Does anyone know the name of a sci-fi book about a group of people traveling a great distance from Earth. They had little roll-up iPad type computers that could be stuck up on a wall together to make a large screen. When they eventually landed one of the women was banished from the main ship. At one location / structure on the planet they had to be careful to randomise the path they took when walking, as sometimes people disappeared into holes which were sealed up again and unable to be opened. I think also there was some reference to a cube which was a power source. Also, they kept playing a small bit of video data which featured a woman from CNN.

  • 2
    When did you read it? What language was it in? Do you remember anything about the cover? – phantom42 Sep 22 '15 at 10:56
  • I read it about 10 years ago but don't know if it was a new release, it was in English. More info: i think the cube thingy was dwindling in power or getting smaller the more they used it and I think they found it in the place/planet (?) they went to. Part of the book skipped ahead about 10-12 years at which point the banished lady had set herself up in an external structure which had rarely been visited by the other travelers. They knew the place they had landed was occupied by aliens / intelligence but never saw it, though they did hook up connections to use the local power. – Maggles Sep 23 '15 at 1:51
  • For some reason this reminds me of one of the Rama sequels by Gentry Lee and Arthur C. Clarke. But it's been long enough since I read them that I can't be sure. – David Sep 23 '15 at 3:56
  • possibly the same as scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/199835/… (which is newer but has an accepted answer) – Otis Dec 5 at 13:32

The book you are looking for is Pushing Ice, by Alastair Reynolds.

group of people traveling a great distance from Earth.

The crew of the Rockhopper get tasked with following Saturns moon Janus, after it ditches its disguise and starts heading out of the solar system. The Rockhopper gets caught in its wake and finds it impossible to stop, and so ends up travelling on Janus to its destination.

They had little roll-up iPad type computers that could be stuck up on a wall together to make a large screen

The main computer shown is called a Flexie, and is actually a distributed network - they can be combined in the story as you remember.

When they eventually landed one of the women was banished from the main ship.

There is a major dispute between Bella, the captain of Rockhopper, and its chief mechanic Svetlana - Bella loses the dispute and is banished from all contact with the rest of the crew when the Rockhopper lands on Janus.

At one location / structure on the planet they had to be careful to randomise the path they took when walking, as sometimes people disappeared into holes which were sealed up again and unable to be opened

After finding a very slowly rotating spire and using its incredible torque to generate power, a technician is killed when he repeats a regular inspection several times in repetition - its discovered that Janus punishes repetition, and so the crew take to carrying around methods of introducing randomness into their lives (dice etc).

I think also there was some reference to a cube which was a power source.

A cube of femtotechnology was sent by the descendants of humanity to help Bella and the Rockhopper for the benefits their experience brought to humanity.

Also, they kept playing a small bit of video data which featured a woman from CNN.

Bellas last transmission to Earth while Janus is speeding away is used millions of years later by the descendants of humanity.

  • I never saw this question when it was asked! Too bad, as this is the book I would have said as well. Good find, almost certainly the correct book. – Web Head Jan 21 '16 at 14:21

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