The Eternity Artifact

The Eternity Artifact

J. r. ,. L. E. Modesitt

Language: English

Publisher: MacMillan

Published: Jan 2, 2005

Words: 123798
Pages: 499


Five thousand years in the future, humankind has spread across the galaxy and more than a dozen different planetary and system governments exist in an uneasy truce.  Human beings have found no signs of other life anywhere approaching human intelligence. Until scientists discover a sunless planet they name Danann. Moving at unnaturally high speed, Danann travels the void just beyond the edge of the galaxy. Its continents and oceans have been sculpted and shaped and there is but a single, almost perfectly-preserved megaplex upon the surface--with tens of thousands of near-identical metallic-silver-blue towers set along curved canals. Yet, Danann has been abandoned for so long that even the atmosphere has frozen solid. Orbital shuttle pilot Jiendra Chang, artist Chendor Barna, and history professor Liam Fitzhugh are recruited by the Comity government and its Deep Space Service as part of an unprecedented and unique expedition to unravel Danann's secrets. And there are forces that will stop at nothing to prevent them, even if it means interstellar war. From Publishers Weekly The prolific Modesitt (*Flash*) employs four different narrative perspectives in this slow-moving tale of far-future intergalactic human civilizations, with often compelling if sometimes repetitive results. The enlightened, progressive government of the Comity persuades artist Chendor Barna, cultural historian Liam Fitzhugh, shuttle pilot Jiendra Chang and assassin Goodman/Bond to join an exploratory space voyage to a mysterious, uninhabited terraformed world named Danann. At a site on Danann so old that the atmosphere is solid ice, the four discover a marvelous artifact that allows them to speculate on its implications for the technological level of the unknown aliens who created it and the changing nature of the universe. This revolutionary discovery, however, leads to conflict between the Comity and the worlds of the Zionist Covenant and Muslim Sunnis, who want to prevent access to advanced technologies and suppress knowledge of ancient alien life-forms. Readers who like both hard science and realistic sociology will be rewarded. *(Oct.)* Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist In the far future, humans occupy thousands of worlds and get along as well as we do on one but have found no signs of other intelligent life. Then a new world--an abandoned, near--frozen place containing a megaplex of towers--is discovered. In a few years, that planet's path will take it into an area in which exploration is impossible. The Comity government's Deep Space Service hastily assembles an explorer ship and a selection of experts, including pilot Jiendra Chang, artist Chendor Barna, and history professor Liam Fitzhugh, to investigate. Enemies of the Comity are, however, assembling experts, too, though their fortes are sabotage and assassination. The enemies are determined that whatever knowledge or wealth may be gained from the mysterious planet won't accrue solely to the Comity. Modesitt's storytelling and characterization are as good as ever, and his use of four first-person viewpoints is quite effective. *Frieda Murray* Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved