River Of Dust
Copyright 1996 by
I first read this in April 1997.
Several hundred years in the future, terraforming of Mars has allowed its
colonisation. However, now the glory days are gone, the terraforming
has ceased and society is in decline.
The Passman family was once one of the great political forces in the Mars
government, but those days also are passed. The father, Lon, remains a judge
but he's embittered by his experiences. His sons Breyton and Hektor
struggle to find their own place in their world. Breton is fiery and
impulsive. Hektor his thoughtful opposite.
Martian politics is riddled with corruption. There is political infighting
between the two competing security organisations - the Earth-aligned Insec
and the local Vigil. Now there's a new Governor appointed by Earth, and who
comes with a dangerous reputation.
The Martians themselves are dissatisfied with Earth rule but without a strong
leader Mars opposition is disorganised.
Out in the Martian desert, Rudolf Hounslow's Pure Land School is becoming
the focus for what may become a violent political upheaval.
I had mixed feelings about this book. Jablokov tells a tale of guilt and
sibling rivalry set in a convincing world of a Mars in decline, hundreds of years in our
future. The novel is occasionally insightful and quite powerful albeit in a slow and
sluggish way. There are some interesting characters: Brenda Marr, Fabian,
Egypt and Miriam.
I also found myself somewhat unclear about the politics - I never quite
understood the objectives of any of the political entities, but perhaps
that was simply realistic writing.
Loaded on the 10th April 2002.