Spherical Harmonic

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Overview

"Catherine Asaro is a popular SF writer, employing her diverse talents to blend hard science fiction and heratrending romance into a sweeping epic known as the Sage of the Skolian Empire, her trademark series. Ever since Primary Inversion, her very first novel, this award-winning series has continued to grow, building a significant readership and receiving widespread praise. All of Asaro's considerable talent is on display in Spherical Harmonic.

"Separated for decades by circumstance and political machinations, ...

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2001-12-14 Hardcover New NEW. First edition. NO remainder markings. A brand new book perfect inside and out. In a nice dj as well.

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2001 Hard cover New. No dust jacket. lt shelf wear...Book Is New! Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 512 p. Contains: Illustrations. Saga of the Skolian Empire. ... Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Spherical Harmonic: A Novel in the Saga of the Skolian Empire

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Overview

"Catherine Asaro is a popular SF writer, employing her diverse talents to blend hard science fiction and heratrending romance into a sweeping epic known as the Sage of the Skolian Empire, her trademark series. Ever since Primary Inversion, her very first novel, this award-winning series has continued to grow, building a significant readership and receiving widespread praise. All of Asaro's considerable talent is on display in Spherical Harmonic.

"Separated for decades by circumstance and political machinations, the Ruby Dynasty, hereditary rulers of the Skolian Empire, struggle to bring together the tattered remnants of their family in the shadow of a disastrous interstellar war. Too many have died, others are presumed lost, yet they must move quickly if they are to resume their rightful place as rulers of Skolia."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
What's worse than losing your memory and not knowing who or where you are? Well, a lot of things. Such as finding out that where you are is half a galaxy away from where you want to be, or that where you want to be may not even exist anymore. Or that the reason you want to be there is your family, who may all be dead. Or that where you are, there are groups of people looking for you to make you just as dead.

In this seventh installment of the Saga of the Skolian Empire, Dyhianna is gathering memories one piece at a time while trying to avoid capture at the hands of what she eventually realizes are Razers from the Trader Empire. Each memory that returns adds to her utter despair. Memories of her husband and son's deaths or enslavement at the hands of the Traders, memories of the vast galactic destruction from the Radiance Wars between the Skolians and the Traders, and memories of her own special abilities to command the Psiberweb -- the Intergalactic communication system -- which now appear to be gone.

While she struggles to piece together members of her Ruby Dynasty and stabilize her shattered empire by assuming absolute power, she faces resistance from her own people as well as continuing incursions from the Traders and opportunistic forces of the previously neutral Allieds.

Hugo and Nebula nominee Catherine Asaro blends hard science and anthropology to create a culture -- from language and dress to customs and heritage -- pausing periodically to explain its evolution over the 6,000 years of its history. Fans of the series will be enthralled, as will anyone already familiar with series like Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga.

