The Freeze-Frame Revolution

Peter Watts. Tachyon, $14.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-61696-252-4
In this short, tight novel that contains vast science-fictional speculation, the human crew of the construction ship Eriophora spends 66 million years building interstellar wormhole gates, so they have lots of time to ponder issues of purpose. Sunday Ahzmundin, on a quest to find a missing crewmate, has to deal with another coworker, Lian, who is traumatized after the ship is damaged by one of the “occasional demons” that pop out of newly opened gates. Dropping in and out of suspended animation as scheduled by the Chimp, the AI that runs the ship, Sunday begins to uncover the secrets behind Lian’s subsequent death and the disappearances of other crew members, learning what hides beneath the ship’s closed and rigidly structured society. Watts (Echopraxis) puts the concept of humanity under the knife, teasing out how Chimp’s programming and Sunday’s loyalty can both tie them together and set them at odds. Watts pits the drive toward success against the need for connection, leading to an ending as open and as expansive as the universe. SF fans will love this tale of bizarre future employment and genuine wonder. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2018
Release date: 05/29/2018
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