Perihelion summer

Greg Egan, 1961-

Book - 2019

Taraxippus is coming ; a black hole one-tenth the mass of the sun that will change the solar system forever. Matt and his friends board a mobile aquaculture rig, self-sustaining in food, power, and fresh water.

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SCIENCE FICTION/Egan Greg
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Subjects
Genres
Science fiction
Published
New York, Tom Doherty Associates 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A TOR.com Book." --title page verso.
Physical Description
215 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
1250313783
9781250313782
Main Author
Greg Egan, 1961- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Once again, Egan (Phoresis, 2018) demonstrates his mastery of short-form science fiction. In Perihelion Summer, he takes on climate change from a unique angle—a micro-black hole passes close to Earth, changing its orbit and making the seasons more extreme and deadly, with swaths of the planet rendered uninhabitable. A group who built a self-sustaining aquaculture rig in the Indian Ocean to ride out the black hole now find themselves needing to navigate dangerous seas in search of survivable temperatures. Egan packs quite a lot into such a short book: science and engineering, family relationships and personal conflicts, global politics and danger. He presents a human tapestry in a time of disaster through evocative highlights of how people adapt to sudden crisis. This is a warning for how bad things could get if climate change is left unchecked. It's a cautionary tale of the need for us to be prepared. But it's also a beacon of hope—a story of survival at great cost. Difficult and painful as it may be, we find a way. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Egan (Phoresis) brings his reliably rigorous intelligence and its humane application to exploring the effects of a cosmic accident on Earth. Taraxippus, a black hole one-tenth the mass of the sun, enters the solar system. Astronomers track it, and model potential gravitational effects on Earth's orbit. Summers will be hotter, winters will be colder; crops will fail, as will the natural processes crucial to sustaining forests and reefs. Egan chronicles the real world impact by focusing on the team operating the Mandjet, a mobile aquaculture rig capable of providing its own food, water, and power. On the human scale, reactions range from denial to skepticism, resignation to suicide. Egan's mastery shines in characterization, where even four gun-toting hijackers succumb to dread and, ultimately, their better selves. VERDICT The mix of science, adventure, and philosophical probing of extinction will likely appeal to readers of Nnedi Okorafor, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, and Louise Erdrich, and fans of complex sociological/environmental scenarios.—William Grabowski, McMechen, WV Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Hugo-winner Egan (Phoresis) postulates a bleak too-near future in this hard SF apocalyptic tale of abrupt climate change sparked by a binary black hole rapidly approaching Earth. Young Australian scientist Matt Fleming is testing a new kind of aquaculture with the Mandjet, an innovative "floating fish farm" that can withstand sea level changes. As a fearfully hot summer and an equally violent winter cause crop failures and widespread disaster across the planet, Matt struggles to bring his parents and sister to relative safety on Mandjet, battling both the Australian government's lack of preparation and his relatives' personal denial of the looming tragedy. Traveling with a ragtag flotilla to Antarctica, Matt and his shipmates develop a grim plan for survival that seems to be humankind's only hope of enduring Earth's rapid collapse. Egan's rapid-fire plot, full of convincing scientific detail, and his sympathetically drawn characters of various races and backgrounds make this a vivid commentary both on societies' stubborn refusal to face an environmental threat and individuals' determination to survive it. (Apr.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Taraxippus is coming ; a black hole one-tenth the mass of the sun that will change the solar system forever. Matt and his friends board a mobile aquaculture rig, self-sustaining in food, power, and fresh water.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Greg Egan's Perihelion Summer is a story of people struggling to adapt to a suddenly alien environment, and the friendships and alliances they forge as they try to find their way in a world where the old maps have lost their meaning.Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar system.Matt and his friends are taking no chances. They board a mobile aquaculture rig, the Mandjet, self-sustaining in food, power and fresh water, and decide to sit out the encounter off-shore. As Taraxippus draws nearer, new observations throw the original predictions for its trajectory into doubt, and by the time it leaves the solar system, the conditions of life across the globe will be changed forever.Praise for Perihelion Summer“Egan here doubles down on climate change with his typically rigorous exploration of a cosmic accident’s effect on Earth and all its people. His characters are sharp and funny and their courageous response to the massive challenge they face works as a spur to cause us to think—why couldn’t we do as well with our own great challenge? This is what the best science fiction can do that no other genre can, and we need it now more than ever. Bravo!” — Kim Stanley Robinson