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2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
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on March 23, 2003
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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on December 12, 2002
A fascinating book on the possibilities of evolution on a distant planet. Any sci-fi fan with an interest in biology will love this book!
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on September 21, 2002
Completly disjointed, incoherent, depressing book. Don't waste your time or money in this book.
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on August 22, 2002
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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on August 10, 2002
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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on August 12, 2001
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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on August 10, 2001
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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on August 2, 2001
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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on July 19, 2001
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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on May 29, 2001
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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