War in Heaven

War in Heaven

by David Zindell


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Danlo wi Soli Ringess has returned from the Vild, the first lightship pilot to escape that hellish region of fractured space and deadly supernovas where giant computer-gods make war on each other.

But the Civilized Worlds face their own threat of war. A fanatical cult has seized the fabled city of Neverness and plans to take over the galaxy. Though the cult worships Danlo's long-lost father as a god, he casts his lot with its opponents--and is sent to Neverness to try to reason with its leaders. Instead he must fight to survive: against the warrior-poet who has vowed to take his life, the madman with a star-killing weapon and a grim ultimatum, the charismatic leader of the cult--once Danlo's greatest friend, now his fiercest enemy--and his own unbreakable vow never to harm a living thing.

A contemporary master of speculative fiction and incomparable world-building, David Zindell continues his monumental epic that sweeps us from the outer reaches of the galaxy to the inner depths of the human mind, a stirring cosmic drama of a man of peace torn between the implacable cosmic forces of divinity and destruction.

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553762228
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1998
Pages: 656
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

I know little of God, but all too much of that godly race of beings that some call man. As gods we are destined to be--so teach the scryers and prophets of religions new and old. And yet few understand what is required to be a god, much less a true man. There are those who view the gods of the galaxy--the Degula Trinity, Iamme, the Silicon God, and all the rest--as perfect beings beyond pain or strife or death. But it is not so. The gods, though they be made of a million crystalline spheres as large as a moon, can die: the murder of Ede the God gives proof of the ultimate doom awaiting all beings whether made of diamond circuitry or flesh and blood. The gods, too, make war upon each other. Two million years ago, it is said, the Ieldra defeated the Dark God and thus saved the Milky Way from the fate of Dichali and the Aud Spiral and other galaxies that have disappeared down the black hole of the gods' lust for the infinite.

It is also said that the Ieldra have fused their souls into the light streaming out of the core of our galaxy, but other gods have evolved to replace them. There is Ai and Pure Mind and the April Colonial Intelligence and the One. And, of course, the greatest god of all, the Solid State Entity, She who had once been a woman named Kalinda of the Flowers. Compared to Her love of the stars and the life born in their fiery, hydrogen wombs, the ardor of a man and a woman for each other is only as a flaming match held up to the sun. And compared to Her hatred of the Silicon God, the passion of all the human beings who have ever lived is less than a drop of water in a boiling sea. And yet the human urge to destroy is no small thing. Human beings, as well as gods,can make war. They can destroy the stars. And yet they can say yes to the unfolding of new forms throughout the universe and create, too. This is the story of a man who was both creator and destroyer, my son, Danlo wi Soli Ringess--a simple pilot wise in the ways of peace who brought war to the heavens of many worlds.

One day as the galaxy turned slowly about its celestial center, a lightship fell out into the near space above a watery world named Thiells. The Snowy Owl was a long, graceful sweep of spun diamond, and it had carried Danlo across the galaxy from the Star of Neverness to lost Tannahill. His journey across the stars, and through the wild spaces of the manifold that lies beneath the stars, had been dangerous and long. Nine other pilots in their individual ships had set out on his quest to talk with a goddess, but only he had survived to fall on to the far reaches of the galaxy's Perseus Arm. He had crossed the entire Vild, that hellish region of fractured space and dust and stars blown into dazzling supernovas. And then he had returned coreward across many light years to Thiells at the other edge of the Vild. Although he had fallen farther than any pilot in history, he was not the only one to have made a great journey.

His order--the Order of Mystic Mathematicians--had begun the great Second Vild Mission to save the stars. Other pilots on other quests had flung their lightships into the Vild like so many grains of sand cast into a raging sea. They were Peter Eyota and Henrios li Radman and the great Edreiya Chu, she of the Golden Lotus and the golden eyes that could see deeper into the manifold than could most pilots. Still others--Helena Charbo, Aja, and Alark of Urradeth--had already found their way back to Thiells or were returning to the safety of the Order only now, even as Danlo returned. Of course, no place in the Vild (or the universe) was truly safe, for even such a peaceful world as Thiells must turn its soft, round face to the killing radiation of the stars. These great white blisters of light erupted from the black heavens all about Danlo's ship. All were old supernovas, and distant--too weak to burn the trees or birds or flowers of Thiells. But no one knew when a more murderous light might suddenly devour the sky and put an end to the new academy that the lords of Danlo's order had decided to build on this world. It was, in part, to tell of one such supernova that Danlo had come to Thiells.

And so he took his shimmering ship down through the sky's cold ozone into the lower and warmer layers of the atmosphere. It was a perfect, blue inside blue day of sunlight and clarity. Flying was a joy--falling and gliding down through space on wings of diamond toward the Order's new city, which the Lord Pilot had named, simply, Lightstone. As with Neverness, whom the pilots and other ordermen had abandoned a few years before, this was to be a City of Light--a great, gleaming city upon a hill that would bring the Order's cold enlightenment to all the peoples of the Vild.

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War in Heaven 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book i recommended to all my disciples, simply buy this book, it will open your mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
War In Heaven is simply one of the best follow-ups to one of the best books ever written. Danlo Wi Soli Ringess is once again thrusts into a volatile situation where all his various skills-both mathematical and interpersonal- are needed to survive. Danlo's closet friend and arch-enemy, Hanuman Li Tosh has thrown the universe in peril with the development of his shaida machine-the universal computer. The universal computer endows Hamnuman Li Tosh with god-like powers through the creation of ultra realistic simulations. Hanuman maddened by the immense powers of the machine, attempts to absorb the entire universe into the universal computer. It is up to Danlo again to save the universe from death and grow further into himself. This book is an excellent read. I recommend this book to anybody who is looking for a great book to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The God out of engine. Exploding stars. Wars between Gods and between men. If you are looking for these - you'll find it all here. But beware - its rathe sophisticated reading netherless... The human suffering is shown far more vividly, than heroics. The superhero moves godward in extremally painfull way. And he is no less thinker and phylosopher, than the man of action.