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The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred
     

The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred

by Greg Egan
 

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Camille is desperate to escape her home on colonized asteroid Vesta, journeying through space in a small cocoon pod covertly and precariously attached to a cargo ship. Anna is a newly appointed port director on asteroid Ceres, intrigued by the causes that have led so-called riders like Camille to show up at her post in search of asylum.

Conditions on Vesta

Overview

Camille is desperate to escape her home on colonized asteroid Vesta, journeying through space in a small cocoon pod covertly and precariously attached to a cargo ship. Anna is a newly appointed port director on asteroid Ceres, intrigued by the causes that have led so-called riders like Camille to show up at her post in search of asylum.

Conditions on Vesta are quickly deteriorating—for one group of people in particular. The original founders agreed to split profits equally, but the Sivadier syndicate contributed intellectual property rather than more valued tangible goods. Now the rest of the populace wants payback. As Camille travels closer to Ceres, it seems ever more likely that Vesta will demand the other asteroid stop harboring its fugitives.

With The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred, acclaimed author Greg Egan offers up a stellar, novella-length example of hard science fiction, as human and involving as it is insightful and philosophical.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 07/04/2016
Readers who found Egan’s dense Orthogonal trilogy rough going will be pleasantly surprised by this intriguing novella, which successfully incorporates hot-button issues of intellectual property rights and government reparations for systematic bigotry into a far-future SF story. The asteroid Vesta is riven by a deeply felt split between descendants of the syndicates which colonized it a century earlier. The Sivadiers brought “expertise and intellectual property,” such as special mining techniques, to the enterprise, but their contributions are delegitimated by some of the heirs to the other syndicates, which had provided tangible assets such as ships and robots. The agreement that the founders of the Vesta colony reached declared that any wealth it produced would be shared equally among all the syndicates, an arrangement that now rankles those non-Sivadiers who consider the entire concept of owning human ideas corrupt, and who demand compensation for decades of economic inequity. The tensions lead to an immigration crisis for the nearby asteroid Ceres, placing its leaders in a moral dilemma. This is top-notch thought-provoking and suspenseful space opera, with impressively effective worldbuilding given its short length. (Dec.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596067912
Publisher:
Subterranean Press
Publication date:
11/30/2016
Edition description:
Limited
Sales rank:
931,177
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

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