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Geodesica: Descent by Sean  Williams with Shane Dix
Review by Paul Haggerty
Ace Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0441013783
Date: 31 January, 2006 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

From official release/information:

Geodesica: Descent is the sequel to William's and Dix's Geodesica: Ascent, and apparently takes up where the previous novel left off. The events in the novel take place in a future a couple centuries hence where humanity has gone forth and colonized the stars, but overall control is still maintained from Earth, where an AI called the Archon rules the known galaxy through post-human servants known as the Exarchs. The problem at the heart of this novel is the discovery of the alien artifact known as Geodesica, not so much an object as a vast system of hyperspace tunnels linking together the universe. The Archon, for reasons of its own, has decided that humanity shouldn't have access to Geodesica, and causes a nanotechnological disaster in each system where a gateway is discovered, destroying all inhabitants, and locking the gateway behind a barrier of ravenous nanites. Humanity (represented by one set of the main characters) isn't particularly pleased with the Archon's behavior and decides that the time has come to take their destiny back into their own hands. Meanwhile, the other set of characters, trapped inside Geodesica when they fled the catastrophe that wiped out the system of Bedlam, alternate between trying to find a way out, exploring the strange and bizarre things left behind by any number of long dead races, and running for their lives from hunter-killer drones sent by the Archon to find them.

(Source: Ace)

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