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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Reading John C. Wright's first novel, The Golden Age, is like coming to the edge of a great precipice, looking down into total blackness, and then stepping off -- only to be fully immersed a second later in a brilliant new universe of surreal illusions and ever-changing reality.
From the very first sentences, I was fully absorbed in the grand Millennial Celebration, which takes place more than 10,000 years in the future. "It was a time of masquerade. It was the eve of the High Transcendence, an event so solemn and significant that it could be held but once each thousand years, and folk of every name and iteration, phenotype, composition, consciousness and neuro-form, from every school and era, had come to celebrate its coming, to welcome the transfiguration, and to prepare."
An interplanetary utopian society stretches across the solar system. Humans, for the most part, are immortal. It is paradise. Phaethon is attending a party to celebrate the anniversary of the High Transcendence, when he meets a mountainous Neptunian who claims to be an old friend. The Neptunian tells Phaethon that parts of his memory have been removed and are being kept somewhere by the government. Intuitively, Phaethon trusts the stranger and vows to recover his past. His dangerous journey will lead him across the solar system, and to his true identity.