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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Salt

Copyright 2000 by Adam Roberts

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (2/5)

I first read this on the 4th August 2003.

The colony ships have arrived at the planet Nebel 2 after thirty-seven years of travel though space. The planet, alas, is not quite up to their expectations. The atmosphere is poisonous and there is higher than expected radiation. Most serious is the scarcity of water. The planet's oceans long ago dried up and this is now a desert world. Nebel 2 is quickly and appropriately renamed as Salt.

The several ships that made the long voyage settle around the only sea.

Petja Szerelem is one of the Alsists, an anarchist grouping. However, he is an anarchist with an urge to power. He is good at self-analysis but appalling at recognizing his effects on other people, for whom he lacks even minimal empathy or compassion.

Barlei is of the city Senaar. He overthrew his captain during the long voyage and now rules. He is self-serving, hypocritical, devious and deceitful. With his "manly love" for his fellow man. he is a demagogic warmonger

Within a very short time the cities are at war but on a world so short of resources, this war risks their very survival.

This is the first novel I've read by Adam Roberts and I was impressed. The characters were somewhat dumber and more extreme than they needed to be, but it was a thrilling book with some surprisingly hard-hitting scenes. Well worth a read.

Loaded on the 29th February 2004.
    
Cover of Salt
Cover by Chris Moore