16 July 2010

Alastair Reynolds - Pushing Ice

  • Author: Alastair Reynolds
  • Title: Pushing Ice
  • Publisher: Gollancz 2005
  • ISBN: 978 0575074385
OK, fanboi time. This novel is one of Al Reynolds stand alone books, set in 2057+ in a world divided between the United Economic Entities (The West) and the rogue states of Asia, the specific enemy in this instance being China.

Pushing Ice is the story of an asteroid/comet mining team who are sent to check out the former moon of Jupiter, Janus, as it accelerates out of the solar system. It turns out, Janus is some kind of alien artifact and we never noticed. As Janus accelerates, it sucks the mining ship Rockhopper along with it, headed toward the Virgo constellation, and by the time the crew notices, it's too late to back out. The lock down for a 12 year, relativistic speed journey to the stars. On Earth, 260 years have passed. Suddenly, Janus grows a roof and their view of the universe is closed off, until aliens chop their way through and make first contact.

Along the way, there are crisis political and personal. Adventures and discoveries abound as the crew of the Rockhopper try to survive and understand their new environment. But soon they discover that there may not be any chance of rescue or return, as they find out that the structure they are trapped inside might not be the one they thought it was.

This novel is a brilliant political thriller and a really fun space adventure. There are little bits of galactic history and aliens, new technological discoveries, intrigues and personal vendetta's. It has everything that a good Space Opera story should have.

5/5, a great one off story with good potential for a sequel.