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It's 1976 again. Abba are on the charts, the Cold War is in full swing -- and the Earth is flat. It's been flat ever since the eve of the Cuban war of 1962; and the constellations overhead are all wrong. Beyond the Boreal ocean, strange new continents loom above tropical seas, offering a new start to colonists like newly-weds Maddy and Bob, and the hope of further glory to explorers like ex-cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin: but nobody knows why they exist, and outside the circle of exploration the universe is inexplicably warped. Gregor, in Washington DC, knows but isn't talking. Colonel-General Gagarin, on a years-long mission to go where New Soviet Man has not gone before, is going to find out. And on the edge of an ancient desert, beneath the aged stars of another galaxy, Maddy is about to come face-to-face with humanity's worst fear???
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With the dazzling success of his last two novels, including the Hugo-nominated Accelerando (2005), Stross is rapidly establishing himself as one of the preeminent masters of hard sf. Here he takes a breather from weightier fare with a bizarre, nevertheless brilliant alternate-history novella featuring a protracted U.S.-Soviet cold war. The astounding wrinkle in this scenario is that the entire surface of the Earth has been peeled like an orange and, along with other, unknown continents, spread across the surface of an immense disk by mysterious alien forces. Speculation runs rampant among scientists in the U.S and Soviet Union, which has swallowed Europe, as to the how and why of this miraculous transfer, while the rivals encounter further unsettling surprises in their respective pushes to seize new territory. The creatively chosen cast includes a CIA operative named, in homage to Kafka, Gregor Samsa; the late popular astronomer Carl Sagan; and former cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Once again, Stross sets the bar high for his colleagues, should they be feeling competitive, in this mind-bending, intriguing yarn. Carl Hays
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In this weird little alternative history novella, acclaimed futurist Stross (Glasshouse) takes the familiar clashes of the Cold War and stretches and warps them to fit a flattened Earth where the emergence of new continents incites competitive colonization efforts from the Americans and Soviets. When the colonists encounter 1,000-year-old radioactive ruins and poisonous termite-like creatures that exhibit eerie degrees of intelligence, the true nature of their changed world slowly becomes clear. The result is a blend of 1900s H.G. Wells and 1970s propaganda, updated for the 21st century in the clear, chilly and fashionably cynical style that lets Stross get away with premises that would be absurdly cheesy in anyone else's hands. (Dec.)
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Book Description Subterranean Press, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1596060581
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