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Sunstorm
 
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Sunstorm [Format Kindle]

Arthur C. Clarke , Stephen Baxter
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

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Bisesa Dutt gasped, and staggered.

She was standing. She didn’t know where she was.

Music was playing.

She stared at a wall, which showed the magnified image of an impossibly beautiful young man crooning into an old-fashioned microphone. Impossible, yes; he was a synth-star, a distillation of the inchoate longings of subteen girls. “My God, he looks like Alexander the Great.”

Bisesa could barely take her eyes off the wall’s moving colors, its brightness. She had forgotten how drab and dun-colored Mir had been. But then, Mir had been another world altogether.

Aristotle said, “Good morning, Bisesa. This is your regular alarm call. Breakfast is waiting downstairs. The news headlines today are—”

“Shut up.” Her voice was a dusty desert croak.

“Of course.” The synthetic boy sang on softly.

She glanced around. This was her bedroom, in her London apartment. It seemed small, cluttered. The bed was big, soft, not slept in.

She walked to the window. Her military-issue boots were heavy on the carpet and left footprints of crimson dust. The sky was gray, on the cusp of sunrise, and the skyline of London was emerging from the flatness of silhouette.

“Aristotle.”

“Bisesa?”

“What’s the date?”

“Tuesday.”

“The date.”

“Ah. The ninth of June, 2037.”

“I should be in Afghanistan.”

Aristotle coughed. “I’ve grown used to your sudden changes of plans, Bisesa. I remember once—”

“Mum?”

The voice was small, sleepy. Bisesa turned.

Myra was barefoot, her tummy stuck out, fist rubbing at one eye, hair tousled, a barely awake eight-year-old. She was wearing her favorite pajamas, the ones across which cartoon characters gamboled, even though they were now about two sizes too small for her. “You didn’t say you were coming home.”

Something broke inside Bisesa. She reached out. “Oh, Myra—”

Her daughter recoiled. “You smell funny.”

Shocked, Bisesa glanced down at herself. In her jumpsuit, scuffed and torn and coated with sweat-soaked sand, she was as out of place in this twenty-first-century London flat as if she had been wearing a spacesuit.

She forced a smile. “I guess I need a shower. Then we’ll have breakfast, and I’ll tell you all about it . . .”

The light changed, subtly. She turned to the window.

There was an Eye over the city, a silver sphere, floating like a barrage balloon. She couldn’t tell how far away it was, or how big. But she knew it was an instrument of the Firstborn, who had transported her to Mir, another world, and brought her home.

And over the rooftops of London, a baleful sun was rising.

The Peak of Eternal Light

Mikhail Martynov had devoted his life to the study of Earth’s star. And from the first moment he saw the sun, at the beginning of that fateful day, he knew, deep in his bones, that something was wrong.

“Good morning, Mikhail. The time on the Moon is two o’clock in the morning. Good morning, Mikhail. The time is two o’clock and fifteen seconds. Good morning . . .”

“Thank you, Thales.” But he was already up and moving. As always he had woken to within a minute of his personal schedule, without need of Thales’s softly spoken electronic wake-up call, a schedule he kept independently of the Houston time to which the rest of the Moon was enslaved.

Mikhail was a man of routine. And he would begin the day, as he began every day of his long solitary watches in this Space Weather Service Station, with a walk into the sunlight.

He took a quick breakfast of fruit concentrate and water. He always drank the water pure, never polluted with coffee granules or tea leaves, for it was water from the Moon, the result of billions of years of slow cometary accretion and now mined and processed for his benefit by million-dollar robots; he believed it deserved to be savored.

He clambered briskly into his EVA suit. Comfortable and easy to use, the suit was the result of six decades’ development from the clumsy armor worn by the Apollo astronauts. And it was smart, too; some said so smart it could go out Moonwalking by itself.

But smart suit or not, Mikhail worked cautiously through a series of manual checks of the suit’s vital systems. He lived alone here at the Moon’s South Pole, save for the electronic omnipresence of Thales, and everybody knew that low gravity made you dumb—the “space stupids,” they called it. Mikhail was well aware of the importance of concentrating on the chores necessary to keep himself alive.

Still, it was only minutes before he was locked tight into the warm enclosure of the suit. Through the slight distortion of his wedge-shaped visor he peered out at his small living quarters. He was a man equipped for interplanetary space, standing incongruously in a clutter of laundry and unwashed dishes.

