The Memory of Earth
A book review.
by Orson Scott Card
In short, this is a novel by the author of Ender's Game and Speaker For the Dead which has as much of a science-based premise as those earlier works, but it becomes more of a soap opera than story.
This is a work of Sci-Fi set in a distant colony of humanity. Its citizenry live lives sheltered from the devastations of advanced technology (e.g. the pollution, inter-ballistic missiles, tel-evangelists) by a nearly omniscient computer intelligence. This benign overseer has successfully maintained a stable system for countless millennia, in which agrarian empires, kingdoms, and city-states come and go within a structure of religion based on the teachings of the overseer's builders.
This story takes place just when the computer system at the heart of it all begins to pack it in after a million years, as if due to a Y1M problem. The story focuses on one family of individuals with the right mix of talents and skills that the overseer uses to see to it that the unstructured future of Humanity begins with the right baby steps.
Unfortunately, the excellent setting and very worth-while proposition don't pan out in the execution. I found myself flipping through the last half of the book to see how things worked out, rather than really reading it, just because it wasn't worth wading through the interminable Luke-I-am-your-father stuff.