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by Hal Clement
Hal Clement, the dean of hard science fiction, has written a new planetary adventure in the tradition of his classic Mission of Gravity. It is the kind of story that made his reputation as a meticulous designer of otherworldly settings that are utterly convincing because they are constructed from the ground up using established principles of orbital mechanics, geology, che ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Tor Books
(first published 2003)
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Mike Hoani, a linguist/historian from Earth, has come to Kainui, a true water world, to study the languages of the Polynesian-descended inhabitants. Kainui is an interesting world, and a challenging one to live on. Tsunamis, waterspouts, and electrical storms with accompanying thunder are all constant. It is, as the title implies, noisy. There's no land at all, and the inhabitants live on artificial floating islands that maintain generally the same latitude, but otherwise have no fixed position. ...more
Hal Clement is at his best when he's writing about alien worlds from alien perspectives. In Noise he choses to populate his densely salty ocean world with Maoris and it just doesn't work. Clement spends so much of the book explaining how the science of the planet works and how the ships are built (or grown) that he fails to adequaetly explain how these people live on this planet or why (beyond Maoris liking the ocean) they would want to live under such harsh conditions. How do they eat? Do they ...more
This is really more a milieu piece and not really character driven. Because of that, I really didn't enjoy it as much as I would have otherwise. The first half was pretty long, and really didn't have a lot that grabbed me. By the last third or so, I had developed enough knowledge of the world to at least appreciate it. But I wouldn't exactly say that I enjoyed reading this one. Still, quite well written and a decent plot, if not incredibly intriguing.