Friday, March 18, 2011

Into Darkness - Greg Egan


Number of words : 7300
Percent of complex words : 9.6
Average syllables per word : 1.5
Average words per sentence : 16.8


Fog : 10.5
Flesch : 62.4
Flesch-Kincaid : 8.7


John Nately

High-school science teacher and on his eleventh call as a volunteer Intake Runner.


John's driver this time.


A fellow Runner and long-time acquaintance.


A programmer who produces Intake software for Runners.


The Intake

A giant black dome, completely non-reflective, blotting out a great bite of the sky. Possibly a wormhole. Appears at random around the world for a few minutes. Inside, any movement which equates to travelling from the future into the past is forbidden. It destroys whatever was in its touchdown path when it leaves.

The Core

The inner part of The Intake. If you can reach here, you will generally be safe.

South Operations Centre

A couple of vans of tracking electronics on someone's lawn to monitor The Intake.


Demolition Gun

Used by Runners in The Intake.


The Intake is a suspected wormhole/hyperspace travelling artifact that haunts the author, appearing at random places and devastating the small area it affects and trapping people inside, many of whom die, some of them because they don't understand it.

It changes the underlying physics of the area which also means the processes of the human body. John is a fit Runner, able to venture inside The Intake and attempt to assist and rescue people, which he volunteers to do along with others.

On his eleventh run he manages to help a child although it turns out she was dying anyway, and a man who has lost his legs.

He meets Elaine at The Core. Their wait for The Intake to depart is longer than usual. Very rarely, it can last for many hours, dooming all those inside. It ends with Elaine snoozing on John's shoulder, as they wait and see if this time it is all over for them, or if it will go away shortly.

4.5 out of 5

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