Bit by bit, byte by byte, they assemble a computer the size of a continent – a device that will alter the Long Earth’s place within the cosmos and reveal the ultimate, life-affirming goal of those who sent the Message.
Schrijver: Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Titel: The Long Cosmos
Serie: The Long Earth #5
Uitgeverij: Doubleday (GB)
Genre: science fiction
Mijn mening: 3 sterren
- wij kochten dit boek in 2017
- ik las dit boek van 18 t/m 19 juli 2017 en dit was boek 72 van de boeken die ik in 2017 gelezen heb
Over het verhaal
On the move, ‘down’ was always the direction of Datum Earth. Down to the bustling worlds. Down to the millions of people. ‘Up’ was the direction of the silent worlds and the clean air of the High Meggers.
Five stepes West of Datum Madison, Wisconsin, in a small cemetery plot outside a children’s home, Joshua Valienté stood over his wife’s marker stone. Down almost as far as it was possible for him to be down. It was a bitterley cold March Day. Helen Green Valienté Doak. ‘What’s it all about, honey?’ he asked softly. ‘How did we come to this?’
He’d brought no flowers. He didn’t need to, so well did the children tend the little plot, presumably under the kindly supervision of Sister John, the old friend of Joshua’s who now ran the place. It had been Sister John’s idea to set up this marker, in fact, as a consolation for Joshua when he visited; Helen had insisted on being buried in the Datum, at a much less accessible site. (blz. 1)
Joshua Valenté, de man die ‘stepping’ heeft uitgevonden, waarmee mensen naar andere tijdlijnen kunnen stappen, is inmiddels een oude man. Zijn vrouw is overleden. Ondertussen bouwt de mensheid aan een megacomputer om een boodschap uit de ruimte te kunnen ontcijferen.
‘But the point is,’ she said heavily, ’that what we have received came with its own decryption algorithm encoded into it, like some kind of computer virus. An algorithm capable of translating its own meaning into English.’
‘And other languages too,’ Dev said. ‘Human languages, I mean. We tested that. We downloaded the thing into a tablet owned by a native Chinese speaker among the crew here…’
Dev had got a corporate reprimand for that. But the tense relations between China and the western nations down on the Datum meant nothing here, two million worlds away.
‘How?’ Stella snapped now. ‘How the hell can it speak to us? Presumably without any prior knowledge of humanity and our languages? We think this was sent by some civilization far off in the direction of Sagittarius, many light years away, maybe even somewhere close to the centre of the Galaxy. Our radio leakage can’t have got that far, even from the Datum.’
Dev, bombarded, lost his patience. ‘Professor Welch. You’re senior to me in the field by decades. You wrote the texts I studied from. Also you’re a Next. Why are you asking me?’
She eyed him, and he saw a glint of humor under her irritated impatience. ‘Tell me what you think anyway. Any ideas?’
He shrugged. ‘I guess that, unlike you, I’m used to sharing a world with beings smarter than I am. These – Sagittarians – are smarter than that again. Smarter than you. They wanted to talk to us, and they knew how. The important thing, Professor, is to figure out what to do next.’
She smiled. ‘We both know the answer to that.’
He grinned back. ‘We’re gonna need a bigger telescope.’ (blz. 4)
Van wie komt de boodschap uit de ruimte? Wat is de boodschap?
De eerste boeken van deze serie waren spannend, fascinerend en lazen makkelijk weg. Dit laatste boek is erg traag en boeide me niet meer zo. Toch wilde ik weten hoe het verhaal zou eindigen.