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Thursday, January 12, 2023

Critical MassCritical Mass by Daniel Suarez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A certain subset of SF -- known generally as Hard SF -- has a long history of interweaving real science (up to the current knowledge of the day) with grand adventures or techno-thrillers or even philosophical treatises.

In the good ones, sometimes you get all three.

But where it gets seriously impressive is when you interweave the ideas of the Sixth Extinction and real Proof-Of-Work crypto-theory put to work on solving real grand-scale economic issues, or the very real and disturbing problems of the rise of fascism and piracy and what it means to build space stations or a near colony, while paying careful heed to great characters. There's a lot more to it, too, but these are what stood out the most to me on this read-through.

Hard SF has had a lot of these kinds of tales, to a greater or a lesser degree, but I'll just say this: it's up there with KSR's Mars trilogy if you want a good comp.

I love how it takes the next several steps forward on the path to settling in space in a highly realistic and technical way. It's also a great influx of the new technology we also have, so in a way, it's superior to most.

Highly, highly recommended.

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