Study Guide

Furious Gulf Summary & Study Guide

Gregory Benford
This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Furious Gulf.
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Furious Gulf Summary & Study Guide Description

Furious Gulf Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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The last remnant of the Family Bishop flees on Argo, a spaceship they are unequipped to operate. The myriapodia Quath resides on Argo's hull. Pursued by mechs, they enter the galactic jet of a black hole near True Center, hoping to be spewed out. Following a Magnetic Mind that relays a message from Killeen's father, Abraham, Argo slips into a time pit. They arrive in an alternate space-time called esty, at Port Athena. Processed by a clerk named Andro, the Cap'n offers Quath to the esty dwarves, along with the Legacies from Argo. Toby objects and evades punishment by fleeing into the esty lanes accompanied by Quath. The mechs find them in the Lanes. Under attack from the Mantis, Quath is wounded and insists that Toby flee. Toby wanders the esty, encountering humans, scavengers and barely escaping the Mantis. Finally, he is ushered into a mysterious pyramid by a Brit named Walmsley.

As the Family Bishop nears the True Center, crewmembers grow restive. They question Killeen's purpose in bringing Argo here. Killeen argues that is it the Bishop's destiny as the only remaining family to explore the True Center, where he hopes they will learn of humankind's past glory. Toby defends his father from the detractors.

On the advice of a Magnetic Mind claiming to relay instructions from Killeen's missing father, Abraham, Killeen steers Argo to seemingly certain destruction in a black hole. Pursued by mechs, the humans take refuge in Besik Bay, but are soon forced out. At the last moment, with the help of the myriapodia, Argo is able to elude the mechs and slip into a galactic jet. There, she enters the city of Port Athena in the manufactured esty, a wrinkle in space-time that allows matter to accrue.

When Killeen would barter away the intelligent myriapodia Quath, Toby objects. He also refuses to allow Killeen to restore the Shibo personality. Instead, Toby and Quath flee across the esty. Quath is soon injured, and orders Toby to go on without her. Toby wanders aimlessly through the esty, pursued by mechs and encountering an unsavory selection of humans. Eventually he realizes that the universe is neither for, nor against humans. It is simply indifferent to them. Toby understands that both Killeen and the mech Mantis want the same thing from him . . . his very self. Only by fleeing, has Toby preserved his innermost self, and learned to appreciate the importance of family.

Much of the impact of Furious Gulf depends upon the reader's lack of comprehension, just as the Bishops fail to understand the intricate workings of the surrounding technology and the vagaries of space-time. Benford is a Nebula award winning science fiction author, as well as a physicist and astronomer. He is a professor at the University of California at Irvine and has served on NASA's Science Advisory Board.

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