cover image Noumenon Infinity

Noumenon Infinity

Marina J. Lostetter. Harper Voyager, $16.99 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-0-06-249786-4

The ambitious and effective sequel to Noumenon shifts gears from generation ship saga to space opera and follows two main threads. In the first, scientist Vanhi Kapoor heads a mission to research and test new forms of interdimensional star travel in near-Earth space until her convoy suffers a strange accident, which leaves Vanhi herself unusually unmoored from the laws of physics. In the second, in the far future, the crew of Convoy Seven, who spent the previous book investigating a strange characteristic of a distant star that turned out to be an incomplete alien megastructure, return to try to complete the megastructure and make it operational. Both threads wind up spanning thousands of years, generations of people, and experiences outside human understanding; they then connect to each other in a virtuoso piece of plotting that satisfies as a denouement while setting up entirely new mysteries. The massive scope of the ideas, and the more than geological amounts of time involved, mean that the human element is somewhat secondary to the full sweep of the saga, but this doesn’t read as a weakness so much as a necessity. Lostetter remains at the forefront of innovation in hard science fiction. (Aug.)