Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm discovering something rather odd about myself. I thought I would never like Reynold's stand-alone novels more than I liked the large-scale history and time books surrounding Revelation Space, but one after another, these books are rather blowing me away.
Pushing Ice, as a title, leaves a lot to be desired. It seems... rather pedestrian for what it actually IS.
Janus, one of Jupiter's moons, happens to be a spaceship. And more than that, forgive my spoilering, it's full of far-future tech (which may not be THAT much of a spoiler since we start out the book FROM that future.) And from there, we're forced into discovering a mystery, or a mystery within a mystery within a mystery couched within a heavily, and delightfully-so, character-driven machine. :)
In fact, we go from near-future asteroid miners to a science mission that then turns into a story of colonization, feuding, massive SFnal discoveries, leading to a ton of awesome alien interactions that remind me of how Europeans bamboozled the Native Americans. I'm not telling you the direction of the bamboozle. :)
The scope is really rather huge, across a lot of space and time and a ton of great tech, belying the rather understated title. :) As an SF of any caliber, it deserves to be WAY up there as some of the very best SF anywhere. I'm saying this even though I've read 2,000 SF titles. Yeah. It's that good. :) I'm reminded fondly and perhaps a bit desiring to push this one ahead of Rama or Eon. :)
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