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I have no idea how I missed this one back in the 90's. Let me assure you, it is not dated in any way (except for the dates on a few discoveries that seem not to have occurred!).
It's a profoundly great book that everyone with even a twinkling of interest in speculative fiction should read.
If you haven't yet, then I envy you. I wish they had done a sequel.
The narrator was great. Overall the story was ok. It seemed more like a thought experiment than a story. I was interested in the last quarter of the book and wished the authors had gone into more detail about the alien race.
It's essentially an essay on a possible doomsday scenario. Not a happy novel, but some interesting ideas on how and why an alien intelligence might exterminate us.
The novel struggles to build on its elemental premise, I.e, a space fairing human race is a threat to other civilisations and must be eliminated. Most of the book is ham fisted thrusting of this viewpoint which does little to aid the plot. The authors constantly reiterate the importance of the relativistic bomb in a manner which implies they are proud of it and terribly clever. Such character development as exists consists of long winded anecdotes which serve as little more than mouthpieces for the authors views. I don't buy the absorption bomb idea which is crucial to one plot line. There is a general lack of conclusion but that is acceptable in the context of the story arc. Having said all this the book is still worth reading and raises some interesting questions.