JOAN SLONCZEWSKI SERIES:


Brain Plague (elysium cycle)

Brain Plague (elysium cycle)

Joan Slonczewski

Joan Slonczewski

Slonczewski adds a new chapter to her evolving saga of the pangalactic Fold (The Children Star; A Door into Ocean; Daughter of Elysium) with this provocative if coolly clinical meditation on nanotechnology, artistic creativity and godhood. On Valedon, a planet of genetically modified humans, struggling artist Chrysoberyl of Dolomoth (Chrys to her friends) agrees to be colonized by Eleutherian micros, an accelerated culture of sentient cells salvaged from an assassinated colleague. The micros, which infiltrate her body and communicate with her neurally in the voices of Old Testament supplicants praying to their god, initially mean nothing to Chrys but a full bank account and full health insurance. But soon they are enhancing her art, serving as collaborators and subjects and garnering her a commission to design the planet's first new city in centuries. Inevitably, the replicating micros breed rebellious individuals who challenge Chrys's divine infallibility. For all its innovations, the novel features its share of clich?s (the archetypal avant-garde art scene Chrys belongs to; the medieval character of micro society) and grows repetitive in its chronicle of Chrys's periodic purges of blasphemous micros and her endangerment by infected slave carriers. Slonczewski shows imaginative breadth of vision in her depiction of nanotechnology's pervasive impact on Fold civilization, however, and her narrative, though hip-deep in biotech jargon, is rich in subtle analyses of the relationships between individuals and societies, art and life, the organic and inorganic, health and disease, free will and personal responsibility, and spiritual and scientific aspirations.
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The Highest Frontier

The Highest Frontier

Joan Slonczewski

Joan Slonczewski

One of the most respected writers of hard SF, it has been more than ten years since Joan Slonczewski's last novel. Now she returns with a spectacular tour de force of the college of the future, in orbit. Jennifer Ramos Kennedy, a girl from a rich and politically influential family (a distant relation descended from the famous Kennedy clan), whose twin brother has died in an accident and left her bereft, is about to enter her freshman year at Frontera College.Frontera is an exciting school built with media money, and a bit from tribal casinos too, dedicated to educating the best and brightest of this future world. We accompany Jenny as she proceeds through her early days at school, encountering surprises and wonders and some unpleasant problems. The Earth is altered by global warming, and an invasive alien species called ultraphytes threatens the surviving ecosystem. Jenny is being raised for great things, but while she's in school she just wants to do her homework, go on a few dates, and get by. The world that Jenny is living in is one of the most fascinating and creative in contemporary SF, and the problems Jenny faces will involve every reader, young and old.
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