Starred Reviews: The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven and Matthew Joseph Harrington
“The hard science can be dense, but it never gets in way of the breezy mood that gives this delightful romp its wings.”
“A brilliantly crafted yarn that also manages to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller. And funny. Laugh-out-loud funny. What are you waiting for?”
Here’s the full Publishers Weekly review, from the April 8 issue:
Worried about destructive meteors, nanotechnologist Toby Glyer launches the satellite Briareus to act as an early-warning system. But the on-board nanites start evolving and Briareus disappears, reappearing 25 years later—on a collision course with Earth. This may sound dire, but Niven (the Ringworld series) and Harrington (Soul Survivor) turn it into a rollicking good time. To deal with the looming threat, Glyer recruits May Wyndham, whose company was responsible for the initial launch, and William Connors, a genius who has surreptitiously been improving humanity by introducing nanites into the population. As nanites make the protagonists younger, healthier, and sexier, they engage in fast, funny, and gloriously self-referential repartee, with repeated homage paid to classic science-fiction writers and their work. The hard science can be dense, but it never gets in way of the breezy mood that gives this delightful romp its wings. (June)
And here’s the full Kirkus review, from the April 15 issue:
New collaboration about nanotechnology from Harrington (author of several stories set in universes created by Niven) and the vastly influential creator of the Ringworld series, etc.
Dr. Toby Glyer cured AIDS using nanotechnology. But his vision, and that of his genius partner, William Connors, ironically plagued by ill health and confined to a wheelchair, extended much farther. Twenty-five years ago, planning to mine wealth from asteroids, they launched a spaceship loaded with nanites that was to rendezvous with an asteroid and steer it back into Earth’s orbit. But when the probe lost contact shortly after reaching its target, the U.S. government succumbed to the “gray goo” hypothesis—that nanites would inevitably run out of control and consume the planet—and shut Toby down. Now, the target asteroid has reappeared, heading for Earth on schedule. Unfortunately, it’s 10 times the size of the original and evidently won’t only take up Earth’s orbit, but smack into it. The asteroid, Forge, is now inhabited—by intelligent nanites. The government’s only hope is to grab Toby, but thanks to a mysterious series of events, he teams up with rocket scientist May Wyndham and disappears. They soon realize they’re infected with nanites and now have perfect health, among other advantages. How? Why? Then, at the Olympics, a certain Mycroft Yellowhorse, representing the Joint Negotiating Alliance of Indian Tribes, wins the marathon in just over an hour and a quarter. Toby and May finally grasp who Mycroft must really be, what he has accomplished and what he still intends to achieve. Leaping from concept to concept at the speed of thought, the book is bulging with jokes, puns and witticisms and is plotted so cleverly you don’t even notice there is a plot.
A brilliantly crafted yarn that also manages to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller. And funny. Laugh-out-loud funny. What are you waiting for?
The Goliath Stone will be published on June 25th.
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