Independent new SF venture from the author of Colors of Chaos (Jan. 1999) etc.
In the 46th century, Dzin Master Tyndel teaches philosophy and lives peacefully with his beloved wife Foerga – that is, until a vengeful neighbor infects Tyndel with nanites, microscopic machines that enhance his physical and mental capabilities. Unfortunately, thanks to long-ago wars and social upheavals caused by the nanites, Tyndel now faces imprisonment and slow death unless he can escape to Rykasha. The high-tech Rykashans fix Tyndel’s primitive and dangerous nanites – he becomes effectively immortal – and fill his head with knowledge that he has trouble assimilating. Rykasha’s balanced but remorseless social system, however, requires Tyndel to make recompense. Beautiful, sympathetic Cerrelle recommends starship pilot training, where Tyndel’s Dzin philosophy gives him advantages. But confused, resentful, angry Tyndel rejects Cerrelle and her advice, opting instead for unskilled labor on a remote space station. Three years pass before Tyndel accepts his situation, apologizes to Cerrelle, and accepts training. Piloting a starship is arduous – imagine playing multidimensional Tetris against whizzing, strange-smelling neon blocks of frozen music that can kill you – but his Dzin calm helps. Later, after several ships vanish, Tyndel must attempt to negotiate with the mysterious, godlike entity inside the Anomaly.
A persuasive alternate socioeconomic system, solid personal growth, and memorably weird hyperspace – along with a disappointing plot and a so-so chat with an uninteresting god.