Noumenon Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
With nods to Arthur C. Clarke's Rama series, the real science of Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, a touch of Hugh Howey's Wool, and told through echoes of Octavia Butler's voice, this is a powerful tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes.
In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth's solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go? Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He's discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon or something manufactured. The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind's greatest ambition - to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy - is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated "Convoy Seven") changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie's mysterious star and explore its origins - and implications.
A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon - in a series of vignettes - examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes - an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.
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|Listening Length||15 hours and 5 minutes|
|Author||Marina J. Lostetter|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 01, 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #209,897 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#874 in Hard Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,212 in Space Opera Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,806 in Adventure Science Fiction
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Top reviews from the United States
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The editing also fell apart in the last third of the Kindle edition. I found incorrect names ("Anton Gaudi"), mis-used words (("strenuous" instead of "tenuous"), and other similar issues. It almost seemed like the editor got tired and gave up.
Noumenon is a gem of a space opera. It asks one of the confounding questions of deep space travel: How would a people travel the galaxy? Black holes, Cryogenics, Artificial Intelligence, Bio-Artificial Intelligence, Virtual reality, Cloning, or other exotic means. The problem is time versus distance versus the human condition. Well, not to belabor a challenge, Ms Lostetter adopted the Cloning method in conjunction with an interesting sub-dimensional (SD) quantum type of travel to defeat the difficult Einstein distance vs time challenge. I’ll allow the author to better define her parameters but in the end she does a better than average job with the deep space travel conundrum. The story revolves around genetic cloning to insure proper crewing of deep generational space ships. Although clones are exact duplicates of the original, small differences do creep in and grow to large differences over time. This is the heart of the story as Noumenon spans eons of space travel for the ships of Convoy 7. Fascinating story with terrific insight in the multi-faceted human condition.
Character development is the heart of Noumenon and is done in vignette style with recurring basic clone genetic lines. These vignettes are all wrapped in an intriguing story of very long deep space travel to a strange star, LQ Pyxidis, thousands of light years from earth. The entire roundtrip from earth will take thousands of earth years and about half that in SD faster than light quantum travel.
No gratuitous sex, violence or language. Just interesting writing.
This is the first book in I guess a possible trilogy. Book #2 comes out in August 2018 and is entitled Noumenon Infinity. Book #3?? A fun read about very deep space travel and how it could possibly be done. Yes I know, there are lots of proposals this is just one person’s supposition. Ms Lostetter does a fine job and will keep the reader engaged. Overall a strong recommend if you like Space, the Final Frontier!!
[DETAILS - WITH SPOILERS - WHY I DIDN’T LIKE IT] The whole concep that they would initially use clones of real people (with the same name and “character traits” as their Earth-bound “parent”) to crew an interstellar spaceship is a stretch at best....but the whole underlying plot device — that there is no breeding among the crew during a multi-generation ark ship, and that each individual clone would each be replaced with their identical (ie, clone) replacement....and that the new clone will take over the same job as the prior clone after a pre-determined number of years (whereupon the older clone is simply euthanized) — was so illogical, and became so unbelievable as the “generations” went on, that I simply gave up and stopped reading the book about 2/3 of the way in.
Overall, the concept had promise initially, but the author took an interesting idea to an extreme, making it beyond believable (and at that point, it just becomes dumb). I gave it two stars, instead of one, because it started out OK and even has potential...if the author were to go back and modify it significantly.
Most of these timeline chapters are enjoyable and thought provoking. However, the Pit/Warden is a tangent shift to far for my tastes. It's like the old Sesame St game "one of these things is not like the other ...". It adds little to the main story arch and is painfully dumb - I cannot believe that the highly educated characters would make the awful decisions thrust upon us.
My advice, buy the book and skip the Pit/Warden part, as it will leave a bitter taste in an otherwise enjoyable tale.
Top reviews from other countries
Firstly, the whole premise of spending TRILLIONS, to send 200,000 humans (clones) and 7 massive spaceships to a far off point of interest, with no real purpose, is madness. Especially when this decision is made following a short presentation to global figures about a sun that might have something around it, but still they get the green light.
And what goals are asked by those funding it? Find out if it's natural or not, and come back to tell us what you've found. That's it!! That's the actual mission brief!! Trillions to go and tell us what you've found!!
Then to top it all, the biggest whopper. The person with the initial idea is given a tour of one of the vessels prior to launch and decides to hang back, plug his PDA in and uploads his device's personality into the onboard system. Zero security whatsoever, not even a password to get past. Trillions of dollars and someone can plug a device in and upload whatever the hell they want without any challenge.
Wha kind of crap is this?
And it has over a thousand 4-5 star reviews? You must have a lot of friends and family.
I can’t say it was an exciting page turner but it made me think more than most sci-fi and the ideas shared have stayed with me for quite a while. Not one to get for a “Space Opera” or epic saga, but a thoughtful view on what it is to be human.