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Pushing Ice

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  7,527 ratings  ·  443 reviews
Some centuries from now, the exploration and exploitation of the Solar System is in full swing. On the cold edge of the system, Bella Lind, captain of the huge commercial spacecraft Rockhopper IV, helps fuel this new gold rush by attaching mass-driver motors to organic-rich water-ice comets to move them back to the inner worlds. Her crew are tough, blue-collar miners, engi ...more
Paperback, 517 pages
Published December 11th 2008 by Gollancz (first published 2005)
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Dirk Grobbelaar

Review - Retcon

OK. Here’s the thing. In my initial review (quite a while ago) I ranted a bit about one or two things that bothered me about Pushing Ice. Lately though, I find that the novel keeps haunting me. A lot. Since this is exceptional, I went back and had a quick glance at some of the details. While I still have an issue with some aspects of the power struggle dominating the story, I have to admit that there is quite a bit of wonder to be had from the novel. The Structure, in particular
Alastair Reynolds is like a sci-fi triple threat, big “SFnal ideas”, unpredictable plot, and well developed characters, all wrapped up in very readable narrative. After reading six books by him I now feel like I can always come back to him a “reliable author” for a good reading experience. One of these days he will probably let me down badly because that always happens when I become complacent about an author but I see no sign of that so far.

Pushing Ice is often cited as one of Reynolds’ best bo
Mark Pantoja
Dear Alastair Reynolds,

Why do I come back to your books? That's the question I kept asking myself, when reading this book.

This is not to say that all of your books are absolute drivel, like this one is. And, it's true, Pushing Ice is not without some interesting ideas and speculation... that could have been explored in about half as many pages and one third the flat dialogue that one can only skim after awhile.

Now, the tech you have down, and you know your science, which I very much appreciate.
Sherm Thompson
I've just tried picking this up again after a long hiatus but I'm going to have to give up and call this one unfinished. This doesn't happen to me often but I can't face reading any more.

The main problem for me is the characterisation. It's all so cardboard cut-out, thrown-together stereotypes, as if stereotypes are somehow okay as long as you mix them up a bit; everyone's reasons for doing things are either underexamined or just make no sense. The only person who feels vaguely non-cardboard is
David Sven
This is the second Non Revelation Space universe book I've read - the first being Century Rain. I liked it more than Century Rain (Review) but not as much as the Revelation Space books.

In some ways it reminds me of Absolution Gap because it involves a group of humans trying to survive in an alien environment and it was hard not make a superficial comparison between the main ship Rockhopper and Nostalgia for Infinity as far as there relegated role in both books went.

The book covers mellennia wi
Neal Asher
So Janus, one of Saturn’s ice moons abruptly takes off out of the solar system, shedding ice and rock as it goes to reveal the alien spaceship underneath. Fortunate choice, and in every sense, since Janus is the two-faced Roman god of gates and doorways. I could ramble on like the most anal of SF reviewers about how this was an ongoing theme throughout the whole book, but such themes can be found in any book.

Then, after Bella Lind puts it to a crew vote, the mining ship Rockhopper sets off in p
I actually read this book in a rather disjointed way -- the first two hundred pages or so in one chunk, and the last three hundred pages or so in another, more than a month later. So that might well colour my thoughts on it. Overall, I enjoyed it. Alastair Reynolds' writing is always easy to read, in my opinion, and his plots are interesting, without so much technobabble it becomes incomprehensible to me.

Character-wise, though, I'm not sure I really feel for them. They're human, with human fail
warning : might contain slight spoilers !

[7/10] this book falls about halfway between "OK" and "really like it" . Well written, but a bit verbose and light on the scientific speculative part. A lot of good ideas are only touched upon or mentioned in passing, leaving the focus of the novel on interpersonal relationships and some space opera fireworks.

Of the three distinctive parts of this epic, the first - dealing with an industrial spaceship chasing after a rogue satelite - reminded me of the mo
Ed [Redacted]
I am torn between three and four stars for this one, I lean toward three I suppose. This was not my favorite Reynolds novel by any stretch. I thought the science and science fictional ideas were brilliant as always. I found the characters and dialogue to be a bit too by-the-numbers for my taste. Oddly, the ending was excellent, vastly better than the majority of Reynolds' endings, and perhaps a harbinger or future improvement in the only area Reynolds consistently lacks in.

