The Outside

(The Outside)

Published Nov. 6, 2019 by Angry Robot.


View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (2 reviews)

Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI Gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy – if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor. With her homeworld’s fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out.

2 editions

Nice surprise!

4 stars

I originally picked this up because the tag-line looked like this book would be about Roko's basilisk. While this is technically not wrong, the concept really just plays a world building role (like FTL travel and ansible communication) rather being the focal point of the story. It is not even explained, just implied and the reader is expected to know about it already.

The main theme of the story are cosmic horrors and the relationship between science and spiritualism, done in a very interesting way. It should be noted that although this is about cosmic horrors, it is not at all scary. Overall, it was not at all what I was expecting but nonetheless very nice!

A technical system for explaining Cthulu?

4 stars

The idea that the "gods" (uplifted AIs) are now real and busy protecting us from incursions by "the Outside" is a fascinating playground to set a story in. A lead scientist goes of the rails and invites the Outside in on a planet and the gods send troops down to try and stem the tide of weirdness and unreality. Great stuff.