Read Neverness by David Zindell Online


The universe of Neverness is and filled with extraordinary beings, such as the neanderthal-like Alaloi and the Order of Pilots. Against this backdrop stands Mallory Ringer, who penetrates the Solid State Entity. There he makes a discovery. One that could unlock the secret of immortality....

Title : Neverness
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553279030
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 552 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Neverness Reviews

  • Terry
    2019-01-19 06:00

    This is a really enjoyable 'big idea' science fiction novel that takes place millenia in our future on the planet Icefall, also called Neverness. It's kind of Dune meets Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol 1 with high level mathematics, posthumanism, and trippy metaphysics thrown in.The story follows the life of Mallory Ringess, a trainee enrolled at "the Academy" that was founded by a pseudo-monastic order of truth-seekers called 'the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable Flame' hoping to become a pilot. Now in this day and age a pilot is a very special kind of beast who combines the aspects of a theoretical mathematician with those of a questing knight. Using advanced mathematics the pilots are able to navigate within the manifold, a kind of hyperspace that links all parts of the universe, but whose dangers can lead the untrained or the unwary to get lost in the tangled skeins of space-time. The pilots are thus a special breed. They are men and women who live for the precarious dangers of the manifold and who search, quixote-like, for the proof of the elusive Continuum Hypothesis which would allow a pilot to fall from any point in the universe to any other without the complicated mathematical mappings normally required to traverse hyperspace. It is also a quest for godhood as the pilots search for the secrets known as the Elder Eddas. These secrets are said to allow beings to transcended their mortality and become gods of one sort or another, and the galaxy is sparsely populated with some of these dangerous and unknowable superbeings, former humans whose consciousness is now housed in nebulae or moon-sized computers. This dangerous life has brought about the motto of the pilots: "Journeymen die", for it is few pilots who ever survive to their mastership.The world Zindell creates is a fascinating one full of strangeness and wonder. Mallory is an interesting character, equal parts idealistic dreamer and pompous ass. His best friend Bardo is even more entertaining...a figure equal parts Falstaff and Porthos. The story bogged down a bit for me in the middle where Mallory and his fellow searchers look for the Elder Eddas among the Alaloi, a group of humans who had 'carked' their flesh and minds to become like the Neanderthals of earth in rejection of the advanced technology used by the other people of Neverness. Overall, however, this is a great tale, bursting at the seams with crazy-awesome ideas that leave a lot of food for the imagination.Recommended.Also posted at Shelf Inflicted

  • Stephen
    2019-01-21 11:54

    4.5 to 5.0 stars. WOW!! This is epic, "big idea" science fiction at its best. Reminded me a lot, in tone and scope, of such great novels as Radix by A.A. Attanasio and The Golden Age by John C. Wright. If you like those books, you will definitely like this one. Absolutely superb!!! Highly recommended!!Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1990)Nominee: Locus Award for Best First Novel (1989)

  • Диана
    2019-01-10 05:08

    Although still at 7% through the book, I'm putting 'Neverness' next to 'Dune' as one of the (two) best science fiction books I've come across. Of course in important respects the two books are incomparable - 'Dune' is an epic in whose solemnity 'Neverness' does not, and does not aim at sharing. However maybe there is a reason other than pure admiration that made me compare 'Neverness' to my otherwise all-favourite epic 'Dune': the philosophical depth of the book, the incredible sensitivity with which the author puts meaning behind every word, character, and creation of his, making it clear that each sentence is the result of a thousand observations of the world around and inside us; and not just some bleak filling to an unimaginative plot as is the case with most of the gibberish out there that likes to call itself science fiction.And before someone has come back at me with the quite appropriate observation that maybe the above-mentioned reason is not 'other than pure admiration' - for maybe this is the quality in a piece of writing that mostly causes admiration itself !! - I will hurry to also praise 'Neverness' for its extraordinary beauty. The aesthetic of the piece is what makes the book much more akin to 'Dune' than to eg the philosophical fiction of Strugratsky brothers. Although in fact the vividness and meticulousness of 'Neverness' is in my reading experience comparable even to Ende's own sublime 'Neverending Story'!So long, and I am back to strolling the coloured-ice streets of the shimmering City of Light. I just wanted to share from the start that I love this book, and I love the writer. I don't know whether I will write another review when I'm finished, or whether something in the remaining pages will not make me give it a bit lower rating. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend 'Neverness' to all those deep philosophical natures out there, this book will remind you why science fiction is your favourite genre; it is so for a reason. In no other genre the writer has such a freedom to put so much meaning and beauty behind every shade of the fictional world created - as David Zindell does here, masterfully.

