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[from inside flaps] "In the 112TH century, the Hyades Armada that has traveled thousands of lightyears to conquer Earth arrives at last--but the invasion unfolds in a manner none had foreseen, defying the expectations of both Menelaus Montrose and his immortal enemy, Ximen del Azarchel. Having set aside their differences and forged an uneasy alliance, the two men map a future on a scale beyond anything previously imagined. No longer concerned with the course of history across mere millennia, Montrose and Del Azarchel become the architects of aeons, bringing forth minds the size of planets as they steer the bizarre intellectual descendants of an extinct humanity. Driving their labors and their enmity is the hope of reunion with their shared lost love, the posthuman Princess Rania, self-appointed emissary of humanity to the unfathomably alien Dominion whose intent toward Earth she seeks to sway. But Rania's anticipated return with the Dominion's verdict in seventy thousand years is by no means certain, and if it comes to pass, it may upend everything Montrose and Del Azarchel seek to achieve."
Hundreds of years in the future, after the collapse of the Western world, young Menelaus Illation Montrose grows up in what was once Texas as a gunslinging duelist for hire. But Montrose is also a mathematical genius - and a romantic who dreams of a future in which humanity rises from the ashes to take its place among the stars. The chance to help usher in that future comes when Montrose is recruited for a manned interstellar mission to investigate an artifact of alien origin. Known as the Monument, the artifact is inscribed with data so complex, only a posthuman mind can decipher it. So Montrose does the unthinkable: he injects himself with a dangerous biochemical drug designed to boost his already formidable intellect to superhuman intelligence. It drives him mad. Nearly two centuries later, his sanity restored, Montrose is awakened from cryosuspension with no memory of his posthuman actions, to find Earth transformed in strange and disturbing ways, and learns that the Monument still carries a secret he must decode - one that will define humanity's true future in the universe.
The Golden Age is 10,000 years in the future in our solar system, an interplanetary utopian society filled with immortal humans. Phaethon, of Radamanthus House, is attending a glorious party at his family mansion celebrating the thousand-year anniversary of the High Transcendence.
[from inside flaps] "The astonishing future that began in Count to a Trillion continues to unfold: Menelaus Illation Montrose--gunslinger, idealist, and posthuman genius--has gone into cryosuspension following the discovery that, in eight thousand years, a powerful alien intelligence will reach Earth to assess humanity's value as slaves. Montrose intends to be alive to meet that threat, but he is awakened repeatedly throughout the centuries to confront the woes of an ever-changing and violent world, witnessing millennia of change compressed into a scant few years of subjective time. The result is a breathtaking vision of future history like nothing before imagined: sweeping, tumultuous, and ever more alien, as Montrose's immortal enemies and former shipmates from the starship Hermetic harness the forces of evolution and social engineering to continuously reshape Earth in their image, seeking to create a version of man the approaching slavers will find worthy of domination."
[from inside flaps] "The year is a.d. 10,515. The Hyades Armada, traveling at near-lightspeed, will reach Earth in just four centuries to assess humanity's value as slaves. For the last eight thousand years, two men have labored to meet the alien threat in very different ways. One of them is Ximen del Azarchel, immortal leader of the mutineers from the starship Hermetic and self-appointed Master of the World, who has allowed his followers to tamper continuously with the evolutionary destiny of Man, creating one bizarre race after another in an apparent search for a species the Hyades will find worthy of conquest. The other is Menelaus Montrose, the post-human Judge of Ages, whose cryonic Tombs beneath the surface of Earth have preserved survivors from each epoch created by the Hermeticists. Montrose intends to thwart the alien invaders any way he can, and to remain alive long enough to be reunited with his bride, Rania, who is on a seventy-millennium journey to confront the Hyades' masters, tens of thousands of light-years away. Now, with the countdown to the Hyades' arrival nearing its end, del Azarchel and Montrose square off for what is to be their final showdown for the fate of Earth, a battle of gunfire and cliometric calculus; powered armor and posthuman intelligence."
From the book jacket: What if your teachers taught you everything-except who you really are? For Amelia and her friends, the strict English boarding school they live in is all they have ever known. The sprawling estate, bordered by unknown territory on all four sides, is both orphanage, academy, and prison. The school has a large staff, but only five students, none of whom know their real names or even how old they are. Precocious and rebellious, all five teenagers are more than just prodigies. Amelia can see in four dimensions. Victor can control the molecular arrangement of matter. Vanity can find secret passageways where none existed before. Colin is a psychic. Quentin is a warlock. And, as time goes by, they're starting to suspect that none of them are entirely human. . . . John C. Wright's previous fantasy novels, the epic Chronicles of Everness, were lavishly praised by both readers and reviewers. Now he embarks on an ambitious new saga that explores the overlapping boundaries of science, mythology, and the imagination.
Phoenix Exultant; or, Dispossessed in Utopia is a 300 page science fantasy novel first published in 2003 and written by John C. Wright, a chronicler of future histories who has been compared to Olaf Stapleton. It is the second volume in a trilogy by the author, The Golden Age, dealing with the development of the solar system and written in a visionary epic style. The Golden Age is the first volume of the trilogy, and The Golden Age Transcendence is the last. The summary of Phoenix Exultant by Tom Doherty Associates reads as follows: And now The Phoenix Exultant, a second epic novel of a heroic quest in a far-future world of wonders from an important new talent. The Phoenix Exultant is a continuation of the story begun in The Golden Age and, like it, a grand space opera in the tradition of Jack Vance and Roger Zelazny (with a touch of Cordwainer Smith-style invention). At the conclusion of the first book, Phaethon of Radamanthus House was left an exile from his life of power and privilege. Now he embarks upon a quest across the transformed solar system-Jupiter is a second sun, Mars and Venus terraformed, humanity immortal-among humans, intelligent machines, and bizarre life-forms, to recover his memory, to regain his place in society, and to move that society away from stagnation. Most of all, Phaethon's quest is to regain ownership of the magnificent starship, the Phoenix Exultant, the most wonderful ship ever built, and to fly her to the stars. This is an astounding story of super-science, a thrilling wonder story that recaptures the verve of SF's Golden Age writers. The Phoenix Exultant is a suitably grand and stirring fulfillment of the promise shown in The Golden Age and confirms John C. Wright as a major new talent in the field.