Kelly Rae Cooper
"Spherical Harmonic (4 1/2) is quintessential Catherine Asaro ... A complex narrative using the printed page for wave imagery, the mathematical influence is cunningly portrayed. Machiavellian plots surface in a tightly woven story of deception and rebirth."
Romantic Times Magazine
Publishers Weekly
This fast-paced entry in the Saga of the Skolian Empire (The Quantum Rose; Ascendant Sun; etc.) provides a backstory with plenty of battles and political machinations that will no doubt delight fans of the series, but may leave others scratching their heads. We follow the flawless and very powerful Dyhianna Selei, after she wakes up on the moon Opalite, as she slowly regains her memory and seeks to be reunited with her husband and son no easy task, as her husband has been captured and enslaved while her son has disappeared into psiberspace, perhaps forever. Psiberspace, which links together the commerce of several star systems, is down, and suddenly everyone is jockeying for power Dyhianna, unwillingly, among them, as her family becomes a rallying point for followers dissatisfied with the status quo. A coup places Dyhianna in power as both the reigning Pharaoh of the Ruby Empire and as the leader of the representative Assembly, an unprecedented sociopolitical change with far-reaching implications. Her quest to regain missing family members takes her to Earth, where the presence of her fleet threatens the volatile relationship between the Skolian Imperialate, which Dyhianna now leads, and the Earth Alliance. Asaro, a physicist, weaves scientific descriptions of Kyle space, spherical harmonics and orbitals with fantastic elements of psychic powers and mental telepathy. Science and fantasy make an uneasy mix here, but underpinning and transcending both are complex interpersonal relationships that center on love and loss. (Jan. 3) Forecast: Billed as SF romance, this has obvious crossover appeal to romance readers, but they may be disappointed to find no big compelling love story. Copyright2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Believed dead by allies and enemies alike, Dyhianna Selei, heir to the Ruby Dynasty, reappears on the tiny moon of Opalite, where she recovers her fragmented memories and embarks on a daring course of action destined to restore the power and unity of the Skolian Empire. Like previous entries in Asaro's Skolian Empire saga, this latest installment blends dynastic intrigue with theoretical physics to create a story that will appeal to fans of hard sf as well as grand-scale storytelling. Libraries owning previous series titles (Primary Inversion, The Ascendant Sun) should consider. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The seventh volume in Asaro's Skolian space opera has less sex and sadism than previous outings (The Quantum Rose, 2000, etc.) as Dyhianna Selei, a telepathic psychic-webmaster and Pharaoh of the Ruby Dynasty, brokers an uncertain peace with the vile, slave-keeping Aristo Traders. The Radiance War has ended with the galaxy of human-inhabited planets more or less in tatters and both the Skolians and Traders claiming victory. The titular heads of both empires are dead, with rivals lining up to continue hostilities, when Dyhianna literally appears out of thin air on a planet inhabited by humans who look like walking trees. Exactly how she got to this planet she can barely remember-just as the Traders were about to annihilate her family, she, with her husband Prince Eldrin and son Taquinil, somehow transformed themselves into "Kyle space" and escaped into the psychic-Internet that Dyhianna, who is also a genius mathematician, invented. After a tree man almost rapes her (but gives up because he has a kind heart), Dyhianna eludes a pack of torture-hungry Trader soldiers by vomiting on them. She makes her presence known and is whisked away to a Skolian battle cruiser, where she discovers that the psychic-Internet no longer exists, but that the Traders possess her husband, whose psychic abilities, when combined with an ancient device called a Lock, might give the Traders supremacy. Then Dyhianna notices that her ex-husband, Seth Rockworth, living on Earth, has been taking care of a peculiar bunch of kids whose features suggest that they may be offspring of the dead Skolian Imperator Sauscony "Soz" Lahaylia and the Trader Emperor Jaibriol Qox. Can Dyhianna get these kids, one of whom appears tohave already assumed power over Traders, to make love, not war? Preposterous plotting, laughably bad prose: "As I reformed, refinements added to my body and mind like translucent layers of watercolor paint laid over a picture." For fans only.
Romantic Times
"A complex narrative using Machiavellian plots in a tightly woven story of deception and rebirth."
From the Publisher
"A complex narrative using Machiavellian plots in a tightly woven story of deception and rebirth."-Romantic Times on Sherical Harmonic, a Romanitc Times Top Pick
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312890636
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/14/2001
  • Series: Skolian Empire Series, #7
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Asaro was born in Oakland, California and grew up in El Cerrito, just north of Berkeley. She received her Phd in Chemical Physics and MA in Physics, both from Harvard, and a BS with Highest Honors in Chemistry from UCLA. Among the places she has done research are the University of Toronto in Canada, the Max Planck Institut für Astrophysik in Germany, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Her research involves using quantum theory to describe the behavior of atoms and molecules. Catherine was a physics professor until 1990, when she established Molecudyne Research, which she currently runs.

A former ballerina, Catherine has performed with ballets and in musicals on both coasts and in Ohio. In the 1980s she was a principal dancer and artistic director of the Mainly Jazz Dancers and the Harvard University Ballet. Catherine still teaches ballet in Maryland.

Catherine's fiction is a successful blend of hard science fiction, romance, and exciting space adventure. She has published more than ten novels, almost all of which belong to her Saga of the Skolian Empire, including The Quantum Rose, which won the Nebula Award for best novel of 2001

Her husband is John Kendall Cannizzo, an astrophysicist at NASA. They have one daughter, a young ballet dancer who loves math.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    engaging outer space

    Though both sides claim victory, the interstellar war devastated the Skolians and the Aristo Traders. Pharaoh of the Ruby Dynasty, Dyhianna Selei, obtains a fragile peace with the nefarious Aristo Traders, but both entities know that hostilities will continue anyway. <P> Dyhianna learns first hand that the ¿cold war¿ remains hot as she surfaces on a humanoid planet after making a desperate leap to escape her enemies¿ effort to kill her and her family. Her foes pursue Dyhianna, but she is rescued by a Skolian battle cruiser, only to learn that her invention the psychic-Internet no longer exists and that the Aristos haves captured her husband, Prince Eldrin. A desperate Dyhianna knows that Eldrin¿s psychic abilities accompanied by the ancient Lock the enemy controls will give the edge to the Aristos. She turns to her former spouse and his special kids on Earth as a last resort to stop the Aristo Traders from conquering her people. <P> SPHERICAL HARMONIC, the seventh Skolian tale is an engaging outer space novel that will excite fans of the series. The story line hops around the galaxy faster than the speed of light, but that is a two edged light saber as the action never stops, but the subplots do not fully mesh. Catherine Asaro¿s audience will enjoy this novel because it is fun to watch the wonderful gender bender heroine struggle to save her people at what might cost her the lives of her family. <P>Harriet Klausner

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    Posted July 17, 2010

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