by Paul Melko
Edited by David G. Hartwell
Review by Karen Burnham
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765317773
Date: 05 February 2008 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
Most of humanity went away -- physically up to a gigantic orbital ring, mentally into a VR community, then ... well, that's a bit of a mystery. Those who remain aren't typical humans anymore: Many of them are members of pods, small groups of people who think best together. Mainly they're trying to fix up this old Earth of ours, but one group has its sights set on something higher: interstellar travel. They've trained for it since they were born, but nothing is ever simple in this interesting and exciting book. From official release/information:
Book Description: The debut novel from a exciting new voice in SF—about what happens after ninety percent of humanity leaves Earth. There is an artificial ring around the Earth and it is empty after the Singularity. Either all the millions of inhabitants are dead, or they have been transformed into energy beings beyond human perception. Earth's population was reduced by ninety percent. Human civilization on Earth is now recovering from this trauma and even has a vigorous space program.
Apollo Papadopulos is in training to become the captain of the starship Consensus. Apollo is a unique individual in that he/she/it is not an individual at all, but five separate teenagers who form a new entity. Strom, Meda, Quant, Manuel, and Moira are a pod, as these kinds of personalities are called, genetically engineered to work as one and to be able to communicate non-verbally. As a rare quintet, much relies on the successful training of Apollo, but as more accidents occur, the pod members struggle just to survive.
(Source: Tor Books)