Child of Venus

Pamela Sargent, Author Eos $25 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-105027-5
Nebula and Locus award-winner Sargent's latest novel completes her masterful SF trilogy (Venus of Shadows and Venus of Dreams) about terraforming the planet Venus. Thanks to the advanced technology of the Habbers (humans who long ago left Earth to carve out habitats inside asteroids), colonists live and work in reasonable comfort within domed settlements on Venus's surface while progress continues on making the planet's atmosphere breathable advances that irritate to no end the jealous Earth-based Islamic power base of Mukhtars. Through the eyes of young Mahala Liangharad, Sargent gives readers an intimate view of life as a colonist, caught between two rival powers limited by the Mukhtars to those jobs deemed necessary to the colony's growth, while the mysterious Habbers seem to offer something more. Then Habber electronics pick up a radio signal from an alien intelligence 600 light-years away, and shifting priorities threaten the delicate balance of power between Earth and space, as well as the completion of the terraforming itself. As in previous books, Sargent brings her world to life with sympathetic characters and crisp, concise language. The only weak moment is the novel's last section, told a little too swiftly, which folds the story back on itself to confront a millennium of sweeping changes in humanity and its place in the universe. (May 1)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
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