Shelves: from-library , science-fiction , posthuman , read Much like Diaspora , Incandescence is more of a fictional treatise on esoteric ideas than it is a novel. Once again, Egan sidesteps the traditional boundaries of consciousness and identity. There is nary a human to be seen in this book--personalities descended from DNA, yes, but nothing we could call humanity. Incandescence is posthuman to a very literal Much like Diaspora , Incandescence is more of a fictional treatise on esoteric ideas than it is a novel.
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A million years from now, the galaxy is divided between the vast, cooperative meta-civilisation known as the Amalgam, and the silent occupiers of the galactic core known as the Aloof. Roi and Zak live inside the Splinter, a translucent world of rock that swims in a sea of light they call the Incandescence. Living on the margins of a rigidly organised society, they seek to decipher the subtle clues that can reveal the true nature of the Splinter.
In fact, their world is in danger, and as the evidence accumulates Roi, Zak, and a growing band of recruits struggle to understand and take control of their fate. Meanwhile, Rakesh and his travelling companion Parantham gradually uncover the history of the lost DNA world, a search which ultimately leads them to startling revelations that encompass both the Splinter, and the true nature and motives of the Aloof.
Translated by Riccardo Valla. Italian translation Hayakawa, Tokyo, Translated by Makoto Yamagishi. Read an excerpt from the novel. The Orbits and Tidal Accelerations page is an illustrated, maths-free explanation of the reasons why things move the way they do inside the Splinter. All supplementary pages.
Plot summary[ edit ] The novel has two narratives in alternate chapters. The first follows two citizens of the Amalgam, a Milky Way -spanning civilisation, investigating the origin of DNA found on a meteor by the Aloof. The Aloof control the galactic core and, until the novel begins, have rejected all attempts at contact by the Amalgam. The second narrative is set on a small world known as the Splinter, and covers the attempts by its inhabitants to understand the environment within which their home exists. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the Splinter orbits a collapsed star within its accretion disk and is subject to various dangers. Much of the narrative explores the effects of orbital dynamics around a high mass object and requires an understanding of Newtonian gravitation and at least a basic familiarity with general relativity and its application to black holes and neutron stars to be compelling.