I didn't enjoy this a
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Nov 13, 2010 Maciej rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people unfamiliar to works of A. Reynolds
Well, I'm a fan of A. Reynolds so this review is comparative to his other works. First of all, the fact that you'll like this book or not depends on what you like about Reynolds. For me it's mainly aliens presented in author's style - strange, distant, unfamiliar. Cutting a long story short, this story lacks that. There are, of course, aliens, mystery and such but all presented in a way devoid of praised "sense of wonder".

First half took me pretty long time to read. I had a feeling that actio
This was the first book by Alastair Reynolds that I've read, but I don't think it will be the last. While I have some reservations about it, the good stuff overwhelmingly outweighs the bad stuff.

By the standards of hard sci-fi, this is an astoundingly well-written novel. Too many sci-fi writers use their characters as a series of mouthpieces to move along the plot and explain the big ideas, but most of the characters in Pushing Ice felt like real people. Reynolds has a keen understanding of indi
A few months ago I read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, a science fiction novel that I really liked. I was intending to continue reading that series, but when I went to the book shop they didn’t have the next book available. However I did look at Reynolds’ other books and this one jumped out at me. So instead of the book I intended to get, I ended up picking up this book, Pushing Ice, which is a standalone hard science fiction novel.

The book starts in the mid-21st century, a future where
Tyler Lutz
I'd say 4.5 stars. In the reviews in the beginning of the book someone said that reading this was akin to sitting down to one of your favorite comfort foods. I feel like that is a perfect way to describe Reynolds' works. They're just plain fun to read.

ALSO, there is a character in the book that sings a Soundgarden song. Props for that.
"What sci-fi is made of"

Brilliant. Great balance of first contact, far future tech, unique aliens, realistic space science. Space opera as it should be.

John Lee gives a brilliant performance as usual
"Pushing Ice, all the way home" -Svetlana
That six words completely changed the book for me, because right after hearing them (I'm an audiobook junkie) it conveyed just all the nostalgia the characters had in them, and in a second I grasped the whole depth of their struggle for survival, this is not a space opera, the crew of rockhopper are not in for the adventure and the partying on alien worlds, they are fighting for their lives, never forgetting the people and places they have been forced to
Pushing Ice is yet another great relativistic space genre novel by Alastair Reynolds. I'd like to give it five stars, but *relatively* speaking, I gave Reynolds' House of Suns a full 5.0, and the current read is good, very good, but House still has the edge (read my review for that one to see why).

What I really like about Pushing Ice is the character development and the strong conflict between the two main characters, both women, and through whose eyes the reader alternately sees the unfolding a
Pushing Ice seems to take inspiration from Rendezvous With Rama . In fact, Alastair Reynolds states the books is his most Arthur C. Clarke like book to date (check out his website for this quote). It is hard science fiction, mixed with human drama. In fact I was surprised by how much focus there was on human drama compared to exploration of an alien world and cultures.

The story's plot starts quickly in the near future where humanity is mining asteroids and starting to colonise Mars (the story st
Jared Millet
Great. That's all I need right now. Another new writer I have to start following.

It's been a long time since I tried to swallow a 600 page book, and the first thing that shocked me about Pushing Ice is how fast a read it is. It takes a standard Arthur Clarke style scenario - an alien object speeds out of the Solar System and a spaceship crew has to catch up, rendezvous, and study the artifact. In this case, however, the artifact snatches said spaceship crew and drags them along with it at relati
Pushing Ice is my first Alastair Reynolds book. I bought it because it was recommended by the editors at Powell's in Portland (the best bookstore in the western united states, but thats a different story). I'm a big fan of other hard sci-fi authors like Vernor Vinge and Ian M. Banks and this book seemed to have all the right elements of a space opera.

It did not disappoint: it is fast moving, well written, excellent story and it has it all - politics, science, personal drama, aliens. Everytime I
While I enjoyed this book, my feelings about were torn. I loved the story itself. One of Saturn's moons suddenly takes off towards a distant star and the closest thing to it, the mining ship Rockhopper is tasked with following it. From there, the plot had some great twists and turns, and I liked that I never really knew what was coming.

