Copyright 2000 by
I first read this on the 18th January 2003.
Our future stellar civilisation is a monarchy
presided over by Her Majesty Tamra Tamatra Lutui, the Virgin
Queen of Tonga, and in fact the Virgin Queen Of All Things. It's a
universe of extended lifespans, of wealth and
prosperity, based on the untold power provided by the miraculous
properties of material collapsium.
Our hero is Declarant-Philander Bruno de Tomaji.
He is the creator of collapsium and this creation has made him
so very, very rich. He is the erstwhile favourite
of the Queen, but is now self-exiled to his own little planet where
he researches the properties of collapsium and searches for the end of time.
His rival is Marlon Sykes, an almost equally talented engineer and
inventor. When Marlon's latest construction, a ring of collapsium
around the sun, goes disastrously wrong, Bruno is called upon to
But even after saving humanity, Bruno cannot return to his previous
isolation so easily. He will discover that he is caught in a deadly
battle with a powerful and competent enemy, a battle to the death,
with both his own life and human civilisation at risk.
I was very dubious about this, the book cover and the cover's review
suggested something entirely too light-hearted. I was even more
dubious after having read what were clearly two short stories and
having started on the third of what was - according to the back
cover - a novel.
However, it all turned out very well indeed. It is a novel and it's
an exceptionally enjoyable one.
McCarthy's writing is bright and sparkling, humorous and romantic.
It's a romp through an age where technological development
has allowed the rebirth of the scientist-engineer who could make
most everything that he could design.
The novel is not just bright and humorous, it's also exciting. I was
enthralled by the fight scene in the room of robots. Heck I even
read that part twice.
Loaded on the 28th February 2003.