John's Reviews > The Highest Frontier

The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski
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it was amazing
bookshelves: sf-fantasy

Hugo candidate for sure. There are echoes of Heinlein in the premise--teenager heading off for a college in orbit and rising to every challenge from juggling classwork and a demanding athletic coach (the game is a cross between soccer and quidditch) and being hit with a date rape drug to experiencing both alien invasion and more than one habitat-wide disaster--and in the way the author takes potshots at politicians (there's a wonderful running joke that has the President of the US commending someone or other for doing "a heckuva job" EVERY TIME he's quoted in the news), disses rigid (and here particularly silly) religious beliefs and relates classroom discussions of politics in detail.

But at the same time the author has the academic chops to create a compelling picture of biowar, and also a truly fertile imagination that serves her well as she concocts a terrific and complex view of how technology and climate change may affect our lives six or seven decades down the road (I don't think she ever mentions a specific date, but this takes place sometime in the 21st century).

Not a fast paced story, but so rich in credible details that I didn't mind (and I usually do mind). Like Connie Willis, she's a brilliant and very slow writer. Unlike Willis she has some mercy on her readers and doesn't load her stories down with repetitive incidents and climaxes that take hundreds of pages to develop.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 21, 2011 – Shelved
September 21, 2011 – Shelved as: sf-fantasy
September 21, 2011 – Finished Reading

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