  • Simon
    2018-12-25 05:55

    I am a lover of mathematics. I am also a lover of good sci-fi that poses big questions. This novel has both, homerun right? ... Well no. Let me first say; his book had many things going for it that I could love. Mathematics is a sort of magic, mathematicians use their abilities to calculate and navigate through a manifold (subtle enough poke at string theory possibly) which allows them to explore the universe at amazing scales. In this exploration they can have philosophical conversations with god like beings. these are wins for me.There are references left and right to things that greatly interest me (set theory, even drug and DMT references). I’m sort of a nerd for these things. HOWEVER, there are some big negatives. These grew to the point where the novel was just not worth reading anymore.The biggest of these was the rampant sexism in the book. The first handful of female characters were prostitutes, then the next female characters are introduced in terms of their looks or breasts. I can deal with that, but then his female cousin is introduced and even still the author can't help but turn this into an incestuous relationship. There are even subtle comments about women having lower mathematical abilities than that of men. Now without revealing too much of the plot about a chapter later there is a sort of undercover operation going on with the main group of characters. In this operation TONS of sex is going on between many different people, at one point a father is offering his daughter to have sex with some caveman in hopes of stealing his DNA. It was just too much over sexualizing and sexism for me to even care about the plot anymore.Not to mention the reader has to believe in a world that is presented as a scientific juggernaut yet is still very primitive in many aspects which I found hard to "accept"

  • Jlawrence
    2019-01-18 05:06

    I picked this up because I read several comparisons to Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, and there are similarities - dense, evocative prose; rich, textured, and unique world-building; a taste for the striking strange - both in well-written imagery and concepts; a young, arrogant, first-person narrator who is not a philosopher but is given to philosophical pondering; a combination of humanity's past with humanity's far-flung future. Zindell definitely takes his own path though, inspired as he may be by Wolfe (and by one of Wolfe's inspirations, Borges). The biggest difference is Zindell is not being tricky as Wolfe in presentation of story and theme. The book approaches heavy concepts, including the nature of consciousness, and free will vs. determinism, but these things are directly embedded in the problems the main characters face. New Sun worked its themes under the surface and fractured them through its unreliable narrator - when Severian of the New Sun told you something or revealed a thought, it could not be taken at face value. In Neverness, the things the narrator Mallory Ringess deals with -- for example: being a mathematician-pilot who shortcuts through space-time by solving intricate, visualized mathematical calculation-sculptures made while in mental union with his spacecraft's computer; facing a space entity that uses networked moon-size brain-nodes to think its unapproachable thoughts -- are complicated enough that New Sun trickiness would have made it ridiculously obscure.New Sun is embedded in and explores mystery -- Neverness is about piercing and solving mystery, or, at least, the human drive to do so.As a member of an order of mathematician pilots who navigate the "manifold" in the manner I mentioned above, Mallory goes from his icy home city of Neverness (where the denizens skate on frozen roads of colored ice, the colors identifying where the road goes) on a quest that sends him deep into the folds of the aforementioned cosmic brain, compels him to live with a tribe that harkens to humanity's prehistory (this part is a great contrast to the city and space settings in the book, and the tribe's life and rituals are as thoroughly realized as the far-future elements. There's also some of the book's most gut-wrenching moments here), and involves him unwittingly in deadly plots between different guilds of Neverness. There's many fascinating ideas throughout (I haven't even mentioned my favorite, Zindell's particular take on the idea of a warrior-poet), and Zindell includes a lot of human drama (sometimes clunkily, sometimes very effectively (both apply to Mallory's continual conflicts with Soli)) along with the exotic world-building and idea-riffing. The attempts to inject some humor through Mallory's more earthy friend Bardo sometimes fall flat, but I did grow quite fond of Bardo by the end of the novel. The very end of the book perhaps doesn't live up to all the high stakes Zindell raised, but, overall, the book's a rewarding and imaginative feat.

