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The Freeze-Frame Revolution (Sunflower Cycle)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  180 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
She believed in the mission with all her heart.
But that was sixty million years ago.

How do you stage a mutiny when you're only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, on
Paperback, 192 pages
Expected publication: June 12th 2018 by Tachyon Publications
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Eric Stanfield If you like Watts's stuff, you won't be disappointed. If you haven't read him, it's probably one of his 'easier' books to get in to.

Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this novella is not meant to be read on its own. Could be regarded as a standalone, but you’ll feel like something is missing. And that’s because it’s part of a series of stories, entitled the Sunflower cycle, which includes three more short ones (so far).*

Publication order is: The Island (2009) - Winner of Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2010 -, Hotshot (2014), Giants (2014) and The Freeze-Frame Revolution (June 2018).

Now, after reading all, my advice is they are to be read in
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is some classy hard-hard SF. :) Black hole/worm hole drive using new and real theories? Hell yeah.

But beyond that, I love the whole idea of short periods of wakefulness during a single trip that takes 65 million years.

Add a rebellion against IBM... I mean HAL... I mean CHIMP, without expecting anything to go quite the way that 2001 went, or even remotely like it, and we've got a really fascinating story.

Watts knows how to build really fascinating locations and situations... maybe better th
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
9 out of 10 at:

For sixty-five million years, the crew of the starship Eriophora has been building gates to facilitate faster space travel for human expansion. The ship is ruled by Chimp, a “dumb” AI built with a lower synapse count to keep it at relatively human-level intelligence, and every few thousand or million or so years a build crew is selected and awakened from among its 30,000-plus population to assist in the logistics of gate construction. Sunda
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
4.5 rounded up to 5 (Rating is for the entire Sunflower Cycle series so far)

I’ve held off reviewing this for some time now. Once I finished reading it, I just couldn’t fully wrap my head around what I had just read. In attempting to understand the story better, I went and looked at some other reviews of people who enjoyed the story to hopefully gather some details I may have missed. I’m so glad I did that because I found this great review by Claudia -, wh
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Watts is the only hard sci-fi author I’ve found so far whose writing is so dark it’s practically black. I actually stumbled on him somehow somehow through the horror community. Reading Blindsight was like having a religious experience. Freeze-Frame was just as enjoyable and probably more accessible due to the novella-ish length. I imagine Peter Watts isn’t for everybody. For people with a simultaneous interest in sci-fi and horror (or dark fiction,) he’s worth a look. If there are any other auth ...more
Steven Shaviro
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This new novella by Peter Watts is part of a series of stories he has been writing, on and off, for some time now. The series seems to be called Sunflowers. The other stories to date (Hotshot, The Island, and Giants) are available for free download from the author's website: .
The basic idea is this: a group of human beings live and work on a spaceship that is circling the galaxy, at a substantial fraction of light speed, in order to create wormholes - so that future spaceships from Earth will be
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: llegits-2018
Un universo excepcional. El mejor Watts ha vuelto
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Note: I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions on this book.

I should start of by stating I don't read a lot of hard-sf based around AI... because I just don't get it. I am an absolute nightmare with anything related to computers, technology, physics... and these type of stories just go way over my head.

When I read the synopsis of this book though it immediatly struck me as a fascinating plot. And it was! It was a fascinating
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review is here, on my blog.

So, I’ll start out by saying that this story has a really unique and fascinating premise. Sunday Ahzmundin is part of a crew of 30,000 people that are flying through the galaxy on their spaceship, the Eriophora. I’m not sure I 100% understood the technology that is involved, but from what I do think I understand a bit, it uses a singularity drive (so, a black hole), and they continuously make ‘gates’ with it, which I believe are used to make wormholes that they tr
Christopher Farnsworth
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every time I read Peter Watts, I find myself looking up words that I had no idea existed. I like to think of myself as a pretty smart guy, and Watts' books blow a hole in that idea every single time. I love them despite this. Or maybe because of it. It is a joy to see someone work at the very top of their game and make it look so effortless. Watts invents whole worlds to support his stories and novels, and they are so well-engineered that they are practically invisible, humming along quietly in ...more
I wanted to like this novella a lot more than I actually did.

Years ago when I first discovered Starfish, Watts’ writing felt like a revelation: Here was someone who could do hard science fiction right, who had done some hard digging into the scientific literature, thought a while, and come up with a well-reasoned “what if” near-future scenario. A tremendously bleak future, yes, but full of detail: it was never hard to imagine how that world arose from our present, what it would look like, what t
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Peter Watts is one of the best writers of science-fiction at work today, and criminally underrated. 'The Freeze-Frame Revolution' is a stand-alone novella set on an AI-run starship circling the galaxy; having launched in our relatively near future, it now finds itself millions of years deeper into time, creating warp gates for a human race that is either long gone or long evolved into something unknowable. That, however, is the least of the crew's problems.

Watts's writing is as strong as ever, a
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the third of Watt's books that I've read, the first two being the Firefall duology. I was amazed then at the depth and creativity that Watt's had into his books, and utterly unnerved at the pure alienness of them. This book is nearly completely different. For one, it's much more accessible; both the language and the science behind the technology are much softer than his previous novels. I won't say it's completely handwavey, but it is a hell of a lot closer than Echopraxia. I think.

Manda Scott
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A novella (if you say so) that beats most novels into a cocked hat. I stayed up way too late reading it, so no deep insights here except that its mind-stretching brilliance is a source of wonder, delight and authorial envy.
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-sf, space-opera
Pretty much standard Watts, bleak, hard SF with zero chance of a positive outcome for the pitiful meat-bag characters doomed to act as the "Evil" Artificial Stupidity driving the space equivalent of the Flying Dutchman, forever cursed to roam the galaxy and build wormhole gates on the orders of "the Man", a cold, callous government dens of millions of years dead.

