, May 23, 2013
(view all comments by Devorah)
I love this book. I am deeply humbled by the fact that Baxter has created a universe within which some poeple had the ability to create incredibly tiny humanoids with self consciousness and intelligence, and who just happen to live within a level of a neutron star. Now only does he create at least two cultures within these people - that's even what they call themselves, People - but he's created an ecosystem within which they live.
These people are incredibly tiny. If you read the book without paying attention to every detail, you might overlook this fact. I mean, it's easy to think they would appear small, because they are within a star, right? But they are really small even within our frame of reference. From what I remember, one centimeter is the length of 100 of these people laid head to foot.
Think about it. It blows me away! These teensy weensy people living in this gigantor humongous star!
From what I recall, there are "wild" humans, who do not have buildings to live in and who have not divided themselves into specialized workers. Then there are "city" people who cultivate farms (the wild ones are hunter gatherers), tame animals to pull wagons, heal, etc.
What? Farms? Since these people live in the star, it is the star which must provide them sustenance. So there are "tree" and other "plants" which give them energy. I don't know if these were created by the people who created the star people, or if they are part of the structure of the star which were given names of things they resemble from the planet of their creators.
I do know that there are bands of energy which move vertically and usually in a steady pattern. These bands are dangerous. That's ok when the pattern is steady. But sometimes there are storms, called "fluxes", and there is no pattern at all to where the bands might go. They can whip around like angry snakes, or whatever.
Forgive me that I don't remember the rest of the plot. I left my copy of the book on an airplane and have not yet finished it. (Which is why I am buying one today.) But at least you aren't really getting any spoilers!
I only gave the book 4 stars because I lost a little interest in the plot after a while. I think it's because I liked all the visual imagery, something that Baxter is a master at, and sometimes I find the plot part boring compared to the imagery! It's like a child wanting to only eat dessert instead of a meal.