By Michael O'Brien
Set 80 years in the future, this novel by Michael O'Brien is about an expedition from Earth to Alpha Centauri, the star closest to our solar system. The Kosmos, a great ship that the central character Neil de Hoyos describes as a "flying city," is immense in size and capable of more than half light-speed. Hoyos is a Nobel Prize winning physicist who has played a major role in designing the ship.
Hoyos has signed on as a passenger because he desires to escape the worldwide totalitarian government. He is a skeptical and quirky misanthropic humanist, and the surprises that await him on the voyage and its destination will shatter all of his assumptions and point him towards a true new horizon.
Science fiction and fantasy literature are genres that have become dominant forces in contemporary worldwide culture. Our fascination with the near-angelic powers of new technology, its benefits and dangers, its potential for obsession and catastrophe, raises vital questions that this work explores about human nature, the cosmos, man's image of himself, where he is going and why he seeks to go there.