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The Eternal Flame: Orthogonal Book Two by [Egan, Greg]
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The Eternal Flame: Orthogonal Book Two Kindle Edition


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Kindle Edition, 18 Oct 2012
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Length: 398 pages Word Wise: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

The generation ship Peerless is suffering from a population explosion, and the only way to reduce the number of children is by drastically limiting the females' food intake. So population control consists of two barbaric choices: starvation, or suicide.

Trying to find a better way, a biologist starts experimenting with animals, and stumbles on a technique that radically alters the reproductive cycle. But while the advantages are obvious, there's a major drawback: while it spares women from their old role - reproduction without hope of survival - it will essentially wipe out an entire sex.

Amid the turmoil created by this new possibility, physicists on the ship are working to develop the technology they will need to complete the mission of the Peerless. One of the expedition's founders dreamed of discovering the Eternal Flame: a way to generate thrust without consuming any fuel at all.

The inhabitants on board the Peerless have some hard choices to make - and the wrong one could spell extinction for their entire race.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3038 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; 1 edition (18 October 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008K5T1TS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #337,984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoyed the first book, you'll want to read this one too 23 September 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book goes into this universe's interesting physics in much the same way as the last - watching characters make discoveries about the nature of the world around them in ways that help drive the core of the plot. While the last book set up a lot of the grand framework - their equivalent to relativity and basic particles. This one goes in depth into the nature of matter and how it interacts with the world's version of photons.

The parts dealing with biology were interesting - because it works at a higher level, it isn't so confined to the nitty gritty details of physics, and gives Egan room to play around with creating interesting ideas without the having to worry about how they follow from the laws of physics. This and the effects of living for generations in a ship with limited resources and no foreseeable end to the journey provide a good and interesting break from the physics lectures.

The only annoyance was that the diagrams don't always render well on a kindle. Details that were lighter were in too pale a shade of gray. They also don't scale with font size, so when I turned up the size in low lighting, the text on the diagrams was still tiny.
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be 100 pages shorter - Add them to the Silmarillion 29 October 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This series is certainly a departure from Mr. Egan's earlier work. I wasn't all that thrilled with the first two books in the trilogy, especially after having read Schild's Ladder and Diaspora. The plot moves too slowly, and the physics dissertations develop neither character nor story line. When the scrupulously detailed descriptions of the physics and genetics experiments begin (and there are several), you can rapidly scan the next ten or so pages and miss nothing more than strained-out conclusions made about things that don't really exist, and then keep on reading. At this point I'm hoping that the return trip will result in a spectacular crash, leaving every supersonic thing they learned (essentially our entire body of physics minus firearms - not to mention Women's Rights) in the wreckage. The "hurtlers" could then turn out to be cotton candy... As M. Knight Shyamalan would say "What a twist!"
3.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering discovering science 15 January 2013
By Arent Arntzen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The subjects of the book discover the laws of physics in a situation where it really matters to them.
Egan captures the thrill,exhileration, setbacks and despair that is part of scientific discovery.
In the process you will be exposed to some detailed math and physics. Personally I like to have Kreyzig's advanced engineering math at the bedside so for me "Eternal Flame" was a very good combination of drama and science.
Eternal Flame is easy reading with a good plot and quite good drive.
Very good for that long international flight or similar.
Compared to "Hydrogen Sonata" by Iain M. Banks the Eternal Flame is much more limited in philosophical, political and technological scope. I found that relaxing in a sense. Reading Eternal Flame is more reminiscent of a good bedside story combined with a written version of Khan Academy self study science.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 9 June 2013
By James Weisner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had high expectations for this book, and it totally lived up to them! The characters are all new, the problems facing them are interesting, and the science - oh god - the science is so hard, and so AWESOME! Not to spoil too much, but the inhabitants of the Peerless make great breakthroughs in both physics and biology. There is some political and social strife, sexism, etc., but it doesn't spoil this fun read. After all, big scientific progress often provokes social resistance. Some of the action is really awesome, like the voyage to the orthogonal space object, and there's even a scene where someone is rescued from being lost, floating in space! I can't wait to read the third book...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Greg Egan could write this 8 January 2013
By Randal Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent story, but intimately intertwined with real math for the physics of a universe that is not quite like ours. You can read the story without the physics, but if you can handle some moderately sophisticated math, this book becomes something I have never seen before. One day, when everyone can download the relevant mathematics, all science fiction will be like this.

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