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Cass has stumbled on something that might be an entirely different type of physics, and she's travelled three hundred and fifty light-years to Mimosa Station, a remote experimental facility, to test her theory. The novo-vacuum she creates is predicted to begin decaying the instant it's created, but even so short-lived a microscopic speck could shed new light on the origins of the universe.
But instead of decaying, Cass's novo-vacuum is wildly successful and begins expanding, slowly but inexorably taking over the universe . . .
SCHILD'S LADDER: a wild ride through the far future by one of the world's most respected and acclaimed writers.
The fatal experiment was right at the edge of theoretical physics. Could there be an alternative structure for vacuum itself, the void underlying our cosmos? Unfortunately, yes. Once created, this artificial "novo-vacuum" successfully competes with normal space, expanding at half the speed of light in an all-consuming sphere. Inside, physics is radically, incomprehensibly different...
Six centuries later, thousands of inhabited solar systems have been gobbled. Scientists investigating the novo-vacuum from starship Rindler are split between trying to destroy it with tailored spatial viruses ("Planck worms") and hoping to understand the teeming richness beyond that deadly interface.
In a lonely galaxy where only humans are intelligent, whole planets have been evacuated to give microscopic alien organisms their chance to evolve. The novo-vacuum may be bursting with new orders of life, so that killing it would be a monstrous act of genocide. But frightened people dare dreadful things. Violence erupts on the Rindler.
Building up from ideas of human intelligence in disembodied storage or artificial bodies, Egan finally takes his lead characters on a mind-boggling joyride through novo-vacuum, mapping them into a space where a tense eight-hour flight from deadly predators covers just one millimetre. There's a lot of room in there.
Schild's Ladder makes easy reading out of terrifying physics, generating a real sense of wonder even as your jaw drops at the immensity of its implications. --David Langford
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Book Description: 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. This brand new copy of Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan is waiting for you in our UK warehouse. If you order before 1pm on a working day, we'll get it in today's post. Otherwise we'll post it on the next working day. Simple no nonsense service from Wordery. UK delivery is within 3 or 4 working days. International delivery varies by country. Bookseller Inventory # 9780575081116
Schild's Ladder (Gollancz S.F.)
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