Cusp (2005)

In the near future Earth is sprouting two rings that are nothing more than gigantic propulsion systems. Since the sun has left it’s original position a little earlier, Earth follows. And then both, the mother star and our homely plant are silent again. Years later, after these events (which have reshaped Earth’s society and killed billions), signs of the restart of the suns propulsion system are imminent.

Cusp has the same endearing qualities like Metzger’s earlier novel Picoverse, an extremely fast pacing, a plot that is a bit like an onion, layers inside of layers until the very end. A plot twist isn’t something that happens occasionally in a Metzger novel, it’s normality. All that is combined with a heap of neat ideas and a good dose of Sense of Wonder. Metzger writes as if there’s no tomorrow, his novels are the action blockbuster of the SF genre (and yet they still read like hard SF, this is not easily digested, brainless stuff). You don’t get much introspection or deep insights into his characters, but they are still a likable bunch, because amidst all the seemingly inhuman technology of this near-singularity future most of them preserve their humanity till the very end.