Nebula Award winner Bear has long been known for novels of stunning scientific extrapolation and high literary quality from his early novel Blood Music to his more recent Queen of Angels . This new novel of Mars is his finest yet. Bear follows the unlikely career of Casseia Majumdar of the Majumdar Binding Multiple (a sort of cross between an extended family and a corporation) as she goes from lukewarm student activist to president of the fledgling Federal Republic of Mars. Beginning as a coming-of-age story, with Casseia encountering corruption as well as courage and determination in a student uprising, the narrative then becomes a fine, taut and realistic political novel, as Casseia travels to Earth as part of an ambassadorial retinue, and later serves as second in leader Ti Sandra's push for Martian unification. As conflict heats up between upstart Mars and Mother Earth, Bear introduces a wildly intriguing hard-science idea, and the novel spins into a tense science fiction thriller. Bear offers a fast-moving plot; realistic, appealing characters; a vividly imagined future Earth awash in ``tailored microbes,'' nanotechnology and dirty dealing; and the most believable evocation of the workings of politics and science in any recent science fiction novel. It all adds up to a blowout of a book, perhaps the best of the recent Mars novels, and certainly one of the best sf novels of the year. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1993 Release date: 11/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-7653-1823-7
MP3 CD - 1 pages - 978-1-4233-5311-9
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-09-926311-1
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-7592-4210-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 500 pages - 978-0-8125-2480-2
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