Review: Seeds of the Earth by Michael Cobley

Seeds of the Earth by Michael Cobley
Seeds of the Earth by Michael Cobley

Seeds of the Earth
Michael Cobley
Orbit UK, 2009 (MM, Jan 2010)

Seeds of the Earth is the first in a new space opera series by Michael Cobley.  The cover features a nice one line quote from space opera master Iain M. Banks describing the novel as “Proper galaxy-spanning space opera.”  A statement that couldn’t be more true.  Seeds of the Earth is very old school with a large cast of characters and a diverse and wonderfully vibrant phalanx of ideas that makes for an great read and excellent starting point in jumping from my epic fantasy reading of November into the stars and beyond.

Seeds of the Earth opens with humanity’s first contact with the alien Swarm.  Or at least the tail end of that conflict as we more or less witness the departure of three human colony ships (note: I read the prologue while I had a fever of 103 and, for shame, didn’t go back and re-read it after).  The novel picks up a century and a half later on the human colony world of Darien where, after struggling with the rogue AI of their colony ship, the humans have settled in a peaceful coexistence of the nature loving Uvovo.   The discovery of an ancient Uvovo ruin dating back thousands of years to a conflict with a powerful and mysterious enemy sets off a chain of reactions that thrusts Darien and its human and Uvovo inhabitants straight into danger.

More to follow with potential spoilers…

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