Then, with a grace born of long practice, he pushed his way out through the airlock, and then the small dustlock beyond, and emerged onto the surface of the Moon.

Standing on the slope of a crater rim mountain, Mikhail was in shadow broken only by sparse artificial lighting. Above him stars crowded a silent sky. When he looked up—he had to lean back in his stiff suit—he could make out dazzling splashes of light high on the crater wall, places the low polar sunlight could reach. Solar-cell arrays and an antenna farm had been placed up there in the light, as well as the sun sensors that were the Station’s main purpose.

This Space Weather Service Station, dug into the wall of a crater called Shackleton, was one of the Moon’s smaller habitats, just a few inflatable domes linked by low tunnels and heaped over by a layer of charcoal-gray Moon dust.

Unprepossessing the hab itself may have been, but it was situated in one of the Moon’s more remarkable locations. Unlike the Earth, the Moon’s axis has no significant tilt; there are no lunar sea- sons. And at the Moon’s South Pole the sun never rises high in the sky. There the shadows are always long—and, in some places, permanent. Thus the pool of darkness in which Mikhail stood had been unbroken for billions of years, save by humans.

Mikhail looked down the slope, beyond the low bulges of the Station domes. On Shackleton’s floor floodlights revealed a complex tangle of quarries and lumbering machines. Down there robots toiled over the real treasure of this place: water.

When the Apollo astronauts had brought home their first dusty Moon rocks, the geologists had been dumbfounded that the samples contained not a trace of water, not even bound chemically into the mineral structures. It took some decades to unravel the truth. The Moon was no sister world of Earth but a daughter, created in the early days of the solar system when a collision with another infant world had smashed apart a proto-Earth. The debris that had eventually coalesced into the Moon had been superheated until it glowed blue-white, in the process driving off every trace of water. Later, comets had splashed on the Moon’s surface. Out of the billions of tonnes of water delivered by these lesser impacts, most had been lost immediately. But a trace, just a trace, had found its way to the permanently shadowed floors of the polar craters, a gift of water to the Moon as if in recompense for the circumstances of its birth.

By Earth’s standards the Moon’s water was little enough—not much more than a respectably sized lake—but for human colonists it was a treasure beyond price, literally worth far more than its weight in gold. It was invaluable for the scientists too, as it bore a record of eons of cometary formation, and offered indirect clues to the formation of Earth’s oceans, which had also been bequeathed by cometary impacts.

Mikhail’s interest in this place was not lunar ice, however, but solar fire.

He turned away from the shadows and began to toil up the steepening slope of the rim mountain toward the light. The path was just a trail, beaten flat by human footprints. It was marked by streetlights, as everybody called them, small globe lamps hung from poles, so he could see what he was doing.

The slope was steep, each step an effort even in the Moon’s gentle one-sixth gravity. His suit helped, with a subtle hum from exoskeletal servos and a high-pitched whir of the fans and pumps that labored to keep his faceplate clear of condensed sweat. He was soon breathing hard, and his muscles ached pleasantly: this walk was his daily constitutional.

At last he reached the summit of the mountain and emerged into flat sunlight. A small collection of robot sensors huddled here, peering with unending electronic patience at the sun. But the light was too brilliant for Mikhail’s eyes, and his visor quickly opaqued.

The view around him was still more dramatic, and complex. He was standing on the rim of Shackleton, itself a comparatively minor crater, but here at its western rim Shackleton intersected the circles of two other craters. The landscape was jumbled on a superhuman scale: even the craters’ far rims were hidden by the Moon’s horizon. But with long practice Mikhail had trained himself to make out the chains of mountains, slowly curving, that marked the perimeters of these overlapping scars. And all this was thrown into stark relief by the low light of the sun as it rolled endlessly around the horizon, the long shadows it cast turning like clock hands.

The South Pole, shaped when the Moon was young by an immense impact that had bequeathed it the deepest crater in all the solar system, was the most contorted landscape on the Moon. A gre...

