An image of the cover of the Golden Age by John C. Wright.

The Golden Age Reviews

All reviews are the copyrighted work of their respective authors.


Back to the book.


"It's already clear...that Wright may be this fledgling century's most important new SF talent.
... [The Golden Age] is a rare and mind-blowing treat."

(Publishers Weekly)


"John C. Wright has seized the attention of much of the SF world. Reviewers have spoken of him as equivalent to William Gibson and Gene Wolfe in potential importance, and there is substance to these assessments."

-Nick Gevers (Locus Magazine)


"a debut novel worthy of van Vogt... this book gets high marks for its wealth of intriguing ideas (at least two per page, many of which would spark entire trilogies)...."

-Paul Di Filippo (Science Fiction Weekly)


John Wright is brilliant - the sheer breadth of his writing is spellbinding, his imagination is stunning, the novel excellently crafted. This book has Nebula or Hugo written all over it.

-Gregory Deych (Amazon.com review)


Hugo/Nebula contender (and likely winner)

... _The Golden Age_ is one of the most original novels to come out in years. John Wright lays out and tosses away more inventive, imaginative ideas in a few pages than many SF authors manage in a whole book. And not only has he developed a long-term extrapolation of human/technical evolution, he has done so in a story built on various intersections of myth and philosophy.
.... He never forgets the need to be a good storyteller, yet probes close to the bone on such core issues as the determination of truth, the nature of reality and the tension between individual freedom and social good.
Utterly outstanding. ....

-Bruce F. Webster (Amazon.com review)


Pure mental exhilaration. Ideas enough for 20 novels.

If this book were titled "Brilliant new ideas for SF writers" and simply listed alphabetically the ideas Wright packs into his story it would still be worth the money. There are single paragraphs in "The Golden Age" which contain more original concepts than the entire works of other SF writers. I had the distinct sense that Wright has had a very pregnant mind for far too long and that finally writing everything down was an incredible release for him. This all begs the obvious question: What hideous ogre has kept him off the shelves? Why are we shackled with "Picard Gets a Hangnail, Part IV" when we could have books like the "The Golden Age"? Someone in the publishing world needs to be fired. ...Wright is so comfortable and fluent with his ideas you get the impression he's not extrapolating so much as explaining the world in which he lives.

(Amazon.com review)


In a future where humans, artificial personalities, and other exotic life forms coexist in the now-settled solar system, Phaethon, a scion of Radamanthus House, discovers that sometime in his past his memories had been locked away from him and that his familiar identity is a false one. Driven to discover his true history and his real name, Phaethon journeys across the solar system, seeking answers among human immortals, intelligent machines, and digital personalities among others. Bursting with kaleidoscopic imagery, Wright's first novel chronicles the quest of a far-future everyman in his journey of self-discovery. Reminiscent of the panoramic novels of Arthur C. Clarke, Iain Banks, and Jack Vance, this allegorical space opera belongs in most sf collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

(Library Journal)


"the most ambitious and impressive science fiction novel since China Mieville's Perdido Street Station"

(Amazon.com editorial review)


Named one of the "Editors' Picks" top 5 "Best of 2002" in Science Fiction & Fantasy at Amazon.Com.


Reading John C. Wright's first novel, The Golden Age, is like coming to the edge of a great precipice, looking down into total blackness, and then stepping off -- only to be fully immersed a second later in a brilliant new universe of surreal illusions and ever-changing reality.

From the very first sentences, I was fully absorbed in the grand Millennial Celebration, which takes place more than 10,000 years in the future. "It was a time of masquerade. It was the eve of the High Transcendence, an event so solemn and significant that it could be held but once each thousand years, and folk of every name and iteration, phenotype, composition, consciousness and neuro-form, from every school and era, had come to celebrate its coming, to welcome the transfiguration, and to prepare."

An interplanetary utopian society stretches across the solar system. Humans, for the most part, are immortal. It is paradise. Phaethon is attending a party to celebrate the anniversary of the High Transcendence, when he meets a mountainous Neptunian who claims to be an old friend. The Neptunian tells Phaethon that parts of his memory have been removed and are being kept somewhere by the government. Intuitively, Phaethon trusts the stranger and vows to recover his past. His dangerous journey will lead him across the solar system, and to his true identity.

The Golden Age is much more than an epic space adventure; it's an ambitious, deep book that is comparable in style and scope to Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter.

-Paul Goat Allen (The Barnes & Noble Review)


"Anyone else considering writing about virtual reality needs to read Wright, because the man does it right." Mervius's Rating: "best rating, fantastic, instant classic"

-Eva Wojcik-Obert (Fantastica Daily)


Found on the web: Comment to newsgroup (?)

Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 09:47:24 +0100 (BST)
From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Nicholas=20Gevers?=
Subject: (urth) Wright's The Golden Age

Just to repeat an earlier recommendation, which I can now doubly back up: John C. Wright's THE GOLDEN AGE: A ROMANCE OF THE FAR FUTURE, just out from Tor, is a dazzling masterpiece in the Vance/Wolfe vein, with a lot of subtle touches AND a huge eloquence. First in a series, but that just guarantees further wonders...

-Nick Gevers [of Locus Magazine].


"John C. Wright (in other reviews) has been compared (aptly) with both Cordwainer Smith and with Jack Vance."

(Amazon.com review)


"Bear, Brin, Baxter, and Clarke, you have company. Wright is going to be a powerful new voice in SF and "The Golden Age" proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Stunning."

-Gary S. Potter, Author/Poet


"THE GOLDEN AGE is a great futuristic science fiction that genre fans will absolutely love. The story line is fabulous as the heroic Phaethon struggles between his own needs and that of the greater good while he does not grasp either."

-Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar, John C. Wright "Fan Club" (allscifi.com)