From a Changeling Star [Changeling Star Book 1] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Jeffrey A. Carver
eBook Category: Science Fiction
eBook Description: Across the galaxy, tensions are rising between the authoritarian Tandesko Triune and the free-marketeers of the Auricle Alliance. Nevertheless, scientists of both sides have come together in Project Starmuse, to observe the giant star Betelgeuse as it goes supernova. At the space station embedded inside the roiling star, the team anxiously awaits the return of the one man essential to the success of the project. On Kantano's World, astronomer Willard Ruskin must discover why someone has infected him with nano-agents--artificially intelligent, microscopic computers, which alter his appearance, his memory, his very DNA. Drawn into a conflict from which not even death will free him, Ruskin must find a way to reach Betelgeuse before his enemies sabotage Starmuse ... and humankind's future among the stars. A harrowing journey from inside the human cell--to the mind of a dying star.
eBook Publisher: E-Reads, Published: 1988
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2002
This eBook is part of the following series:
Auricle Alliance Science Council
in close orbit, Alpha Orionis A (Betelgeuse)
39 Reader Ratings:
"Starts with a bang and keeps getting better. Carver handles not one, but two hot topics, and presents both vividly."--David Brin
"Running from the micro to the macro and back again, redefining sentience, space-time, and perhaps humanity along the way, From a Changeling Star is a fast-paced puzzler, rush in invention, and Jeffrey A. Carver's most ambitious book to date."--Roger Zelazny
"Carver does an excellent job of tickling your sense of wonder, and in the end he leaves you both satisfied and craving another serving of his considerable talent."--Analog
"Carver's best book yet! From a Changeling Star combines deft characterization and fascinating extrapolation into a complex, compulsively readable thriller. I wish all science fiction novels could be this good."--Craig Shaw Gardner
"This is the rare science fiction novel that has everything: a mysterious and exciting story that grabs you from the first page, characters (both alien and human) who will come to matter a great deal to you, and some fascinating scientific concepts (from nanotechnology to hyperstrings). Most of all, it has what only the best science fiction can offer: an almost mystical sense of the wonder and strangeness of this universe and the creatures who inhabit it. If you're not crying at the end, you're a robot. It is Carver's best book."--Richard Bowker, author of Replica and Dover Beach
"As audacious and imaginative as the best of John Varley, with characters as memorable as those of Sturgeon or Zelazny, and with one of the most powerful endings in science fiction."--Spider Robinson
The image of the swollen sun blazed like a deep crimson ocean in the wall-screen, the dark supergranulations in the sun's surface pulsing slowly, hypnotically. Thalia Sharaane gazed at the image for a long time before turning. "Where is he?" she murmured, repeating the question that had just been put to her. "Don't you think I'd like to know myself?"
The man standing on the far side of her desk stirred. "We're going to have to make some decision about what to do if he doesn't show, Thalia," Snyder said.
"It might not be necessary."
"Well, in my opinion--"
"I didn't ask," she snapped.
"I'm giving it anyway. We're too dependent on him. He at least ought to let us know if he's planning to delay arriving. What was the last update he sent you?"
Sharaane didn't bother answering, because they both knew the answer: it had been weeks since the last n-channel communication, and no final itinerary had been received, nor any reply to their messages. Either he would come or he wouldn't. She gazed again at that enormous body of roiling, fusing gases: a supergiant red sun, over a hundred million kilometers in diameter. A box in the upper corner of the screen showed the near companion star, Honey, orbiting so close it practically caressed its primary, Betelgeuse. The Starmuse space station was actually orbiting in the very fringes of Betelgeuse, at the outer edge of its photosphere. This sun system, as they knew it, would not be here much longer. She wondered, could they really hope to survive the violent transformation that would change it into something beyond imagining?
Thalia turned. "I trust him. He'll be here. I'm sure of it." She pressed her lips together, feeling tension rise into the back of her neck. Yes, she trusted him--to a point. She'd loved him once, after all. And she respected him--and needed him. The entire project needed him. But Project Breakstar would go off, had to go off, whether he was here or not; forces were converging that could not be stopped. She was prepared for either eventuality; but without him to guide it all at the end ... she simply did not care to dwell on those odds.
Snyder had moved to stand beside her. "Sorry," he said gently. "I know you're worried, too." He joined her in contemplating the image of the sun system, assembled on this screen from dozens of remote satellites. It was hard to imagine, to really believe, deep down in the core of one's being, that they were actually floating inside this star.
"It's too lulling," Snyder said, startling her.
She frowned. "Lulling? What do you mean?"
"Just that it's so large, and so ... steady. Predictable."
"With all of the trouble we've had mapping the changes, you can say that?"
He shrugged. "I just mean it's easy to start thinking of that as our only problem. To forget the other problems." Snyder cleared his throat, suddenly uncomfortable. Thalia looked at him sharply, and he sighed. "I'm sorry--I just keep wondering if something's happened to him. There are people who wouldn't like what we're doing. If they knew."
"That's extremely unlikely, you know."
He nodded. "Unlikely. Yes." He seemed about to say something more, then frowned, having apparently decided to keep it to himself.
Sharaane scowled. "Well, if something's happened, it would be out of our hands, then, wouldn't it?" When he didn't reply, she added, "Just do your part, and let me worry about the rest. Make whatever preparations you feel you need."
Snyder nodded dubiously. He hesitated, then turned away and left Thalia staring at the relentless, glowing face of the sun.