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the same universe as Clarke's 2001 and its sequels, Clarke and Baxter's second and final Time Odyssey book (after 2004's Time's Eye) will especially appeal to fans of hard SF who appreciate well-grounded science and humans with a can-do attitude to problem solving. In 2037, the same day the enigmatic alien Firstborn return Bisea Dutt, the heroine of Time's Eye, to her home in London, the city grinds to a halt as a sun storm sends a massive surge of energy to Earth, temporarily destroying the world's electronic infrastructure. This surge presages another, much larger sun storm, due to hit in 2042, which will utterly annihilate life across the globe. Against all odds, the nations of Earth come together to construct a huge space umbrella that will shield the planet from the worst of the barrage. The answer to why the sun's activity is being manipulated to wipe out life on Earth must wait, given the day-to-day difficulties and politics of the construction project. The five-year sweep of events, the plethora of characters and the cuts from Mars to Earth to the moon during the climactic sun storm give the story a movie montage feel, but the focus on the enormously challenging task at hand will keep readers turning the pages. Agent, Scovil, Chichak, Galen. (Mar. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 317 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 368 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 034545250X
  • Editeur : Del Rey; Édition : 1st (29 mars 2005)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FCK2BU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°178.735 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un tome 2 du Time Odyssey remarquable ! 1 mai 2006
Format:Poche
Bien qu'ayant acheté ce livre en premier j'ai lu le tome 1 en premier car il fait partie d'une série de 3 livre dont le dernier est encore en écriture...

Ce tome 2 est un scénario de "disaster movie" à lui tout seul ! La psychologie des personnages est très intéressante et l'on retrouve ce qui a fait de 2001 odyssé de l'espace un must de la SF! Aristote, Thales et Athéna les 3 IA de ce monde sont plein de mystères et leur avenir est tout tracé pour le 3 eme opus !

L'histoire est vraiement prenante ! L'homme face a son destin et pour une fois, les américains ne sauvent pas le monde !
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Amazon.com: 3.1 étoiles sur 5  69 commentaires
23 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Sunburned 24 avril 2005
Par James Tepper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is my week for sunny sequels that weren't (very good or much like real sequels). First Greg Benford's, "Sunborn" and now Clarke and Baxter's "Sunstorm". Both follow-ups to excellent novels ("The Martian Race" and "Time's Eye", respectively) by top-notch SF authors, both terribly disappointing.

"Sunstorm" is a sequel to "Time's Eye" in the sense that one of the main characters from the former novel, Bisesa Dutt, is also one of the main chracters in the new novel. It also has something to do with the Firstborn. But there the sequelity ends. In this respect the dust jacket blurb was astonishingly misleading. It reads in part, "Why did the Fristborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance? Bisesa's questions receive a chilling answer..." Not! None of these questions was addressed, nor was anything else from the first novel including the fate of Mir and those left there, the purpose of the "eyes", the motives behind the actions of the Firstborn etc.

As a short (~330 pages) hard SF novel by two greats, "Sunstorm" was just OK. But as a sequel that very clearly promised to answer all those intriguing mysteries set up in the first novel it fails badly. The (already shown to be inaccurate) dust jacket says that "Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion...", further suggesting that this is the end, but the book's subtitle "A Time Odyssey:2" sugests that maybe there is more to come. If there is, it almost has to be better than this one.
23 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A letdown, 1.5 '*', graded on a curve.... 13 avril 2005
Par B. Davis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
After the exhilirating joyride which was 'Time's Eye', I can't help but state how disenchanted, disappointed, and saddened I was by the near-tripe that is Sunstorm.

I'll attempt to do so with minimal/no spoilers.

First, there's the obvious: Bisesa is nearly non-existant. While this itself is acceptable, her minimal presence is, at best, distracting; at worst: disappointing. Where is the headstrong lady from the first book? Where is the go-getter? Heck, where is the presence of mind to weep for your lost love, grab your daughter, and do something. Instead....

Second, there's the more obvious: the book, unlike it's predecessor, piles on the science at the cost of the fiction. While this is fantastic in the sense of addressing a major (for sci-fi) shortcoming of the first book, it cost it's enjoyability. Within the first few pages, we (the readers) are aware of the situation and 'the cause'. We don't need 200+ more pages describing it, and the solution. Along those lines, at the cost of the (occassionally nauseating while pleasantly liberating) PC vestiges of the book: "increase the humanity". Make me, the reader, *care* for Siobhan. Or Bud. Or Eugene. Anybody.

Well, I take that back: Athena was a *worthy* addition. I empathized with her. I would have like to have more time spent on her. Of course, 'her' portion was itself limited. To the degree that became, itself discouraging, but, at the least, in line with the rest of the novel.

