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#CBR4 Maneuver #42 – Metaplanetary

Target: Tony Daniel’s Metaplanetary

Profile: Science Fiction, Science Fantasy

Summary: Taken from goodreads.com, “The human race has extended itself into the far reaches of our solar system — and, in doing so, has developed into something remarkable. The inner system of the Met — with its worlds connected by a vast living network of cables — is supported by the repression and enslavement of humanity’s progeny, nanotechnological artificial intelligences whom the tyrant Amés has declared non-human.

But the longing for freedom cannot be denied. And now a line has been drawn at Neptune’s moon Triton, where those who oppose Amés and his fearsome minions await the foretold return of a mysterious man of destiny and doom who has vanished into the backwater of the Met. But resistance will only ensure the unspeakable onslaught of the dictator’s wrath — a rage that will soon ravage the solar system and plunge all of humankind into the fury of total war.”

After Action Report:

Metaplanetary and I have a bit of an odd history.  I picked up a copy of the paperback in a tiny bookstore in Acadia National Park back in 2002.  After reading the whole thing in basically two days, I desperately wanted to find the sequel, with the rear cover promised had come out already.  Of course it hadn’t and it would be another there years before Superluminal would see the light of day, and in the meantime I forgot about the whole thing.  Going back to Metaplanetary hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations, but the book is still a solid piece of soft science fiction/science fantasy with one of the most interesting core concepts I’ve come across.

Metaplanetary attempts to be told as a pseudo-scholarly war record assembled by an off-screen narrator.  The chapters progress through the events leading up to a war between the Inner and Outer solar system regions, with each chapter containing the personal recollections of various involved individuals.  These narratives are punctuated by scholarly documents attributed to various in-universe authors, describing the history, politics and technology of the setting.

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