A story about ‘the peculiar phenomenon of consciousness’ as it may be applied to information, for instance the information already manifest in DNA …
In THE BONES OF TIME, her second novel, Kathleen Ann Goonan tells the story of a long-dead king, Kamehameha, cloned and brought once more to life. He becomes the figurehead of a native Hawaiian bid to steal the first interstellar ship ever built. The island’s original settlers travelled from Polynesia to Hawaii using only the power of visualization, conceiving themselves to be still while the earth and the heavens turn around them. As ‘natural navigators’, the Hawaiians will seek the stars.
The plot is divided between the seminal discoveries of a Hawaiian mathematician named Century in the year 2007, and the adventures in 2034 of Lynn, the renegade daughter of the boss of Interspace, the vast consortium building the interstellar ship in Hawaii.
Thanks to discoveries made when the brain in a state of superconductivity (there are spectacular descriptions of how this is achieved), the possibility emerges that with the aid of AI the brain might reach a state of superconductivity and take control of the uncertainty principle: it might ‘jump the fractal’ to travel in time.
Cen’s maths and Lynn’s protection of the clone both contribute to the takeover by Hawaiians of the Interspace ship; they will travel through time to a pristine island – returning Hawaii to the Hawaiians, albeit another, parallel Hawaii.
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Early next century, the Interspace company, in charge of humanity's first generation starship, has been given extraordinary powers. Cen, descendant of Hawaiian shaman-priests, and a mathematical genius, finds out as an adolescent how ruthless they are in their preparedness to exploit human weakness and brilliance, yet sells his work to them for the leisure to pursue his own plans--the conquest of time and the saving of the long dead princess whom he meets and loves in moments of vision. A decade later, Lynn, geneticist renegade from Interspace's ruling dynasty, rescues from assassination Akamu, clone of Hawaii's legendary unifier, and finds herself, like Cen before her, manipulated by Interspace's Hawaiian nationalist foes. She and Akamu are pursued from Hawaii to Hong-Kong and into the uplands of Tibet. Bristling with intrigue and ideas about Buddhism, wormholes, celestial navigation and quantum theories of intelligence, Goonan's new novel is touching about love and families and a gruelling switchback ride for the intellect. Her first novel Queen City Jazz was impressive in its dreamy portrayal of a world altered by nano-technology; this radical change of place remakes the near future techno-thriller as a set of passionately conceived ethical quandaries. -- Roz KaveneyReview:
Reviews of Queen City Jazz:
‘A dizzying novel that takes full advantage of the creative potential of nanotech’
New York Times
‘Spectacular A novel of startling virtuosity and complexity’
‘An unforgettable vision of America transfigured’
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110006483186