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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recently read: "Usurper of the Sun" by Housuke Nojiri

"Usurper of the Sun" by Housuke Nojiri

Another Japanese novel published here in the US by Haikasoru, which has become one of my favorite publishers in a very short time.

Aki Shiraishi is a high school student in an astronomy club viewing a solar transit of Mercury, when she sees a tower that is being built on Mercury.  Using nano technology, it appears that an alien race (dubbed "Builders") are constructing a ring around the sun.  The ring eventually threatens Earth's ecology due to it's shadow.  Aki pursues a career in the sciences, and travels to the Ring and eventually must confront the Builders as their starship enters the Solar System.

This is truly a hard SF novel.  There's very little unrealistic technology development here.  Nojiri has thought about alien intelligence, and come up with a clever twist.  It somewhat reminds me of Peter Watts' "Blindsight", though not quite as depressing. 

It also reads very easily, so I guess that's a tribute to the translator?

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