Brenda Cooper

Reading Recommendation: The Sigil Trilogy by Henry Gee

Siege of StarsI spent most of the weekend finishing The Sigil Trilogy, by Henry Gee.

This is a complex and brave set of books.  Classic SF in every sense of the word.  Henry follows multiple time lines, with the primary story set in our near future.  He takes archaeology and astronomy, far-flung space travel, and an alien race and uses them to create a true sense-of-wonder world.

I found it really hard to put down.  The Sigil Trilogy asks and offers answers for big questions, contains gosh-wow ideas, and gosh-wow science.

I fell in love with his main characters in the near future time frame.  We first meet them as young archaeologists, and follow them through major discoveries.  I truly loved every main character in this group, and found them to be larger-than-life and yet subtly human all at once. Endearing.  Henry is an editor at Nature Magazine, and his knowledge of the scientific community comes through really well.

The book also flips through some far-past time frames.  If there was any fault for me with the book, it was that the far-past time frames were less interesting to me than the main story, and so I often grew impatient while reading those chapters.  It was also a bit tough to enter – the opening confused me (at first), and a few other scenes seemed unnecessary  (I can’t chat about them without spoilers).  But entirely in spite of those (rather small) problems, I found myself stuck to my iPad screen much longer than I planned to be more than once, and on both weekend days I woke up and dove right back into the trilogy instead of my usual routine of reading the New York Times with my coffee.

I really admire the reach of these books, and the many subtle and excellent nuances in the writing.  It’s classic-SF award-worthy.

2 Responses so far

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  2. 2. Peter D. Tillman

    Thanks for the reco. I had no idea Gee had written SF!