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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

River Of Dust

Copyright 1996 by Alexander Jablokov

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

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.
Cover of River Of Dust
Cover art by Matt Stawicki

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