Adiamante

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Overview

After ten thousand years in exile, the cyber-warriors return in their fleet of spaceships to the planet that rejected them: Earth.

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Adiamante

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Overview

After ten thousand years in exile, the cyber-warriors return in their fleet of spaceships to the planet that rejected them: Earth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Strong military action, slick social maneuvering, and a good deal of psychological tension."—San Diego Union-Tribune

"Mr. Modesitt does not merely posit a threatened Utopia; he spells out in great detail the rules and regulations that govern daily life....because he dares to be explicit about first principles, the narrative assumes the shape of an intellectual suspense story: how can the manifestly decent people of Old Earth defend themselves against aggression without violating their deeply held beliefs? The answer is both morally persuasive and emotionally wrenching."—The New York Times

"Immensely enjoyable and beautifully written—easily Modesitt's best yet."—Robert J. Sawyer

VOYA - Marsha Valance
In Adiamante, Modesitt once again weaves a tapestry of suspense, revenge, and above all, philosophy. It is twelve millennia since the cybs (cybernetically enhanced humans) were driven from Old Earth by the demis (telepaths) and the draffs (old-style humans), who then formed a now-fallen star empire. When a fleet of revenge-bent cybs arrives above Earth, which is decimated by ecological catastrophe, its genetically-engineered pacifist population appoints Ecktor DeJanes as Coordinator. The position is one of "pacifist war leader;" Ektor must plan to defeat the cybs, without striking the first blow. He cannot even warn the cybs, as that could be perceived an aggressive threat. The newly-widowed Ecktor struggles to avert catastrophe as hard as he struggles against his attraction to the cyb fleet's navigator, who resembles his dead wife. Modesitt skillfully interweaves philosophical discussions of power and its consequences into the fast-moving plot. A fascinating example of world-building, and a worthwhile additon to any YA collection. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Will appeal with pushing, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Kirkus Reviews
Far-future clash-of-empires yarn from the author of the Recluce fantasy series (most recently, Fall of Angels, p. 496) and The Parafaith War (1995), etc. Thousands of years ago, three types of humans lived on Old Earth: the draffs, or common people; cybs with their machine-enhanced bodies and senses; and the demis, whose godlike mental powers derived from various computer and energy nets. Following a dreadful war, the cybs were expelled. Old Earth then evolved a radically different sociopolitical system based on power and energy balances. The cybs founded various colonies, developed the Rebuilt Hegemony, and attempted to invade Old Earth, only to be blasted for their pains. Now, cybs from the Vereal Union arrive 12 two-kilometer-long spaceships built of an almost indestructible adiamante seeking revenge, conquest, or whatever technologies Old Earth has that they don't. Under Old Earth's Paradigms of Power, whoever exercises power must repay that power, usually in drudge labor, so nobody seeks to rule; a Co-ordinator must be appointed to handle the crisis. Demi Ecktor, however, must also abide by the Construct, which constrains Old Earth to do nothing until the Vereals open hostilities—the upshot being, since the cybs refuse to recognize reality, that Ecktor must choose either to sacrifice millions of demis and draffs in a needless showdown with the cybs, or allow the destruction of the only sustainable social system ever developed.

Though the cybs and their lifestyle remain somewhat diffuse, this is thoughtful, persuasive, challenging, absorbing work: Modesitt's best so far.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812545586
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 1 MASS MKT
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 503,382
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.68 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes the Ecolitan novels, the Forever Hero Trilogy, and Archform: Beauty. Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.

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Read an Excerpt

Adiamante

I

If the conversation had been offline and spoken, neither of which was possible within the working systems contained in the adiamante hull of the Gibson, the words would have followed old patterns, patterns based on the spoken words that seldom echoed within the bulkheads and networks of the Vereal ship.

"Are you certain?"

"It's Old Earth, all right. The geography is within parameters," answered the cybnav, but since all the crew members—especially the line marines—were cybs, her tag on the net was nav, navigator, subcommander, or, less frequently, her given name.

"The DNA has the same base across all the samples," added the environmental officer. "And there was no hostile reaction to the samplers."

"They were scanned," interjected the weapons controller.

"I don't like those terms—base, within parameters. Does the DNA match or doesn't it? What about the geography? A planet doesn't change that much in ten thousand years, does it?" asked Commander Gibreal, knowing the answer, but seeking, as do all those of human DNA-type, confirmation of the obvious.

"There have been what look to be deliberate genetic manipulations, some subtle, some not so subtle," signaled the envoff to the Gibson's commander. "Certainly not enough to account for the reputation of the place as the planet of death."

"What about viruses, bacteria, that sort of thing?" Gibreal knew the answers, again, before he received them.

"The former colonies were pretty clear about that. So were their records. Whatever the effect was, it wasn't anything known to their medical science. People died in full clean-suits and armor, in extreme trauma, and without any form of radiation, or any other trackable internal or external cause."

"Of course, there aren't any real records or tissue samples left." Gibreal's words smoked across the net with the bitterness of aqua regia. "What some people won't believe. Healthy bodies just don't die."

