Count to a Trillion : Book One of the Eschaton Sequence
Author(s): John C. Wright
Hundreds of years in the future, after the collapse of the Western world, young Menelaus Illation Montrose grows up in what was once Texas as a gunslinging duelist for hire. But Montrose is also a mathematical genius—and a romantic who dreams of a future in which humanity rises from the ashes to take its place among the stars.
The chance to help usher in that future comes when Montrose is recruited for a manned interstellar mission to investigate an artifact of alien origin. Known as the Monument, the artifact is inscribed with data so complex, only a posthuman mind can decipher it. So Montrose does the unthinkable: he injects himself with a dangerous biochemical drug designed to boost his already formidable intellect to superhuman intelligence. It drives him mad.
Nearly two centuries later, his sanity restored, Montrose is awakened from cryo-suspension with no memory of his posthuman actions, to find Earth transformed in strange and disturbing ways, and learns that the Monument still carries a secret he must decode—one that will define humanity's true future in the universe.
“It's a pity the word 'awesome' has been misused to the point of meaninglessness: it would once have been an ideal description of Count To A Trillion. Instead, I'll say that the novel came perilously close to overloading my capacity for wonder, burning out all my ‘gosh' circuits--and I¹ve been reading science fiction assiduously since 1954. Mr. Wright is a major figure in the recent renaissance of space opera, the kind of writer who is equally at home with hard science and poetry, the kind you read slowly and carefully, and very happily. Count to a trillion, as slow as you like: you'll be done long before you forget this story, or its Texan gunfighter hero, a child-abuse survivor yearning with all his heart for a cartoon future of hope called The Asymptote.” —Spider Robinson, author of Very Hard Choices
“Spectacularly clever… in weaving together cutting edge speculation along the outer fringes of science. Highly impressive.” —Kirkus
“R.A.Lafferty meets A.E.VanVogt in a cakewalk through a future full of anti-matter, alien artifacts, transhumans, an Iron Ghost, a Texas gunfighter, and a Space Princess. Well worth the price of admission.” —Michael Flynn
“Wright is at his best…. Appealing to readers interested in glimpses of the unfathomable immensities of our universe.” —Publisher's Weekly
“An awe-inspiring book, brave and full of wonder. Count to a Trillion pokes grand fun of humanity and post-humanity alike.” —Brenda Cooper, author of Reading the Wind
“An elegant stylist and a true visionary, Wright will delight hard sf fans with his exuberance, while his characters and plot keep the action fast and furious.” —Library Journal
“This is much more than a space opera, and fills your mind with intriguing, startling possibilities. John Wright's novel is bursting with ideas, blending mythology, machine and human evolution, mathematics, space travel, and much more. The hero, Montrose, is caught in the crosshairs of deadly, highly unusual foes--and his fate could very well determine the fate of everyone on Earth. Ultimately this is about human survival and potential, the future of mankind across a trillion star systems.” —Brian Herbert