is your source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of PERMANENCE by Karl Schroeder

    TOR, May 2002

    Man has arrived at the stars, but in two stages. First, he played hopscotch across a sea of brown dwarfs, almost-stars that fill the galaxy and provide energy through gravity. Second, through the discovery of faster-than-light (FTL) flight. Unfortunately for those who colonized the planets surrounding the brown dwarfs, FTL only operates near major gravity wells--true stars. Now, the lit stars have broken the compound that bound them to their weaker brothers and are leaving the billions behind as they expand.

    When Rue Cassels discovers an alien sublight spaceship, she dreams of using it to restore the compact, to bring space travel back to the abandoned planets. A team of scientists thinks only of the scientific benefits--the ship was built for multiple types of aliens while humans have never found a species that will even talk to them. Finally, an admiral from the lit stars can only think of the military implications. It is legally Rue's ship, but accidents have been known to happen. She will have to use every trick in the book to hold onto her property--and prevent a genocidal war.

    Author Karl Schroeder (see reviews of other novels by this author) does a fine job creating a believable future society--and the inventions that tear it apart. The 'Rights Economy,' of the lit stars is a logical extrapolation of one of today's hot issues. Fortunately, Schroeder integrates this theme deeply into the story--I never felt like I was being preached to.

    With her history of abuse and willingness to fight anyone, Rue makes a sympathetic character. It is Schroeder's world-building, however, complete with warring economic systems, alien technologies and ecological niches, and religious/philosophical richness, that makes PERMANENCE the powerful and exciting book that it is.

    Highly recommended--this one has meat, and will stick with you.

    Four Stars

    Ready to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on PERMANENCE from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for PERMANENCE from Barnes and