Rich Man’s Sky

Wil McCarthy. Baen, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982125-29-5
McCarthy (The Queendom of Sol series) delivers a thought-provoking sci-fi novel set against a near-future space race led by a group of trillionaires. When the ESL1 solar shade, owned and operated by wealthy, notorious drug addict and pervert, Igbal Renz, grows large enough to influence weather conditions on Earth, nervous governments decide to act. As former air force pararescueman Alice Kyeong is recruited by the U.S. president to represent her government’s interests in a joint initiative to infiltrate ESL1 and assume command of the station, McCarthy raises questions on the male-dominated nature of space exploration and wealth accumulation. Though Alice borders on incompetent when compared to her fellow operatives from France and New Zealand, her determination to get the job done at any cost, capacity to improvise, and critical thinking makes for a character readers will root for. On reaching ESL1, Alice discovers that Renz’s plans are far more dangerous than controlling the climate—and that her fellow operatives are not as firmly on her side as she believed. McCarthy blends a convincing view of space exploration with thoughtful, nuanced ruminations on the merits of government vs. privately controlled enterprises. Fans of slow-burning sci-fi should check this out. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/25/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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