Finally, the resolution was... anything but. Minimal details on the First Born emerged, and the post-storm section was glossed over.

Hopefully, being the optimist, Clarke and Baxter will revisit the world a third time. Hopefully, if so, it will be the charm.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 DOES NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS LEFT FROM "TIME'S EYE" 17 septembre 2007
Par Possum-Bread - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"Sunstorm by by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter is the sequel to their successful collaboration on "Time's Eye." I thoroughly enjoyed "Time's Eye." When I began reading "Sunstorm" I expected a seemless transition from one book to the other. I was sadly disappointed.

There is only one character in "Sunstorm" who comes from "Time's Eye." But the lack of characters from "Time's Eye" was only part of the problem. In "Time's Eye" there is plenty of action when people of differing eras meet. The images and ideas of time travel are craftily written by Clarke and Baxter.

In "Sunstorm" I struggled to read the first few chapters because the pace of the story drags. It lacks the energy and excitement of the first book. Certainly the catastrophe of the sun's demise is enough of a plot for one book. However, set as a sequel to a time travel novel, it fails.

I strongly recommend reading "Time's Eye" for fans of time travel science fiction. I recommend skipping the sequel "Sunstorm."
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A better collaboration 28 avril 2005
Par Alex Tolley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Unlike the the other reviewers to date, I preferred this novel over their last collaboration (Time's Eye). The core of the plot is solid, hard SF, requiring science and engineering to meet the threat. The threat is plausible, I think novel, and the solutions interesting. Yes, the characters are sketched, much more in the style of early SF, particularly Clarke; I prefer them that way.

Where the story detracts from being an even better novel, is the weak continuation of the alien watchers thread. This novel could have been written without reference to the Firstborn, Bisesa Dutt could have been eliminated from the story, and nothing of significance would have been lost. I suspect marketing played a role here, and of course the ending is a set up for a potential third novel.

As another reviewer noted, the science is layed on with a shovel and is very much in-your-face. Clarke used to do this so much more elegantly, a little more thought would have improved the flow.

Finally, the references to Clarke, his ideas and his works is either charming or irritating, depending on your love of his books. I think it was an overdone paean to him. Some elements were just not needed, such as the the space elevator, and some dialog lifted directly from HAL 9000 was just too cute.

Having said that, this collaboration seemed to work better for me, and I found the book quite engrossing, reading it in just two sittings. This is not the best work of either of these two authors, but it works well enough to be a very good read.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Weak for Clarke & Baxter, but still readable 28 septembre 2006
Par Alejandro Contreras - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I had noticed the relatively low rating this book had received, but still, couldn't resist the temptation of reading another book from these two great authors.

That being said, I must acknowledge that, it is true. This is a so-so book for Clarke and Baxter. Why?

- The characters are relatively weak. Some of their interactions, attitudes and comments are just not believable (almost as weak as pocket novels like the Da Vinci Code).

- Even though the scientifical concepts behind this book might be correct (I'm not an expert to judge), I can not but think that there were more practical ways for the Firstborn to achieve their main objective. Trying not to spoil it, I ask "why intervene in the Sun and not on Earth"? It would have been more efficient and taken less time. Of course, then we would have no book..... :)

- This book is advertised as heavily related to "Time's Eye". Not true. Besides the (unfortunately) not well known Firstborn, and the relatively obnoxious Bisesa, there is no relation between both books.

- It seems to me that this book is almost a waste. Clarke and Baxter could have written a much better sequel to Time's Eye. And, if on the other hand, they wanted to explore the concepts behind Sunstorm, they could have done a better job writing about it in an independent (no "Time Odyssey") work.

But not all is bad. On the positive side:

- As in any work from these masters, the description of the many events that happen is truly vivid and remarkable. Your mind really wanders off imagining "what would it be like". It's always refreshing to visualize these situations with the help of Clarke and Baxter.

- The book is not terrible. It's nicely written and you end up trying to read it as fast as you can to see which mysteries are solved, which not, and what happens.

In short, if you are already a fan of Clarke and/or Baxter, feel free to read this book. It's not their best but it's ok.

If you don't consider yourself in the "fan" category, I advise you to go and read any of their truly amazing pieces (in the case of Clarke, I suggest the Rama series or the Odyssey series - both are just great).
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