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ARCHFORM: BEAUTY.

Modesitt, L. E. Jr.

ISBN 10: 0765304333 / ISBN 13: 9780765304339
Published by New York: TOR / Tom Doherty Associates, (2002.) dj, 2002
Hardcover
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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. SIGNED on the title page. A science fiction novel, set 400 years in the future - in a world which is a Utopia for the rich. A combination of crime and the investigation of crime and a depiction of a future world. 330 pp. Dustjacket art by David Seeley. Very near fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 34400

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Bibliographic Details

Title: ARCHFORM: BEAUTY.

Publisher: New York: TOR / Tom Doherty Associates, (2002.) dj

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Most readers recognize L. E. Modesitt, Jr., as the author of a favorite fantasy series, be it The Magic of Recluce or The Spellsong Cycle. It's always a special treat when he turns his hand again to SF and Archform: Beauty is no exception.

Four centuries in the future, the world is rich--nanomachines watch the health of the wealthy and manufacture food and gadgets for everybody--but no Utopia, as we see in the lives of five very different people. A singing teacher suffers for her music and fights bureaucracy and apathy. A news researcher delivers the essential background details but can't help looking deeper and wondering about the real story behind the grim incidents that make the headlines. A police investigator, assigned to study trends, begins to see a truly sinister pattern behind a series of seemingly unrelated crimes and deaths. A politician aids his constituents, fights the good fight, and tries to get reelected without compromising his principles. A ruthless businessman strives to make his family powerful, wealthy, and independent.

Theirs is a society where technology takes care of everyone's basic needs but leaves most people struggling to extract a meaningful life from a world crowded with wonders but empty of commitment and human connection. Alternating the voices and experiences of these five characters in a tour de force of imaginative creation, Modesitt overlaps, combines, and builds their disparate stories into a brilliant tale of future crime and investigation, esthetic challenge and personal triumph. In the same way that he has built fantasy landscapes of surpassing fascination, Modesitt creates a believable future, one imbued with a deep understanding of the way politics works and how people act and react when their sense of themselves, of justice and truth, is exploited by others for power and control. When there's nothing left to need or want, will beauty live on in people's lives or disappear forever? L. E. Modesitt, Jr. asks difficult questions, sets himself unlikely challenges, and once again delivers an absorbing tale that enlightens, entertains, and uplifts all at once.

Review:

Technology, philosophy, politics, and mystery combine in this well-told tale of murder and corporate machination. Archform: Beauty weaves together the stories of five people in 24th-century North America who find themselves involved in a political conspiracy that spawns a string of murders. An old-style singer despairs over graceless contemporary music that uses overlaid resonances to emotionally manipulate the listener; a police investigator identifies a disturbing pattern of suicides and murders; a powerful senator and an equally powerful corporate tycoon pursue their own agendas toward a potentially violent collision; and a news researcher with a flair for background finds himself drawn into all of their affairs as pieces of various puzzles begin to come together.

Modessit handles the five voices well, particularly those of the detective, singer, and researcher, and sets their stories against a well-realized social and political background, incorporating interesting philosophical questions about reality and beauty into the action without slowing the pace. --Roz Genessee

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