  • Tudor Ciocarlie
    2018-12-28 04:08

    This book is everything that Ridley Scott's Prometheus wanted to be.An excellent blend of almost every science-fictional sub-genre out there: space-opera, horror, post-singularity and superhuman, apocalyptic fiction, military and anthropological science fiction and even a little bit of post-cyberpunk and time-travel.Unfortunately, in 1998, Neverness was probably too much and now, after all its themes were overused in the last 25 years, its newness and shine have disappeared a little. Still, Neverness remains a formidable achievement.

  • Shaitanah
    2018-12-28 11:53

    I really wanted to like this book. I had high hopes going in because the world-building seemed interesting and unique and I've seen the novel draw comparisons with Dune, which happens to be one of my top favourites of all time. Unfortunately, Neverness proved to be very much not my cup of tea. The plot is an epic mess, the world-building never gets explained (the author just throws planet names and made-up words at us like we're supposed to know what he's talking about), and the writing style, while, admittedly, quite beautiful, is not without faults either. I was particularly annoyed by the author's tendency to list the full names of minor characters that existed basically to serve as cannon fodder: to die in battle or to show us that the Order had other pilots aside from the main characters. Yes, I get it, all those people have names... which don'ty tell me anything at all about them! Why should I care if they live or die if they have contributed exactly nothing to the plot?This, unfortunately, goes for most of the characters, and if the men have at least some semblance of personality (Bardo and Soli in particular), then the women are just there to be continuously sexualized and possibly murdered. There is a lot of sex in this book, which, again, contributes nothing to the plot and is quite often disguistingly portrayed. While we're at it, there are definitely descriptions I could do without here, and if the Devaki's "meat orgy" at least serves to illustrate how they differ from the "civilized" people, then the continuous mention of Bardo's farts is neither here nor there. Another thing I really wanted to enjoy was the Ringess/Soli family conflict - but I couldn't. Moira, who initially seemed like an interesting character, was mostly in the background and then died without having done anything remotely engaging to the reader. Why does Soli hate Moira? Why is stealing his DNA to give birth to Mallory (a plot twist anyone with eyes would have seen coming a mile away btw) such a great crime? We are told it IS a crime, but in the universe where people alter their own genes to become some weird seal hybrids taking somebody's genetic material without permission doesn't seem like such an important offence. Why do Mallory and Soli hate each other? Because of Soli's broken nose? Because of the "slel-necking" revelation? Beats me. Hate isn't always rational and easily explained, particularly between family members, and the author does point out how thin the line between love and hate can be, but in the long run, whatever facets Soli and Mallory's conflict might have, they're all lost in the grand mess of things. The final portion of the book manages to correct that, but for me, it comes too late. The whole war of the pilots subplot seems even messier and more ridiculous than the first half of the novel. I get that the war is supposed to have started because of some tragic misunderstandings, but the way it's written, I don't see that.The romance in the book is simply laughable (Bardo/Justine) and downright creepy when it comes to Mallory/Katharine. It doesn't help that neither of the women have enough personality to make them appealing: one is a walking apple of discord and the other is a plot device.What was the final straw for me was that the parallels with Dune weren't simply on the level of scope and scale. Some plot elements are very clearly borrowed directly from Dune: Mallory's impending godhood; the "racial" memory; Mallory's scrying abilities. But where Muad'Dib's motives are clear and understandable and his transition to the divine status is a slow and tragic process, Mallory comes off mostly as a faceless narrator whose motivations are murky and whose personality is regrettably bland. I really wish I'd liked the book, but unfortunately, this is not my type of a story.

  • Estelle
    2019-01-04 04:03

    The Good: - great world building - some compelling and original ideas- a good introduction to an (hopefully) epic story- definitely makes me want to read The Broken God soonThe Bad:- unlikeable hero- the other characters aren't great either- at times repetitive and could have used some editing- for something so often compared to DUNE it's nowhere as brilliant nor as deepOverall it was an interesting read and I'm looking forward to digging into the next book (although I'll try to lower my expectations), but I had real issues with the pacing and the uneven quality of writing and storytelling.

