like when scifi is realistic and sciency. It’s one thing to have space marines drop on a planet on the edge of the galaxy with technology we barely understand. It’s another when they are dropping with crude tech from maybe a hundred years in the future, down onto Mars, that planet next door over.
Like The Martian, it takes place mostly on Mars, everything is screwed up (do Marines ever drop and it goes well?). But unlike all those other books you’ve read, likely with scary bugs or elvin forest creatures, this one is about all sorts of crazy situations. Yeah, we have some alien backers, a handful of Xters that showed up and hooked us to their clever science (mostly, it would seem, consumer goods). And now other Xters have shown up on the edge of our system, they are pushing in, and we’re getting called on to fight their war. So down onto Mars we go, with the usual screwed up assault, Marines scattered everywhere, air and power running low, and chriminy, now there is a mystery to figure out, too.
This is usually the place where I say I liked it. And I did. This got me to start playing Infested Planet again. Greg Bear carries a gritty novel of the near future, one full of flashbacks and hidden cabals and humans as pawns and all that good stuff. The tech is thought out, the dialog and characters seemingly-authentic jarhead-ish, the story winding and interesting, and lots to see and encounter.
And my only problem is the end, when I realized that, well, you could take this as the end of the story, or you could buy the next book that he’s coming out with. It’s kinda a pick-your-adventure sort of feel to it. But I liked it enough and I’m curious enough that I’ll have to push a little further. So watch for my next review, when, it is presumed, the Marines will land on Titan. And, if anything holds true, they’ll make a shambles of their invasion as well.
Good read. In bookstores now.