The Golden Age
By John C. Wright
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780312848705, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 2002
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The Golden Age is Grand Space Opera, a large-scale SF adventure novel in the tradition of A. E. Van vogt and Roger Zelazny, with perhaps a bit of Cordwainer Smith enriching the style. It is an astounding story of super science, a thrilling wonder story that recaptures the excitements of SF's golden age writers.
The Golden Age takes place 10,000 years in the future in our solar system, an interplanetary utopian society filled with immortal humans. Within the frame of a traditional tale-the one rebel who is unhappy in utopia-Wright spins an elaborate plot web filled with suspense and passion.
Phaethon, of Radamanthus House, is attending a glorious party at his family mansion to celebrate the thousand-year anniversary of the High Transcendence. There he meets first an old man who accuses him of being an impostor and then a being from Neptune who claims to be an old friend. The Neptunian tells him that essential parts of his memory were removed and stored by the very government that Phaethon believes to be wholly honorable. It shakes his faith. He is an exile from himself.
And so Phaethon embarks upon a quest across the transformed solar system--Jupiter is now a second sun, Mars and Venus terraformed, humanity immortal--among humans, intelligent machines, and bizarre life forms that are partly both, to recover his memory, and to learn what crime he planned that warranted such preemptive punishment. His quest is to regain his true identity.
The Golden Age is one of the major, ambitious SF novels of the year and the international launch of an important new writer in the genre.
John C. Wright, a journalist and a lawyer turned SF and fantasy writer, lives with his wife and son in Centreville, Virginia.
"The Golden Age offers an intriguing and stunning look at future society - and its problems."--L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
"Think Coleridge and Xanadu -- except this is no fragment, but a beautifully realized, sprawling space epic of an evolved humanized solar system teeming with artificial intelligences and life-forms. Wright wields a poetic vision that is at once intimate and intricate yet vast and dazzling. I'm pretty sure the last novel I read like this was by Olaf Stapledon." - -Paul Levinson, author of The Consciousness Plague
"The Golden Age is aptly titled -- it evokes the best of the golden age of science fiction.
Transcendence, big ideas, slam-bang action -- it's all here, in the first significant debut of the new millennium."- Robert J. Sawyer, Nebula Award winner and author of Hominids