  • Marinus Opperman
    2018-12-31 05:18

    No respecting reader of speculative fiction would dare to neglect reading this book a few times. Although probably intended as a single volume, it starts the reader on a four book journey.This book starts in a universe where mathematics enable one to traverse the universe and discover the wonders and dangers our galaxy holds. Many disciplines are touched from the art of poetry to that of anthropology and philosophy. Enjoy this first book with the knowledge that the best is yet to come.

  • Lori Penn
    2018-12-27 10:01

    At a young age, this booked changed my perspective on life. An amazing journey worth taking.

  • Chris T
    2018-12-25 07:02

    Review Source @ ChrisTheo.comThe story follows Mallory Ringess, a young Pilot of the Order that finds himself in deep space on a mission that could have been entirely avoided if he wasn’t such a hot-headed, arrogant and stubborn man-child. Zindell expertly tells this tale in the first person and gives us the insight into Mallory’s personality necessary for us to warm to him. It’s ultimately this decision that allows the novel to succeed so completely. As a reader you find yourself sympathising with the flawed pilot and before long you are cheering for him on his dangerous quest. Each trial leaves Mallory changed and it’s these changes that contribute to one of the main themes of the book, is it possible to transcend our genetic programming and control our destinies? Secondary and ancillary characters are handled just as deftly as our protagonist. Mallory’s portly best friend Bardo provides welcome comic relief during some of the most thematically sombre parts of the novel. But he is no mere mouthpiece. There is a depth to Mallory and Bardo’s relationship that really lifts the novel and gives it a great warmth and familiarity. Another character highlight is the Lord Pilot of the Order Soli whose frictional relationship with Mallory is responsible for some of the most gut-wrenching moments I’ve read. The range of emotions that these relationships invoke in the reader adds a complexity that is often missing in a lot of science fiction and adventure novels. As such, every event carries with it a weight that supersedes those in most space operas.In addition to depth and complexity, the sheer scope of this novel is nothing short of astounding. It’s easy to see why Zindell has been compared with the likes of Olaf Stapledon and even Tolkien. The scale of his adventure juxtaposed against an intimate first person narrative imbues a sense of wonder in the reader. It’s a feat few novels achieve and even fewer manage to sustain this over hundreds of pages. Like a rag doll I was catapulted from the microcosm of Neanderthal life to a tragic war in the in the far reaches of space and back again. And I liked it. A lot.Combine these elements – an ambitious story, well rounded characters and themes that connect humanity across thirty thousand years of imagined future and you have an the makings of a great, timeless novel. But Zindell doesn’t stop there, because he also writes beautifully. His words are a pleasure to read, his descriptions succinct yet powerful and his prose poetic. There was one moment I remember clearly, where Mallory and Soli were riding their sleds across the snow in freezing conditions and Zindell’s words shot a shiver of cold down my body.But it was too cold to snow. We depended on the cold, even though the cold knifed through our furs and chilled us to the core. In truth, the cold nearly killed us. It was so cold that the snow was dry and gritty like sand. The air held no moisture, and the sky was deep blue, almost blue-black like an eschatologist’s folded robes. The dry chill air worked at our noses until they began to bleed. We sucked in air hard as icicles, and we felt ice points crystallizing in our nostrils, freezing and cutting our warm, tunnelled flesh.It would be easy to imagine another writer struggle to explore the kind of themes present in the novel. But Zindell uses the first person narrative to great effect, with Mallory’s personal journey of change and discovery serving as the novel’s main method of thematic exposition.We are sheep awaiting the butcheries of time; we are clots of brain tissue and bundles of muscle, meat machines that jump to the touch of our most immediate passions; we – I have said this before – we react rather than act; we have thoughts in place of thinking. We are, simply, robots; robots aware that we are robots, but robots nonetheless.And yet. And yet we are something more. I have seen a dog, Yuri’s beloved Kyoko, a lowly beast whose programs were mostly muzzle and hunger, growls and smell, overcome her fear and flight programs to hurl herself at a great white bear, purely out of love for her master. Even dogs possess a spark of free will. And for humans, within each of us, I believe, burns a flame of free will. In some it is tenuous and dim as an oilstone’s flame; in others it burns hot and bright. But if our will is truly free, why do our robot programs run our bodies and minds? Why do we not run our programs? Why do we not write our own programs? Was it possible that all women and men could free themselves and thus become their own masters?As I came to the end of this marvellous adventure I found myself very reluctant to let Mallory and Neverness go, to the point where I almost flipped the book over and started again at page one. I simply have too many good books to read, not to mention the sequels, but I have no doubt that I will return to this novel sooner rather than later. And while I’m hesitant to say such a thing so soon after finishing it, I can’t deny the impact this book has had on me. It’s one of, if not the best book I’ve read. And I’ve read a lot.