The low rating (3.4 stars) is due to the fact that the story is:
1) Quite short.
2) Watts promised us this long ago, and left us with the
Joe Karpierz
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Peter Watts since I read BLINDSIGHT, his 2006 novel that was a finalist for the Hugo award in 2007. I remember not being really sure of what I was reading, but I was convinced that Watts was writing some pretty cool stuff of the type I hadn't much seen before. His material is not for the weak of heart; it's dark, thought provoking, and in general not very optimistic. It's smart, layered, and involved. It's not summertime beach reading.

Watts' latest novella - or novel, if you
Tsana Dolichva
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts is a long novella — or a short novel, according to comments in the back-matter — about people on a very long-haul space flight that they mostly spend cryogenically frozen. The title comes from the idea of staging a revolution in short snippets over long periods of time. (Very long periods of time: the story opens about 65 million Earth-years after the journey started.)

This book caught my eye because of the premise and because I’ve been in a science fict
Elli Andrews
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 65 million year mission ran almost entirely by AI with a random selection of human crew woken up every 1000 years to check up on it - but what if the mission starts to go wrong? How do you stage a mutiny when you are only awake one day in a thousand years, when the handful of people you wake up with are chosen by the AI and the AI watches every move from your own eyes?

The premise of Freeze Frame Revolution is one that greatly intrigued me to pick it up, kept me interested whilst reading and st
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd have been 5 stars, but the ending was, to me, kinda unsatisfactory. I need this book to have more... erm... book in it.

Otherwise, the world is mindbendingly amazing. I was hooked by the idea of a ship on a journey to the end of time, building wormhole gates as it goes, even after so much time has passed nothing human can possibly still be around to use them. You know those books about the human race discovering ancient artifacts of untold power and unknown purpose from some long gone god-li
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sunday Ahzmundin is one of 30,000 people aboard the Eriophora, a spaceship that traverses the galaxy building wormhole gates, which it has doing for over 60 million years. The ship's AI, called the Chimp, keeps everyone in stasis most of the time. Sunday wakes up in a group with 5 or 6 other people every thousand years, but she's only awake a few days each time so she's only aged about 20 years.

Sunday used to believe in the mission for which she was bred. She used to like spending time with the
Ralph Blackburn
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts- In the far future, which seems like yesterday to them, a group of specially developed people assist in building interstellar gates that will allow mankind to spread throughout the galaxy. The hitch is they've been doing this task for many millions of years, but without any end in sight. They wake up for a one-day tour of duty on opposite shifts, rarely with the same crew, then return to a dream world for an uncountable number of years before rising aga ...more
Eric Stanfield
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I see Peter Watts has a new book out, I grab my credit card (even though most of his stuff is free to download off his website).

Freeze Frame is really, really good. Enjoyed the story (I'm a sucker for sci-fi time/relativity based plots), the characters were a little more accessible than those in his other books, and it felt really 'tight' which is likely the reason it weighed in at novella length.

Two quibbles...

First, there's a character referred to in goofy gender-neutral pronouns. I don't care
Space opera napędzana ciemnymi, filozoficznymi oraz naukowymi ideami dotyczącymi ludzkich i maszynowych umysłów (dzieci, nigdy nie antropomorfizujcie sztucznych sieci neuronowych!) o gigantycznej wręcz sile intelektualno-emocjonalnego rażenia. Po lekturze tej książki warto włożyć mózg do ciekłego azotu by schłodzić przegrzane synapsy, czyli Peter Watts w życiowej formie. Na pewno przeczytam ponownie, tak jak "Ślepowidzenie", żeby lepiej przyswoić te wszystkie olśniewające wizje jakie proponuje w ...more
SA Schlueter
Intense as a standalone, though part of a larger body. Hard Science fiction, exquisitely character driven, and very interesting / unique journey. Could not put it down until it was completed. Still need to digest the ending, so I am without doubt reading the rest of the Sunflower cycle to give it a new spin.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from NetGalley and Tachyon Publications in exchange for an honest review.
j eustace
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Watts again

No sense writing a glowing review here. Watts is art you discover and dig instantly or not. Watts is like listening to Charlie Parker and feeling every note in your heart. For those of you who can dig it, be assured that in this latest work Watts doesn't miss a beat. Still crazy(scratch that) still as mind stretching brilliant as ever.
Emily Moore
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh woooooow, that’s some heavy sci-fi. Calling all science nerds this is the book for you. Think the Martian but without a pause to explain for all the dummies in the room. Watts hits hard and doesn’t stop with the space travel and science world building.

Sunday is just one of 30,000 people aboard a spaceship cruising through space and time. As they progress they’re planting wormholes to planet Earth. They were groomed for the mission since they were young. Earth is a bit of a dump so the chance
Myo Denis
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Irresitable Page-turner

Well, for me, at least... My only complaint is that it's just a bloody NOVELLA, as the gifted author insists. I've read his trilogy, which was likewise captivating, and now I'll go hunting for anything I may have missed. Go on, treat yourself!
Nikita Minin
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Interesting, if only little bit short novel. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a beginning of the series of novels, because Peter Watts have another stories based around the characters of this novel.
Andreea Marin
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Klaus Varias
To short.
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Sunflower Cycle (4 books)
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“Black holes are the ultimate garbage can.” 0 likes
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