Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward
A neutrino star has made its way into our solar system, and on it live a race called the cheela. Because they move at the speed of neutrinos, a year of their life takes place in less than a minute of our time. This also means that their speed of evolution is incredible. From the time the humans notice the star, to our meeting with the cheela, and the brief time we talk to them, the evolution of the cheela is incredible. This book follows that evolution.
Wow! Just, wow! What an incredibly thought provoking book. Each epoch of the cheela civilization is sketched in poignant vignettes, and we don't really stay with any one cheela for very long because we are spanning hundreds of millions of years in their evolution, but this journey is so great.
Forward manages to imbue each cheela we meet with just enough personality for a connection to be made as well as give us an overview how everything is changing even as the humans make their 'slow' way toward the inevitable meeting. It's tough to describe just how awesome this journey through time is. Imagine a time lapse video of a civilization in book form, but so much more poignant.
Now, there is quite a bit of science terminology at the beginning of the book, but for the most part if you don't understand, it doesn't matter for the story. Basically, don't let the fact that this is a hard sci-fi book stop you from enjoying the incredible journey it can take you on. Piece of advice though, the timestamps are very important for the story so pay attention to them.
Oh, also there is a sequel to this story, so even though this book is really awesome as a stand along, I will read the sequel at some point and post a review.
Star Rating: 5.0/5.0
For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.