What I didn't like was how Reynolds wrote the characters. They all seemed fairly one-dimensional and in particular, the character of Svetlana grated on me the ent
Matthew Hester
It jumped around a bit too much at times; never really allowing you to get comfortable in the setting around you.
I suppose that might have been the point a bit, given the story is about people making due in unfamiliar and unsettling circumstances.

I'm also starting to see a trend with Reynold's writing, in that he doesn't usually give you the payoff to a situation. He builds suspense and gets you excited for what's about to happen; but then ends the chapter or section right before. He later recap
Better than a 3 but not a 4! I enjoyed this book, especially the premise of one of the moons of Saturn being a rocket ship that in the early 21st century takes off for home.

The story is about survival for the crew of the commercial ship - and ice pusher - that is nearest to the moon when it takes off. The company that owns the ship sees $$ for itself and asks the ship's captain to undertake the chase. The captain - Bela Levy - after having the ship's officers determine if they can make the journ
This is my first Reynolds book I've read since I finished the Revelation Space series, and I was really impressed. Although I don't consider one of Reynolds' strong suits to be characterization, the character interplay in this novel was amazing, and dovetailed nicely with the larger theme of the book. It's definitely hard sci-fi, lots of technological explanation and science, but it moves at a fast pace and kept me interested until the end.
In the end, there were more things I disliked about "Pushing Ice" than I liked. But there were so many neat ideas stuffed in this book, like the kitchen sink of SciFi, that I had to rate it 4 stars, even if I didn't viscerally enjoy it as much.

The best aspects of "Pushing Ice" were the way that female characters took prominent leadership roles and were written similarly to male characters. This is refreshing coming from a male science fiction writer. I liked the variety of themes combined into
When one of Saturn's moons suddenly leaves orbit and takes off for a distant star, revealing itself to be an unfathomably ancient alien starship, a nuclear-powered ice-mining ship is the only one near enough to have a chance at getting some detailed observations before it leaves the system. As they struggle to learn all they can, they soon discover that returning home may not be as simple as they thought, and begin a journey that will take them to the depths of space and time and force them to s ...more
Мащабна книга, каквато трябва и да бъде една спейс опера. Бела Линд и екипажът и са космически миньори. В един момент, Джанус- един от спътниците на Сатурн ненадейно напуска орбитата си и се отправя извън слънчевата система. Корабът на Бела е единствения, който има шанс да настигне Джанус преди да се е отдалечил твърде много и да установи каква е причината за тази аномалия.
Хареса ми, че първата една трета на книгата подробно разгледа последствията за екипажа от мисията, отношенията на кораба, чи
The main characters seemed to lack depth. Was a fun read, but not up to the caliber of the Revelation Space trilogy or Blue Remembered Earth.
Jake Casella
An okay read, but fairly disappointing. This didn't feel so much like an homage to Greg Bear's Eon as a vastly inferior draft, despite being published 20 years later. Little to no sensawunda, and the characterization/plotting drove me a little crazy. The novel focuses heavily on the friendship/enmity between the two main characters, but their actions in the larger context are completely unrealistic, and as a result I found my suspension of willing disbelief constantly cracking. Why, for instance ...more
Nikola Tasev
Thinking of all the progress technology has made in the last century and how little of it was predicted it is understandable that writing believable fiction for a century or more into the future is hard. If you make the future little different from today you'll most probably underestimate it and bore people. If you make it too different you might stumble into "hand wave" territory, where technology is just magic, solving all current problems and making little sense to present readers. Present te ...more
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Girls, Guns and G...: Pushing Ice Buddy Read 6 30 Mar 20, 2012 04:20PM  
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Alastair Reynolds, former scientist and now full-time writer. Most of what he writes is science fiction, with a strong concern for scientific verisimilitude (although he is prepared to break the rules for the sake of a good story). He has lived in England, Scotland and the Netherlands where he worked as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency until 2004, but now makes his home back in his ...more
More about Alastair Reynolds...
Revelation Space (Revelation Space, #1) Redemption Ark (Revelation Space, #2) Chasm City House of Suns Absolution Gap (Revelation Space, #3)

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