Synopsis: Greg Egan’s Perihelion Summer is a story of people struggling to adapt to a suddenly alien environment, and the friendships and alliances they forge as they try to find their way in a world where the old maps have lost their meaning.
Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar system.
Matt and his friends are taking no chances. They board a mobile aquaculture rig, the Mandjet, self-sustaining in food, power and fresh water, and decide to sit out the encounter off-shore. As Taraxippus draws nearer, new observations throw the original predictions for its trajectory into doubt, and by the time it leaves the solar system, the conditions of life across the globe will be changed forever.
“There had to come a point when the sluggish motion of the Taraxippoi across the sky was replaced by a sudden rush, like a train rattling by–and the longer it took for this oncoming train to appear to veer sideways, the closer that placed the Earth to the tracks. If you were waiting for a sign that the headlights were no longer bearing down on you, no news was bad news.”
Alrighty.. let’s see if I can make this mini review a bit more.. mini. My last attempt wasn’t as short as I was hoping. Because of course. WHY AM I LIKE THIS?!?
Greg Egan is a writer that I’ve been curious about for some time now, but just haven’t gotten to for one reason or another. As I mentioned in my previous review, I seem to be doing this thing more often where I read a new release by authors who are already established with many books/series & that is my introduction to their work. I’m more than okay with this development! It helps to prioritize new to me writers.
This particular writer appears to be somewhat of a mystery, which is rare these days. Apparently he is quite the recluse & there isn’t even a picture available online anywhere of him. I don’t know.. I think there’s something fucking radical about that. Nowadays everything is so damn AVAILABLE. There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping a bit of privacy for oneself.
Perihelion Summer’s story is about a black hole that is quickly approaching Earth. Summers are getting hotter, winters more cold. Matt Fleming is a young scientist who is working on the Mandjet, a mobile aquaculture rig. This experiment is meant to withstand dramatic sea level changes, meaning that people would hopefully be safe on this self-sustaining innovation no matter what environmental shift may occur. Except nothing is ever that simple.
This is coming out just as the first image of a black hole has been released. That’s some free cosmic marketing right there!
It’s an intelligent story, one that is is an exploration on climate change & survival. Complex science, yet never overwhelming. Perihelion Summer mostly centers around the characters & how they are dealing with the (possible) impending doom.
I’m definitely planning on checking out more of Egan’s work after reading this!
(Big thanks to Tor.com Publishing for the copy!)
**The quotes above were taken from an ARC & are subject to change upon publication**