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Pushing Ice Kindle Edition
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About the Author
John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian, and from the very real life of Napoleon to the entirely imagined lives of sorcerers and swashbucklers. An AudioFile Golden Voice narrator, he is the winner of numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B0819W1L1W
- Publisher : Orbit (April 21, 2020)
- Publication date : April 21, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 1106 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 529 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #31,190 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Why not five?
- Character development was choppy. I wanted so much more depth to some, but got way too much depth on what was really a poorly defined conflict between the two main characters. Too much attention was paid to this conflict where more page space could have been given to the most amazing space context and aliens and cool stuff. Give me the hard stuff, not poorly written character drama.
Why not four?
- I started skipping pages at times. Crucially, I started skipping paragraphs of boring plot or descriptive character conflict resolution in the last 20 pages. I shouldn't be skipping a word in a novel with this much potential.
*** Minor Spoilers Below ***
- There is so much amazing stuff in here! I feel guilty only giving it three. The concept. The early solar system context. The ride on the artifact. The aliens. The final battle. I wanted so much more of all of these! But they seemed to often be kind of dripped out inbetween what is essentially a rediculous interpersonal conflict.
Does this sound like a paean? Oh, but it is. Seldom has this reviewer felt fuller after 500 pages of hard science fiction than this outstanding time dilation masterpiece. If you liked Poul Anderson’s classic “Tau Zero” one-way express into the future, you are going to love Reynold’s trek which feature a much bigger vehicle and much better fleshed out characters.
Apart from the big science fiction idea, there is also a big feud in Pushing Ice between two of the strongest females in science fiction, Bella Lind and Svetlana Barseghian, friends and foes for subjective millennia. Around them, there exists a satisfying entourage of humans, residents of the moon Janus and aliens of a not-your-bipedal type.
Reynolds even tries to come up with plausible solutions for the 2057 level of technology. So, his heroes don’t look at tablets but possess a quasi-organic medium of storage and communication called flexi – he even does the decent thing and spares us the mumbo jumbo of how it “works”. Same thing applies to all his mid 21st century imagined technologies. Even his far out future tech sounds balanced and well thought.
Finally, mysteries unfold and climaxes happen in almost every other page in Pushing Ice. This is a book with cliffhangers galore, which somehow, Alastair Reynolds resolves without, even for once, insulting the reader’s intelligence with cheap machina dei. On the contrary, everything in his universe is more of a problem than a wonder and even energy (something that seems inexplicably inexhaustible in so much SF of today) is very hard to tap.
5 stars for Pushing Ice.
Top reviews from other countries
At points this is true science fiction and yet within that you also have the building of a new community and the all too human frictions that come from that. The split is narration is interesting and is a clever way to depict the shifting tides of power and change. Many aspects that seem to make sense have gained a whole new meaning when you put the perspectives of our two leads together at the end.
Most impressively of all though, Reynolds captures both the best and the worst of humanity and then places them side by side along all of the myriad shades of murky grey. Things that seem right at the time don't always stay that way and even the stablest of characters are capable of holding some dark secrets at their heart. And then you have the aliens... both learning from the humans at the same time as they carefully hand out knowledge of a time our group missed in their travels.
This isn't what I expected but I thoroughly enjoyed it regardless. This was my first Reynolds but I doubt it'll be my last.
However, I will agree with the others who criticise the last segment of the book. It is difficult to say much without indulging in spoilers, but suffice to say that Reynolds seems to lose control of the plot and the result is a total anticlimax. The story of the two women forms a complete arc but the book finishes with a slew of unanswered questions and open endings. The encounters with the aliens are particularly weak and seem to only be there to provide some kind of climax to the women's story, which when it comes is rather unsatisfactory. Perhaps it is intended to extend into a series but it felt a bit like Reynolds got bored and wanted to get the book finished and out of the way.
Pushing Ice is somewhat of a departure because it focuses very tightly on human relationships rather than grand systems or epic concepts. It's fundamentally a story that is about the somewhat petty humanity that we have to overcome to accomplish great things, and the wedges that get hammered between people when our fallibility has extreme consequences. The two main characters are written with believable compassion. Despite representing two sides of the same coin, and despite the diametric opposition in which they are cast, neither of them comes across as the obvious villain. You can't really revel in their victories or setbacks because fundamentally they are decent people doing things for the right reasons under the most difficult of circumstances.