The Golden Age Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Golden Age

Tor, Apr 2002, 24.95, 304 pp.
ISBN: 0312848706

Ten millenniums into the future, the solar system is a human utopia as mankind has achieved near immortality. However, at the millennial High Transcendence gala, Phaethon Prime of Rhadamanth meets a Neptunian who insists they are old friends, but Phaethon fails to recognize the individual. Though the latter is part of a nonstandard neuroform renowned as pranksters, Phaethon believes the Neptunian and wonders why he recalls nothing about what has happened to him over the past five centuries.
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Phaethon begins investigating his memory loss. He learns that he volunteered to temporarily surrender his memories to a government storage facility in an attempt not to use them for three months in order to inherit the estate of his deceased father. If he breaks the agreement, Phaeton faces exile and a loss of immortality. However, he worries that his lack of recollection could prove threatening to the lifestyle of the Golden Oecumene that comprises every sentient being in the solar system. In spite of the moral dilemma Phaethon feels in exile and begins his quest to find his stored memories.

THE GOLDEN AGE is a great futuristic science fiction that genre fans will absolutely love. The story line is fabulous as the heroic Phaeton struggles between his own needs and that of the greater good while he does not grasp either. The only weakness in Mr. Wright's strong debut is that the audience needs to wait for the release of the second book to learn what happens to Phaethon. This left this reviewer crashing from a reading high. To avoid major disappointment I suggest waiting for the concluding novel in order to read both together.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Golden Age

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   info about lifeform(s)/society/phenomena Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   search for identity/new understanding    -   change of heart Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   long lived adults


Earth setting:    -   distant future Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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John C. Wright Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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