Galactic Center series – Gregory Benford

I’ve discussed In the Ocean of Night, because of a memorable scene in one of the original stories, and referred to the fact that it became the first of the Galactic Center series and future history 7 years later with the publication of Across the Sea of Suns in 1984.  Then, across the next 10 years, Benford detoured from Nigel Walmsley’s interstellar travels to jump a hundred thousand years into the future near the Galactic Center, not too far from the Eater embedded in the galaxy’s core.  Telling of the remnants of desiccated Snowglade’s Bishop clan, endlessly running the deserts, avoiding the latest mech attempts to kill them, legs pistoning in a 150 kilometer an hour stride, Killeen and his father trying to watch over his son Toby, Benford spun out a trilogy about their own interstellar wanderings.

Finally, in the sixth and culminating volume,  Sailing Bright Eternity, in 1995, he picks up Nigel’s story, pointed to in a indirect reference in one of the Killeen trilogy, to the Taj Majal replica he built after arriving in the Center.  Both sets of characters intersect as the mechs try to keep the galaxy clean of organics, Naughts being of no use to Ones.  The fabric of normal Space-Time twists into multidimensional esty layers at the edge of the core’s black hole as the characters plunge into strangeness and possible safety.

Maddingly, but more proof of a low level of intelligence here, only books 2 & 6 are available as eBooks. 

Galactic Center series

Galactic Center makes my list of good future histories – Anderson’s Polesotechnic/Terran Empire, Niven’s Known Space, Varley’s Eight Worlds, Cordwainer Smith’s Lords of the Instrumentality, Fred Pohl’s HeeChee, Baxter’s XeeLee, [and I have good hopes for a yet-unexplored futory, Alastair Reynolds’ Redemption Space].

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