  • Dalibor Dado Ivanovic
    2018-12-24 05:13

    Dobro je ovo, dakle ne mogu trenutno reci da me nesto pravo ponjelo ali je ok. dosta ne podsjeca na Knjigu Novog Sunca od Gene Wolfea, koja mi je bila izvrsna, tako da mozda ovoliko filozofije u ovom trenu zivota mi ne pase. Nesto izmedju Wolfea i Delanya, ali nije toliko dobro.

  • Fidan Selim-Zade
    2019-01-13 12:12

    It has been a long time since I read a sci-fi novel on Space Opera genre, though it is one of the my most favorite genres.. The reason is I've read so much of it I was struggling to find a new one that could hook me on from the very beginning. Neverness has vastly amused me with its world, and perspective of human civilization in the Universes of space and mind. I found it to be true science fiction novel with the nontrivial idea of future, human society, and vision on evolution of mind. ".. our humanity - our very selvesmore is defined by our weaknesses than by our strengths" - the quote describing the idea I was thinking of last couple of months, and was pleased to find in the shaped form in the character's (author's) mind.

  • Scott
    2019-01-08 06:56

    "I journeyed on, and my ship seemed like a dark, stale tomb imprisoning me, darker by far than the Timekeeper's stone cell. As a germinated seed seeks its way out of the ground into the light of day, I longed to break free of the old thought ways that stifled me and restrained my inspiration". David Zindell's Neverness balances itself as an epic tale of an anthropological expedition set out in deep space, written in densely earnest philosophical prose, often contemplating what it means to be human. Are we more than just sheep or pre-programmed robots? If so, who programmed the programmers? The novel is all at once contemplative, grossly disturbing, mythic, hard tech, mind expanding, immersive and quite surprising in detail, as if Zindell had envisioned this story within a fevered dream and wrote it all down. I enjoyed it, but at the same time felt it could have been edited back a bit, as some episodes within the book seemed over explained or needlessly lengthy. Heavy on exposition, this will be a book for those who like their science fiction exceedingly ruminative, and addressing questions as to what our moments in time mean for ourselves.

  • Derbenutzer
    2019-01-05 11:06

    A wonderful reading experience. Looking forward to the adventures (sequels) lying ahead ...

  • Cha
    2019-01-23 09:10

    I can't even work out whether I like this book. There are things about it that are interesting. There are some issues. It jumps around between quite different sections that seem concerned with different ideas and different kinds of storytelling. Which could be a good thing, and there are still common threads to hold it together somewhat, but still a lot that didn't land for me. I don't regret reading it but I'm feeling relieved to be finished. And yeah, pretty bad at depictions of women, and some weirdness around what it means to be civilised vs primitive (though that part not nearly as bad as it could have been). Almost entirely unlikeable characters, but I don't personally mind that.Might make more sense in relation to later books in the series, we'll see. Prequels are weird.

  • Drew Schott
    2019-01-20 09:09

    This is one of the finest pieces of literature I've read. I don't expect to write something like that for a sci-fi book, but this was an absolute mind thrill ride.The book takes place mainly in the protagonist head; Mallory Ringess(not Ringer, the description for this book on here is complete garbage.)The semi-bizarre, thought-provoking mix of existentialism and stoic emotion had me re-thinking my view of the world.I highly recommend this to anyone.

  • David
    2019-01-22 11:10

    Good, hard Sci-fi with lots of issues to ruminate. One of the most interesting things about this book is that normally, science fiction examines Sociology by putting characters into situations that couls not exist in this world; Zindell seems to examine Philosophy in this light, which makes for a very interesting read. I found the story to be very enjoyable and the plot to be good. Interesting read, and may hunt down the others in this series.

