Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
the freeze frame revolution (Peter Watts)
Title: the freeze frame revolution
Author: Peter Watts
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: TODAY!!! (paperback/e-book)
This book was a bit of a stretch for me given that it is more hard sci-fi and physics is not me friend. At all. But I have always heard wonderful things about this author and the premise was too awesome not to give it a shot. And I be very glad I did.
So basically this story is told from the perspective of Sunday Ahzmundin. She is a human crew member aboard a ship named the Eriophora which is on the mission to create wormhole gates across the universe. The crew expected their task to end and to be called back to rejoin the rest of humanity. Except they are still onboard over 60 million years later. So what is really going on?
AI runs this ship and at the heart of the story is the relationship between Sunday and the AI who they call Chimp. Ye see the crew is only taken out of stasis when the AI thinks they are necessary to the mission. This usually is a handful of days at a time every 10,000 years or so. And of course there is a rotation so only a small handful of anywhere from 1 to 15 get thawed out at a time. Some of the humans want to revolt against the AI and the mission given the circumstances. Should Sunday join them? And if so how can a hostile takeover succeed under the conditions imposed by Chimp?
I absolutely adored this (longer) novella. I thought the premise, writing, characters, and ship were awesome. Sunday’s inner conflict was fascinating as was her reasons behind the choices she makes. I gobbled this up and was completely engrossed. The only flaw was that the ending happened and I just don’t get it. Despite multiple readings. Those couple pages confused the heck out of me. But I thought that perhaps I just missed some crucial point. Well perhaps I did.
Side note: Claudia @ goodreads’ review (which is excellent) did explain just a wee bit. As she says:
First of all, this novella is not meant to be read on its own. Could be regarded as a standalone, but you’ll feel like something is missing. And that’s because it’s part of a series of stories, entitled the Sunflowercycle, which includes three more short ones (so far).*
Publication order is: The Island (2009) – Winner of Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2010, Hotshot (2014), Giants (2014) and The Freeze-Frame Revolution (June 2018).
Now, after reading all, my advice is they are to be read in this order: Hotshot, The Freeze-Frame Revolution, The Island, Giants. It will not answer all your questions, but it will bring some light into this universe and its perpetual travelers . . .
* all three available on the author’[s] site: http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm
So while the crazy ending hurt me brain and made me feel like I was missing something, I loved the story and circumstances enough to go back and read the other stories. I even think I will follow Claudia’s readin’ order. So seriously even if physics intimidates yer noggin’, do give this story a chance. I certainly don’t regret a thing!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Tachyon Publications!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novella:
She believed in the mission with all her heart.
But that was sixty million years ago.
How do you stage a mutiny when you’re only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what best for you?
Sunday Ahzmundin is about to find out.
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