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Linda Nagata
Tor Books, 416 pages

Linda Nagata
Linda Nagata grew up on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. She earned a degree in zoology from the University of Hawaii, in Honolulu. Moving on to Maui, she married Ron Nagata where they still live with their two children.

Linda Nagata Website
ISFDB Bibliography
Goddesses at
SF Site Review: Goddesses
SF Site Review: Vast
SF Site Review: Vast
Linda Nagata Interview Excerpt
Excerpt: Memory
Excerpt: Vast

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Peter D. Tillman


"Acclaimed hard-SF author Linda Nagata introduces a new world: a human colony whose people have forgotten their past, on a tremendous structure that forms a great ring around the sun... where the sky is bisected by an arch of light and the mysterious 'silver' rises from the ground each night to completely transform the landscape-and erase from existence anything it touches..."
OK, the world-building is pretty cool. The setting is a ringworld-orbital where things have gone Terribly Wrong. A long-ago war damaged the habitat, and the construction and maintenance nanoassembler-fogs (the silver), have become a menace to the players, their 'mechanics' (cool hi-tech machines) and their homes. The only safe places to live are temple-complexes around kobold wells -- the temple kobolds, small programmable mechanics, exude a sweet-smelling silver-repellent.
"Young Jubilee is devastated when her brother Jolly is caught and taken by the silver. But when a forbidding stranger with the incredible power to control the silver comes seeking Jolly -- and claiming that Jolly knows him -- Jubilee first distrusts the man, then fears him and flees. For she has learned an impossible secret: Jolly may still be alive... and may somehow become the catalyst for the annihilation of everything she knows if she does not find him first!" (publisher's blurb)
It's a pretty neat setup, an appealing combination of a half-understood high-tech background, a likeable heroine, a nasty villain, and a Quest... So I was having a good time until along about page 200 or so, I started realising that nothing much had happened for awhile, except that the Evil Villain (and/or his minions) was chasing the heroine (and/or her Faithful Friends, and always with her Cute Doggie) through varying landscapes, over and over again. I'm sorry to report that this is pretty much what happens in the rest of the book. The ending's pretty soggy, too.

I'd say Ms. Nagata needed a Stern Editor for this one, or else more inspiration.... For diehard fans only.

Anyway, most everything else she's written is better than this. If you've never tried her (and you should), I'd start with Limit of Vision, her best novel and a stand-alone. Or, for an appealing sample, her Nebula-award-winning novella "Goddesses", is available online: Goddesses at

Copyright © 2004 Peter D. Tillman

Pete Tillman has been reading SF for better than 40 years now. He reviews SF -- and other books -- for Usenet, "Under the Covers", Infinity-Plus, Dark Planet, and SF Site. He's a mineral exploration geologist based in Arizona. More of his reviews are posted at .

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