The Song of the Swan
Publishers (ebook); ISBN: 1-58112-868-1
But beyond the book's obvious faults, one glimpses the bones of an interesting premise. A coded message arrives from outer space and is recorded among the data retrieved from the supernova. Five years after the initial recording, a scientist working on another project discovers the recording contains pseudo primes (not really prime numbers), which shouldn't be there. Recognizing the pseudo primes as the key to an alien code, scientists work to translate the message.
Since Song of the Swan takes its name from the "swan song" or final communiqué of the alien vessel destroyed in the supernova, one might expect the book to address "facing the music" on a number of levels. D'Alembert's novel does raise some interesting questions about ethics and conscience in the scientific community, but at the end most of the questions remain unanswered.
Since my college education concentrated on the humanities, such as reading and writing, rather than science and higher mathematics, perhaps I lack the background to understand the concepts underlying the plot. If that is the case, then I apologize to the author
But for what my opinion is worth, I found the dialogue stilted and pedantic, the characters one-dimensional, the transitions between scenes almost nil, and the plot exceedingly difficult to follow.
Patricia White is
the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her
current book, the western