I just finished Count to Infinity by John C. Wright (Dec. 2017). This is the final book in the Eschaton Sequence that contains:
- Count to a Trillion (2012)
- The Hermetic Millennia (2013)
- The Judge of Ages (2015)
- The Architect of Aeons (2015)
- The Vindication of Man (2016)
- Count to Infinity (2017)
These six novels tell the story of Menelaus Montrose who begins life in what’s left of Texas in the near future and lives on (with the help of technology) to the end of the universe. Montrose earns the enmity of Ximen del Azarchel and their rivalry, as well as their opposing philosophies, become a conflict that has a lasting effect on human and then intergalactic society.
The scope of the story is truly vast. Wright does a masterful job of increasing the scale of the story again and again over the course of six books. One of the themes of the narrative is what principles guide society in the best direction. As human society goes from post apocalypse to a shining tomorrow – and then colonies throughout space – these principles become increasingly important. The story then goes beyond humanity to advanced multiracial societies that span galactic clusters to play with the same ideas on a truly large scale. At each step the story pauses to intelligently speculate on the effects of different philosophies when they gain preeminence.
An unusual change from most of the science-fiction I’ve read was to limit space travel to light speed. It gave a different and fascinating view of how interstellar, and then intergalactic, societies would form and operate.
Similar to his Golden Age trilogy, advanced artificial intelligences become characters in the story. In some ways they view things differently than humans but are close enough to reason with people. The conversations that result from these exchanges give the reader much food for thought.
The Eschaton Sequence is highly recommended for your next venture into science-fiction. You’re in good hands with author John C. Wright.