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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
One of science fiction's most visionary -- and underacknowledged -- masterworks, George Zebrowski's Macrolife, has been fatefully reissued by Pyr. This 1979 classic about mobile, self-reproducing space habitats elevating humanity to a new evolutionary level is just as wildly thought-provoking today as it was almost three decades ago.
It's 2021. When a recently discovered element -- a seemingly indestructible material called bulerite used extensively in rebuilding cities, space stations, starship engines, etc. -- turns out to be highly unstable, the resulting catastrophes kill millions of people and also make Earth completely uninhabitable. Humans are forced into space, where they begin constructing artificial habitats inside hollowed-out asteroids. The mobile environments eventually give birth to a new society, one that is significantly more advanced than anything that could ever develop on planets (which are somewhat disturbingly described as "geothermal bombs, plates of mud and rock floating on a molten core"). Countless millennia pass as a much-evolved humanity and its macrolife settlements replicate across the universe. But what happens when the ultimate utopias are faced with the ultimate death of a galaxy?
Science fiction fans who are tired of what Zebrowski calls "print television" -- novels with little or no intellectual substance, written like they were made-for-TV movies -- should definitely check out this sweeping and profound look at the long-term future of humankind -- a work described by Arthur C. Clarke as "one of the few books I intend to read again." Looking for brain food? Here's a gourmet feast from one of the genre's most sagacious writers. Paul Goat Allen