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Alastair Reynolds "Pushing Ice"





Alastair Reynolds
"Pushing Ice" (nv)

(Spican Structure # 1)
© Gollanz, 2005
--novel : 2005 Arthur Clarke Award
--/ second place space sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award: cosmic structure
--/ awesome scale

A major space adventure that I've been hungering for. All the classic wonder and meta-galactic scale, all the tension and beauty of space exploration are here, plus believable human characters, and drama. Not ideal writing, mind you (a little dry - could welcome more polished, soaring style), but adequate enough to keep me enthralled for some time.

My review of this would be biased, I suppose, as most of the book's action unfolded inside my head, enhancing the prose (I am happened to be blessed with a vivid imagination), and the boundless vistas from this book will easily give Hollywood a run for its money. But first, it all starts as a gritty, tough adventure story, claustrophobic even: most action happens inside the ship chasing a runaway planet, while its crew feels trapped and entangled in their own petty fights. Then the book focuses solely on human conflict, and the evil corporate types start springing to life with astonishing clarity (perhaps Reynolds drew on his own experiences in a cubicle "Office Space" phase of his career?)

The perspectives and the landscapes begin to widen again, once our tough miners land on the artificial alien planet (which turns out to be Janus, the ice-clad moon of Saturn). And then the plot shifts into overdrive after this moon does not stop at the expected destination, but accelerates on, and on... to finally enter... a cosmological structure, which description would twist a human mind into painful knots, which only Reynolds can safely to unravel.

It is all on a grand scale, folks, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series (if it is planned, of course)
(review by Avi Abrams)

READ OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS WRITER

(art copyright CGSociety, Pawel Lewandowski)

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"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

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