book, and somehow this makes it easier on the reader when Poul Anderson starts to really push and question what it means to be human, both mentally and biologically (if you can make that distinction).
This is not a light summer read. It is good solid science fiction that pushes the reader outside of his or her comfort zone and into a world where "human" is not a clear-cut concept, but is more a question of perspective.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic., May 29 2001
By 
Ohio Media Man (Columbus, OH, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
Great SF, and the kind of novel I have been looking for on the SF shelves of late. I for one tend to avoid the popular series that so many SF authors crank out infinitum (although Anderson has done a few as well). I prefer single, self-contained novels, which indeed are rare in SF these days. Anderson's billion-year saga is an epic on a grand scale. Admittedly some of his scientific discussions are a little beyond me, but I did enjoy the quasi-religious overtones of the storyline and the cosmic issues it raised concerning immortality and the nature of our gods. A short, dense, fascinating novel that I will return to again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not a great story, March 23 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
Genesis is a well-written book containing much interesting speculation, but overall it doesn't hold together so well as a story. Most of the plot is unsuprising - I felt I could predict the characters' actions well in advance, and very little occurred in the course of the story that the characters could not control. I was hoping for a surprising ending in which Gaia's plan is revealed as something interesting and original, but in fact the ending is unspectacular and her plan turns out to be nothing remarkable. But the prose is very evocative, and the book is short and easy to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Genesis: Our Future?, Feb. 26 2001
By 
John Sarver (East Lansing, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
Poul Anderson creates a very interesting and thought provoking future. The story spans forever and makes you wonder about consciousness, God, where the human race is heading, etc. Our main characters get uploaded into super computers. One goes space exploring and one helps to manage the Earth. Unfortunately, we don't follow these characters as much as I would like. The story rambles a bit, but definitely worth reading for those interested in the big issues.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing hodgepodge, Aug. 2 2001
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
This book struck me as hastily thought out and written, with no love or energy expended on it.
The grand concept is not particularly interesting, and the bits and pieces stuck together to flesh out the concept are hackneyed.
I found it slow going and confusing, and not at all worth the time or effort.
Not recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very (poor), Aug. 22 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Genesis (Mass Market Paperback)
This is one of the worst books that I have ever read. It is fairly depressing, first humans are taken over by their own computers and then they become extinct.
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Genesis
Genesis by Poul Anderson (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 15 2001)
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