Synopses & Reviews
Most readers recognize L. E. Modesitt, Jr. as the author of a favorite fantasy series, be it The Magic of Recluce or The Spellsong Cycle. It's always a special treat when he turns his hand again to SF, and Archform: Beauty
is no exception.
Four centuries in the future, the world is rich -- nanomachines watch the health of the wealthy and manufacture food and gadgets for everybody -- but no utopia, as we see in the lives of five very different people. A singing teacher suffers for her music and fights bureaucracy and apathy. A news researcher delivers the essential background details but can't help looking deeper and wondering about the real story behind the grim incidents that make the headlines. A police investigator, assigned to study trends, begins to see a truly sinister pattern behind a series of seemingly unrelated crimes and deaths. A politician aids his constituents, fights the good fight and tries to get re-elected without compromising his principles. A ruthless businessman strives to make his family powerful, wealthy and independent.
Theirs is a world where technology takes care of everyone's basic needs but leaves most people struggling to extract a meaningful life from a world crowded with wonders but empty of commitment and human connection. Alternating the voices and experiences of these five characters in a tour de force of imaginative creation, Modesitt overlaps, combines and builds their disparate stories into a brilliant tale of future crime and investigation, esthetic challenge and personal triumph. In the same way that he has built fantasy landscapes of surpassing fascination, Modesitt creates a believable future, one imbued with a deep understanding of the way politics works and how people act and react when their sense of themselves, of justice and truth, is exploited by others for power and control. When there's nothing left to need or want, will beauty live on in people's lives or disappear forever? L.E. Modesitt, Jr. asks difficult questions, sets himself unlikely challenges and, once again delivers an absorbing tale that enlightens, entertains and uplifts all at once.
It's always a treat when this bestselling fantasy writer turns his hand to sci-fi, and "Archform: Beauty" is no exception. Five people tell their stories and the many parts unite into a single tale of justice and truth in a world beset by technological challenges, drowning in apathy and attacked by devious evil.
Praise for the Science Fiction of L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
"Mr. Modesitt does not merely posit a threatened Utopia; he spells out in great detail the rules and regulations that govern daily life.... Because he dares to be explicit about first principles, the narrative assumes the shape of an intellectual suspense story: how can the
manifestly decent people of Old Earth defend themselves against aggression without violating their deeply held beliefs? The answer is both morally persuasive and emotionally wrenching."-The New York Times
"L. E. Modesitt, Jr., returns to hard SF--and it's been worth the wait. Adiamante is a rollicking adventure with a great moral dilemma at its core--the kind of novel that makes your heart beat faster while you're reading it, and yet leaves you pondering deep questions long after you've finished the last page. Immensely enjoyable and beautifully
written--easily Modesitt's best yet."-Robert J. Sawyer
The Parafaith War
"With echoes of both Joe Haldeman's The Forever War and Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers: dense, gritty, strong on technical detail."-Kirkus Reviews
Of Tangible Ghosts
"Meticulously extrapolated...Alternate world tales and espionage thrillers both demand an abundance of intricate detail to be convincing and Modesitt doesn't stint for either thread of his narrative." -Washington Post Book World
About the Author
L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes Adiamante, the Ecolitan novels, and the Forever Hero Trilogy. Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.