Knight Moves (novel)

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Knight Moves is a 1985 space opera novel by American author Walter Jon Williams.

Overview[edit]

The book is set in the far future where humanity has mostly left the solar system for other worlds. The book follows Doran Falkner, a genius who is primarily responsible for the scientific discoveries which revolutionized human society. Chief among these is a device which provides cheap and unlimited energy as well as creating impenetrable force fields. This device solved the problems of scarce resources, protected populations from violence, and allowed near lightspeed travel. In the wake of these discoveries humanity also developed medical technologies which made humans effectively immortal. Given these revolutions most of humanity has left to colonize other worlds, leaving only a few dozen thousand people living on an Earth which has mostly been abandoned. However, Falkner's past hides a secret. He did not actually discover these revolutionary technologies. Rather, he had a chance encounter with an alien archeologist. This alien sold Falkner the technology in order to depopulate Earth so that the alien could study the ruins of our civilizations without being disturbed. Now, centuries after the discoveries which revolutionized human society, Falkner is bored. He is looking for a new challenge which will change the status quo and he thinks he has found it in a far off planet. On that world researchers who have been studying the native fauna believe they have discovered a kangaroo like animal which is able to teleport. Intrigued by the revolutionary possibilities of faster than light travel, Falkner and his colleagues travel to the planet to study the animals. What they discover is that it is not the animals themselves who are teleporting. Rather they discover a race of disembodied extradimensional aliens. Some of these aliens, who possess powers of telekinesis and teleportation, grew bored and decided to play a game which involved teleporting these alien creatures in complicated patterns. The novel ends with the aliens effortlessly teleporting Falkner and his colleagues across the light years back to Earth.