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REVIEW: Macrolife by George Zebrowski

REVIEW SUMMARY: Zebrowski has great ideas and you can instantly tell they are well thought-out and advanced. Unfortunately there is no real story and as a result it reads like a non-fiction book.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Because resources on planets are inherently finite, life must expand beyond its sunspace and move throughout the galaxies and ultimately the universe. To do so is to become Macrolife – taking it up a level beyond merely a single world. Zebrowski’s example of this are hollowed asteroids turned into starships that are really worldlets.


PROS: Collection of well-conceived and well-constructed ideas on the future.

CONS: Little that engages the reader beyond pure theory; lack of any relevant story.

BOTTOM LINE: Given that Zebrowski’s ideas permeate the rest of the science fiction world you have to give him the nod for creating an extremely compelling set of theories. Unfortunately it feels more like a non-fiction book and is thus somewhat hard to read – be aware before picking this one up and hoping for a piece of pulp-fiction for the summer.

4 Comments on REVIEW: Macrolife by George Zebrowski

  1. Sure, it ain’t pulp, but it has been one of my favorites ever since I first enountered it as a paperback with a beautiful Rick Sternbach cover way back when. It ain’t pulp, but it is one fine example of why science fiction is often called “the literature of ideas”.


  2. I have to admit that I enjoyed his ideas immensely but found his prose pedantic and sometimes boring. I ended up skipping huge sections to get to the next point. Overall I’m really glad I read it, but felt it was a bit of a chore to get through.

  3. “The World, the Flesh & the Devil” by J. D. Bernal.

    It’s short, available online (google it for a URL),

    and written in 1929(!!!).

    Oh, and it’s Macrolife. The earlier, original version.

  4. “World” isn’t SF though. There are several works that inspired “Macrolife”, e.g., Dandridge Cole. (As a side note, I have made “World” into a PalmReader eBook. Great short work. Enough ideas to inspire an entire SF career; it certainly had a lot of impact on folks like Arthur C. Clarke.)

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