  • Pdendrijver
    2018-12-30 07:12

    Absolutely amazing sci-fi.A very original world without most of the sci-fi tropes, interesting and imperfect (character wise) characters, a deep and interesting and compelling story. A few very minor things that I would have liked differently, but not enough to sway me from giving this book a solid 5 star rating. Absolutely excellent!

  • Thunderhawke23
    2019-01-23 08:10

    A fascinating tale of growth and enlightenment. David Zindell has written a very interesting space opera that combines math, enlightenment, and cavemen. A great story with growth, development and some very interesting thoughts.

  • Jamie Rich
    2019-01-02 04:11

    Neverness (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #0) by David Zindell The prequel to the series. And the only book in which Mallory and Soli do anything together. It's well written, tightly paced and character driven. Go read it!

  • Blackvoid
    2019-01-17 09:18

    Amazing and beautifully written, this novel explores the relationship between gods and mortals. The best book in the entire series, as the sequels are a bit long-winded. Philosophical, poetic SF.

  • Daniel
    2019-01-06 06:07

    Pretenciosa y aburrida. Hay páginas y páginas de retórica sin sentido, no tiene ninguna idea que valga la pena destacar y además es lenta y está mal explicada. Una pérdida de tiempo absoluta.

  • Mike
    2019-01-24 10:56

    Imagine Stephen Baxter's capacity for giant ideas,mix them with Michael Bishop type of anthropological SF and then add Gene Wolfe's far future worldbuilding.That is NEVERNESS and is close to brilliant,very close.I say very close because it is little uneven.If we split the book in two parts,then the first part is flawless,or close to.We follow our hero into the heart of a Solid State Entity, a vast,god like inteligence spaning solar systems.She revaels to him that secret of life can be found in ancient human DNA.We return to Neverness and embark on a expedition to the lands of neanderthal tribes.Mallory's life among neanderthals is the best part of NEVERNESS,written with amazing atention to detail and plausibility.The second part,in wich we find many wonders and secret histories is full of flawes. If Writers of hard sf are constantly blamed for infodumps,then we can blame Zindell for to much Philosophy dumping.Entire passages are filled with tiresome philosophical speculations.They tend to disrupt up to then perfectly paced narrative.We can forgive those flaws because Zindell's prose is full of sense of wonder,exciting and simply superb.

  • Andrewcharles420
    2019-01-03 07:03

    Mallory Ringess is a promising student in the Order of interstellar Pilots. He calculates the paths to warp time and space and travels to an interesting star region that is known to be sentient, called the Solid State Entity. He talks with this entity, and returns to his Order with the near-God's riddles: that a message of humanity's future is locked in its oldest DNA. So Mallory takes his family to live with the Alaloi, a human race that's tried to reengineer themselves to be Neanderthals, to try and analyze their DNA. This failed mission leads through several tragedies (view spoiler)[ including Mallory's death. Not to worry though, he is rebuilt (faster, better, stronger) by some near-God seal-humans, who turn him into the six million dollar man. Just as he's learning to use his new powers (hide spoiler)] he is accused of plotting murder and locked up. Breaking him out of prison splits the Order, starting a war. After many casualties, the war is interrupted by the godlike SSE, who directs all the pilots to try and solve a bigger problem going on throughout the galaxy. This book has some excellent pseudo-mathematical concepts--mathematics and logical thinking play an important part of their piloting mission and interactions with the universe. I think this underscored a hierarchy of gods and near-gods (and humans/others), whose powers were based on their understandings and manipulations. I really liked this god hierarchy, and the fact that most of those on the path to godhood respected their superiors. I am also very interested in Mallory's transition toward godhood--what an interesting and amazing experience! Unfortunately, I did not find him the most interesting character outside of this growth--he seemed too quick to anger, too rash in decision-making, and generally unable to control himself or think clearly in emotionally-charged situations. Grow up (...which he is slowly doing... towards godhood even)!I did not like the Aloloi section of the book, which was basically the second quarter of the novel. I don't see why this section couldn't have been entirely edited out of the story--there were tie-ins with other storylines, but they were inconsequential really (that Soli goes back to them, that Mallory learns from them who his spirit animal is). The section was all 'swiving' (sex) and slaughter (hunting, for food). Nothing good came of this section, and I don't feel like the low points it covered deepened the contrasts with better parts of the book.I liked that the (near-)gods were predominantly women. Women could also hold important positions in society, though really, there were not significant roles for them in the main storyline (sister-lover (!!), mother, cuckolding/scorned lover in triangle between major male characters), and several horrible things happened to them (mutilation&torture for witchcraft, mind reprogramming). I would love to see greater exposure of the SSE and perhaps the women-ruled society that Mallory's mother and aunt come from in the sequels.Overall Neverness touched on a number of very interesting subjects, though the characters and the story didn't always live up to the concepts. I loved the idea that you are the programs running in your brain, and that you have the power to reprogram them! I am interested in Mallory's continuing transition, and I'd also be curious to hear more about certain histories in the book--more of the Ieldra's doings, more of the Timekeeper's vast story, other civilizations in this universe--so I do think I'll read more of this series... I just hope the story and characters improve!

