Blind Waves

Steven Gould, Author
Steven Gould, Author Tor Books $23.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-86445-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-8125-7109-7
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The polar ice caps have melted and much of the United States is underwater in this imaginative new novel by the author of Helm. The government has been forced to relocate hundreds of millions of people dispossessed by the floods, while a few high-tech floating cities are protected by machine-gun-toting patrol boats. As the U.S. slides toward isolationism, Patricia Beenan, a deep sea salvager, discovers what remains of the Open Lotus, a bullet-riddled wreck packed with the bodies of illegal immigrants. She captures the horror on video, prompting the immediate interest of CNN but also of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which dispatches Commander Thomas Becket to assess whether the shooting was the result of INS error. As soon as Becket and Beenan meet, they fall madly in love. Their passion is thwarted, however, when they realize they are being pursued by thugs who want to make them disappear. Becket and Beenan learn that Beenan's mom, a congresswoman, plans to propose repealing the Emergency Immigration Act, thus embracing all of the refugees camped on the floating cities as citizens and rekindling the country's kinder, gentler side. Using Beenan's submersible, the dynamic love duo expose the opponents to this measure and their plot to sink some of the floating platforms. The SF element of this novel is much crisper than its romantic aspect, which overwhelms the pace and tenor of what might have been a breathless future thriller, but isn't. (Feb.)
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