Excellent conclusion to the Orthogonal trilogy. It's kind of breathtaking to see what Egan has accomplished here. He started out with an incredibly simple premise — flipping one sign in one equation — and then re-derived modern physics from this new principle. Not satisfied with this, he then figured out what chemistry and biology might look like in this universe, and created a vivid world filled with interesting characters.
Each book in the trilogy, moreover, has a plot that centers around some problem arising from the new physics: in the first, an encounter with a debris cloud moving on an orthogonal path to the home world; in the second, the creation of a limitless energy source; and in this third volume, the implications of the fact that time travel is possible in the Orthogonal universe. To top it all off, all three books show working scientists figuring out details of their universe, meaning that Egan also came up with plausible alternative theories for his new universe, thought of experiments that would distinguish them, and then had his characters carry them out. And throughout the whole process, his scientist characters have ego clashes, pet theories, and in general show off the glorious messiness of the scientific process.
I'm flabbergasted that he pulled off this feat and produced three readable books. Bravo.
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