"What about telepathic auto-suggestion?" asked the envoff.

"Another rumor lost in time. No one's ever been able—not even the demis—to master telepathy. Anyway," added the commander, "that was thousands of years ago, and the old colonies have sent traders and envoys without harm for generations. They don't stay long, but their technology doesn't approach ours—or that of the old Rebuilt Hegemony." The commander snorted soundlessly, and his disgust colored the net with brown and the unsmelled odor of animal defecations. "Technology? Structures?"

"There aren't a lot of visible structures, except for those hundred or so energy concentrations—and that mass of ruins east of the mountains in the middle of old NorAm—that's what the records call it." The nav projected laffodils across the web with her words.

The laffodils wilted under the image of a blazing sun. "No other ruins? Just the one set?"

"There's the Great Wall—but we knew about that—and the non-talking heads. There may be smaller sets, but nothing else that exceeds two hundred meters."

"Two monuments, one set of ruins, and one-hundred-plus energy concentrations—that's it?"

"Within the system parameters so far, ser."

The sense of exhaled breath flooded the net, and the nav winced at the gale that whistled through the circuits.

"What are the energy concentrations?"

"They look to be a combination of transport hubs, service maintenance and manufacturing centers—with some transient housing."

"Everyone's there?" Gibreal's words lashed like a laser along the net channels. "The whole population within some hundred enclaves?"

"Not a chance. There's almost an energy web across the planet. It's hard to tell, but there seem to be a lot of independent energy generation points."

"So they've really regressed, have they?"

"Decentralized, anyway," temporized the nav, rubbing her forehead and blinking back the water jolted from her eyes by the violence of Gibreal's slashes through the net.

"Do we go in openly?" Gibreal's lashed words honed back toward the weapons officer.

"Why not? If they're hostile we can flatten those centers, and that should leave them helpless." Weapons projected fire and flames, and the ice of the de-energizers. "It looks straightforward enough."

"It won't be," countered the nav. "They ruled this part of the galaxy once. You saw what their fleet did to Al-Moratoros."

The image of the satellite of Moratoros three flashed across the net—a shining polished sphere, lifeless after more than scores of centuries, a sphere bathing an uninhabited planet in brilliant silver moonlight.

"That was then; this is now. They're coasting on the glory of a technology and power that's long since faded. The asteroid cities are dead, and the atmosphere of Mars is leaking back into space. No society has ever maintained its power for that long."

"Not even us." No one owned to the thought that crossed the net.

"We've regained our heritage," the commander added, "and we've avoided them for too long, just because of something that happened millennia ago." The commander flicked his order at the comm officer. "Send the signal."

The same message went out in multiple forms—beginning with complex variwave, then comm laser, UHF, VHF—all using the old protocols from the days preceding The Flight.

It was a simple message.

"The Exploration Fleet of the Vereal Union greets you. We request the opportunity to meet with the appropriate authority to discuss resumption of contact between our peoples. Please respond."

Less than a stan passed before the variwave response came.

"This is Old Earth, Deseret station ... ."

As the transmission echoed along the net, the cybcomm and MYL-ERA ran the analysis.

"A high power, tight beam transmission," observed MYL-ERA, her net projections cool and sharp-edged, without emotional overtones.

"They know where we are."

"Not that difficult."

"In less than a standard hour—to receive, analyze, discover, find us, and frame a logical response?" asked the comm officer.

"A high degree of efficiency," agreed MYL-ERA.

"Too high," muttered the comm officer offline and under her breath. "Far too high."

"Still the same old demis, as arrogant in their knowledge as draffs are immobile in their ignorance," added Gibreal.

Neither MYL-ERA nor the comm officer responded.

Copyright © 1996 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An exercise in poor editing

    This is not a review of the content of the book, as I personally enjoyed the story, development, and plot. This is intended only to warn potential readers that this is a horribly digitized e-book. It's almost as if someone tore pages from the printed book to run through bargain-store OCR scanning software, then translated to a foreign language and back a few times to tidy things up.

    This Nook Book is rife with errors from multiple sentences on a page withous spacing to random capitalization to nonsensical letter swaps with other letters, numbers, or even punctuation marks. Nothing brings home the heard-pounding stress of a situation like changing all instances of the letter I with an exclaimation point.

    While I found this book to be worth the cost I do have to say that the constant bizarre errors constantly pulled me from the story as I spent valuable and sparse brain power trying to determine what exactly the given sentence was trying to tell me. If you enjoy L. E. Modesitt's work as much as I do then I heartily recommend this book. If you're unfamiliar with his work then I encourage you to look elsewhere so that your opinion of him isn't tainted by this terrible travesty of editorial oversight.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    Great

    L.E. Modesitt, Jr., never fails in laying down interesting moral questions and problems, and this book is perhaps the one most filled with them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2000

    Thought provoking

    Modesitt manages to balance many ideas of our possible future in very a thought provoking tale. It will make you question where our race is heading with the many technilogical concepts we seem so eager to get our hands on.

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    Posted March 24, 2011

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