I keep my book review ratings simple—they’re either required, recommended, recommended with qualifications, or not recommended. If you want the TL;DR, this is it:
Recommended: this is good sci-fi—the kind that makes you think while also being a bit of a page-turner.
Kim Stanley Robinson comes highly recommended, so in a moment of overwhelming need to read science fiction the other evening, I snagged a novel of his in ebook form, and read it over the weekend. I loved it.
Do you remember being 6? I have only the barest glimmers of it. An image will come rushing back sometimes, of something I experienced then—a moment of delight, or horror, all at once, full of sensation and bright color and feeling. Or a smell will bring something from my teenage years back: cut grass makes me think of two-a-day practices for football, without fail. But the past is behind me in a way that is hard to describe, and which I have often thought about, but rarely so much as in the days I was reading (and in the days since finished reading) this little novel about the politics of Mars and a slowly-colonizing Solar System.
Because Icehenge, its name notwithstanding, really isn’t much at all about a massive Stonehenge-like construction, all of ice, on Pluto. It’s about memory, and what it would be like to live to 600 in a body that ages slowly but with a mind still incapable of holding on to the past, and the stories we tell to make sense of the world, and the hunger for truth, and the things that get in the way of the pure pursuit of the truth, and power, and loneliness, and what the past means and how we get at it in the present.
I expect to be reading considerably more of KSR.