A MODERN SCIENCE FICTION CLASSIC FROM WIL MCCARTHY
In the eighth decade of the Queendom of Sol, three commodities rule the day. The first is wellstone, a form of programmable matter capable of emulating almost any substance: natural, artificial, even hypothetical. The second is collapsium, a deadly crystal composed of miniature black holes, vital for the transmission of information and matter — including humans — throughout the solar system. The third is the bitter rivalry between Her Majesty's top scientists.
Bruno de Towaji, famed lover and statesman, dreams of building an arc de fin, an almost mythical device capable of probing the farthest reaches of spacetime. Marlon Sykes, de Towaji's rival in both love and science, is meanwhile hard at work on a vast telecommunications project whose first step is the construction of a ring of collapsium around the sun. But when a ruthless saboteur attacks the Ring Collapsiter and sends it falling into the sun, the two scientists must put aside personal animosity and combine their prodigious intellects to prevent the destruction of the solar system... and every living thing within it.
About The Collapsium:
“Ingenious and witty . . . as if Terry Pratchett at his zaniest and Larry Niven at his best had collaborated.”—Booklist
"Fresh and imaginative. From a plausible yet startling invention, McCarthy follows the logical lines of sight, building in parallel the technological and societal innovations. 'Our Pick.' I wanted to visit this Queendom and meet these people."—Science Fiction Weekly
"The future as McCarthy sees it is a wondrous place. While there are amusing attributes and quirks to McCarthy's characters, the greater pleasures of this novel lie in its hard science extrapolations. McCarthy plays us his technical strengths by providing a useful appendix and glossary for the mathematically inclined reader." —Publishers Weekly
"[McCarthy] studs his narrative with far-out scientific concepts that he defends in a series of appendices. He certainly has a sense of humor. [Protagonist] Bruno de Towaji . . . is surely speaking for his creator when he assures another character, 'Imagination really is the only limit.'"—The New York Times
About Wil McCarthy:
"McCarthy is an entertaining, intelligent, amusing writer, with Heinlein's knack for breakneck plotting and, at the same time, Clarke's thoughtfulness."—Booklist
“‘Imagination really is the only limit.’”—The New York Times
“The future as McCarthy sees it is a wondrous place.”—Publishers Weekly
"A bright light on the SF horizon.”—David Brin
“Wil McCarthy demonstrates that he has a sharp intelligence, a galaxy-spanning imagination, and the solid scientific background to make it all work.”—Connie Willis
“In nearly every passage, we get another slice of the science of McCarthy’s construction, and a deeper sense of danger and foreboding... McCarthy develops considerable tension.”—San Diego Union-Tribune
“An ingenious yarn with challenging ideas, well-handled technical details, and plenty of twists and turns.”—Kirkus