Archform: Beauty

Archform: Beauty

by L. E. Modesitt Jr.


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Most readers recognize L. E. Modesitt, Jr., as the author of a favorite fantasy series, be it The Magic of Recluce or The Spellsong Cycle. It's always a special treat when he turns his hand again to science fiction and Archform: Beauty is no exception.

Four centuries in the future, the world is rich—nanomachines watch the health of the wealthy and manufacture food and gadgets for everybody—but no Utopia, as we see in the lives of five very different people. A singing teacher suffers for her music and fights bureaucracy and apathy. A news researcher delivers the essential background details but can't help looking deeper and wondering about the real story behind the grim incidents that make the headlines. A police investigator, assigned to study trends, begins to see a truly sinister pattern behind a series of seemingly unrelated crimes and deaths. A politician aids his constituents, fights the good fight, and tries to get reelected without compromising his principles. A ruthless businessman strives to make his family powerful, wealthy, and independent.

Theirs is a society where technology takes care of everyone's basic needs but leaves most people struggling to extract a meaningful life from a world crowded with wonders but empty of commitment and human connection. Alternating the voices and experiences of these five characters in a tour de force of imaginative creation, Modesitt overlaps, combines, and builds their disparate stories into a brilliant tale of future crime and investigation, esthetic challenge and personal triumph. In the same way that he has built fantasy landscapes of surpassing fascination, Modesitt creates a believable future, one imbued with a deep understanding of the way politics works and how people act and react when their sense of themselves, of justice and truth, is exploited by others for power and control. When there's nothing left to need or want, will beauty live on in people's lives or disappear forever?

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. asks difficult questions, sets himself unlikely challenges, and once again delivers an absorbing tale that enlightens, entertains, and uplifts all at once.

"Modesitt has outdone himself…This brilliant novel is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Other Series by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
The Saga of Recluce
The Imager Portfolio
The Corean Chronicles
The Spellsong Cycle
The Ghost Books
The Ecolitan Matter
The Forever Hero
Timegod's World

Other Books
The Green Progression
Hammer of Darkness
The Parafaith War
Gravity Dreams
The Octagonal Raven
Archform: Beauty
The Ethos Effect
The Eternity Artifact
The Elysium Commission
Viewpoints Critical
Empress of Eternity
The One-Eyed Man
Solar Express

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765375018
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 05/18/2003
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of The Magic of Recluce fantasy series, as well as many other popular fantasy and SF novels. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Vienna, 1824

As the last notes of the orchestra fade into oblivion, the audience surges to its feet, the applause thundering across the hall.
The tottering, wild-haired conductor remains facing the orchestra, as if afraid to turn, until the concertmaster, tears streaming down his cheeks, steps forward and takes the conductor's arm, guiding him to face the audience. The conductor finally smiles as he takes in the ovation he can see, but not hear.
But the smile that crosses the creased and pallid face is part joy, part wonder--and part horror that none recognize or sense but the conductor, who is also the composer. Both horror and wonder are lost in the applause that storms across the city, an applause that is darker than the night outside, an applause for music that casts a shadow far wider than any know and for far more years than any could guess.

Copyright © 2002 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

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