« Mark Twain's Memories | Main | In the Mailbag: Most Promising Reads »

July 21, 2010


Take 2 - I'm geeky enough to try leaving this comment a second time (after it didn't take the first) even a week later when fewer folks are reading. Ah well! Must Discuss Mars book!

I appreciate this whole review. (and it reminds me a little of this similar surprised-liking review at bibliophile collective at vulpes libris: http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/red-mars-by-kim-stanley-robinson/) This book feels like it should be a well-known "cross-over" title that's not left to the sci fi ghetto, even as it deservedly gets honors there.

However, this review still doesn't capture two of the things that endear this book to me most:

1) I love these characters. They are a group of my friends, and I wonder how they're doing. Compared to most sci fi books, his character development goes far beyond the ken, but that's still a low bar. I appreciate the rashomon-esque depth that we get from the multiple perspectives, and the sense of accuracy we have from being in each character's head.

2) The social issues being debated, enacted, exploded and explored provide an excellent window on the problems we face today. Anyone on the left will recognize these tensions and threads and find resonance with the beauty and pain of their unfolding.

But then, I'm clearly a fanboy on this one.

Thanks for sharing!

I read the first two books of this series in high school, for some reason I never got around to the third, but I did love the first two, so happy reading!

There is SCIENCE fiction and there is science FICTION. Apparently you prefer the latter. Science fiction that is really worth paying attention to and not just entertainment goes beyond literature.

How much has the world changed since C.P. Snow gave his Two Cultures lecture. It is not because of the literary people that we use lasers to rip CDs and compress the music to MP3s. But it looks like the future will be screwed up because so many people don't get the science.

Borderlands of Science by Charles Sheffield
Copyright © 1999

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Isak is a space to celebrate tales and truth in the curious, joyful way embodied by the writer for which it is named. The name "Isak," after all, means "laughter," as she was fond of pointing out.

    By tales, I mean fiction (especially short fiction), as well as other literary and artistic narratives. By truth, I mean the world in which we live. I especially have my eye on creative social justice.

    Isak: The Extended Version
join the mailing list
* indicates required

Choose Books

My Photo

Support Isak

  • For more than eight years, I've edited Isak, supporting it with my time and treasure. This site has always been ad-free. If you find this website valuable, and are moved to contribute a donation, I will be deeply grateful.