  • Duane
    2019-01-10 06:20

    You should start with this exploration that has no spoilers: This review is much more in depth and should be read only after reading Zindell's series.Neverness is an excellent approach to world building on an icy snow world called Icefall, but it is also powerful as an exploration of education and training in the future. The series extends this exploration to include states of mind and other major skills and schools but isolated. I've found this series, especially the synthesizing/combining of learning in the last books of the series, similar to the book Master of the Five Magics ( and also The Riddlemaster of Hed. Each book is about attaining awesome levels of creative ability by mastering various fields of learning and by crossing boundaries between fields of learning. Each of the main characters prove to be a polymath ( wonder how many other books promotes the ways of the polymath...I've read two books out of the series then realized I's missed a book The Broken God. I found it and read it, so it answered some questions I had. I wish I had read them in order.

  • lluke
    2019-01-06 09:57

    unlike-able, irredeemable, and supposedly super intelligent lead character, also, incest. ugh. at best, a poor man's dan simmons. editing was poor, the most frustrating aspect of which was that the lead would suddenly burst into past tense narration (i even marked a page, this gem was less than a third of the way into the book);"Dangerous, I say! Damn Dangerous.""Will you approve my petition?" I asked.He looked at me painfully, as if he were making the most difficult decision of his life. I did not like the look on his face."Timekeeper?""I'll consider your plan," he said coldly. "I'll inform you of my decision."I looked away from him and turned my head to the side. It was not like him to be so indecisive. I guessed that he agonized between breaking the covenant and fulfilling his own summons to quest; I guessed wrongly. It would be years, however, before I discovered the secret to his indecision.

  • Charles
    2018-12-28 11:13

    Strange convergence of topics. I just read a book that talks about the elimination of free will. Free will was a less pessimistic topic in this book. Also, I just read a collection of short stories involving neanderthals. This novel had a group who'd genetically modified themselves to basically be neanderthals, and lived like them.I liked the treatment of (basically) hyperspace. Also, the "gods"(technologically based) were interesting, and not just superpowered men.The city and its society were interesting, too.I liked the main character, and sympathized with him. A couple of the secondary characters, too.

  • James Castle
    2018-12-25 05:19

    I loved this book when I was a teenager, but when I re-read it recently as an adult, some of its flaws were more apparent. This first novel is full of great ideas, exuberant writing, and interesting scenarios, but the characters are somewhat one-dimensional. Additionally, the plot drags, and when characters achieve something, they achieve it too easily. Contrariwise, whenever they fail at something, it takes them hundreds of pages to do so. The book is also a little too indebted to Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun."As always, "de gustibus non est disputandem."

  • Ramon Yáñez lópez
    2019-01-05 12:13

    A ratos soporifero esta novela merecio (?) ser nombrada entre las 100 mejores novelas de ciencia ficci��n del siglo XX de Solaris Ficci��n en Factoria de Ideas.Para que os hagais una idea el protagonista es como Viki el Vikingo se pasa toda la novela pensando en resolver problemas matematicos indescifrables o bien haciendo lo que nadie en 30.000 a��os se ha atrevido a hacer....Y algunos la comparan con Dune de Frank Herbert...