After hearing about the passing away of Poul Anderson, I pretty much ran out and picked up this book. I figured that it would be good therapy and a good way to honour him. This worked fairly well, I hadn't read any of his new stuff before, so I was unsure as to what we missed out on. Genesis is an excellent novel, which just made me miss Anderson even more, but key to living with the loss of a friend, isn't to forget, but get things into perspective. We may have lost one of the great writers of Science Fiction, a Grand Master, but we still have his books, and I for one still have quite a few of his (newer) books unread.
This was supposed to be a book review, but how can I do a fair review, with the author just dead? I probably can't - the taboo against speaking badly about the dead is way too strong in the time right after the occurrence. So I'll just stick to a summary of Genesis and tell you again that in my, probably quite clouded opinion, this is an excellent book.
Christian Brannock is, as one of the first humans, uploaded to a computer and during the next couple of million years the rest of humanity follows. Super minds combining artificial intelligence and human minds roam the universe. Earth all but lays behind forgotten and alone, tended to by the original and first A.I., now simply name Gaia. Hundreds of millions of years from now the Earth is threatened by the expansion of the Sun and most of the Galactic Minds want to save the Earth, but Gaia wont have it and wont explain why not. The Minds decide to investigate and to get a human perspective on it they, recreate Brannock as a human.
Genesis is Anderson doing what Anderson does best: taking the long perspective. He has never been afraid to let his stories span millennia and I for one quite enjoy this.
Written on 1st August 2001 by TC.
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