Karl Schroeder's "The Million"

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books' started by Paul Bellow, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Karl Schroeder's 2014 novel Lockstep featured tour-de-force worldbuilding, even by the incredibly high standards of Karl Schroeder novels: the human race speciates into cold-sleeping cicadas who only wake for one day in ten, or a hundred, or a million, allowing them to traverse interstellar distances and survive on the meager energy and materials available in deep space; with his new novella The Million, Schroder shows us how Lockstep is lived on Earth, the cradle of the human species, where a brutal murder threatens to blow apart the life of a very out-of-step protagonist.

    The people of Earth have become cicadas, sleeping for decades at a time, waking for a brief spell every 30 years, so as to be in "lockstep" with the lightspeed-lagged, spacefaring civilizations that have slowly (s-l-o-w-l-y) spread across the galaxy.

    All the people of Earth that is, save The Million: a group of one million (plus or minus) people who live in realtime as aristocrats whose families each rule over vast estates populated by thousands of robots that see to their every need. The Million view themselves as the true inheritors of the Earth, the people who understand and tend it and truly own it, despite the thronging billions they must share it with a few times every generation when the cicadas come up out of their subterranean cold-sleep racks.

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    Karl Schroeder's "The Million": a science fiction conspiracy novel of radically altered timescales
     




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