Hard man

May. 13th, 2006 08:07 pm
threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
There are not all that many real hard science fiction novels published these days. If you are in that neighbourhood of the genre you are more likely to encounter something more akin to space opera. Thinking about it, "these days" may not be relevant - the technology oriented parts of SF have always been dominated by hand waving technobabble stories. But there are writers who do know their science and who are prepared to take the trouble to research the scientific underpinnings of their stories. These days, Greg Benford may be the most conspicuous simply because he is a respected high profile scientist as well as a writer. But even Benford can write books with a high technobabble quotient as his galactic centre series showed. But with The Martian Race, he returned to science that is connected to the current state of the art and the work was the better for it.

The Sunborn is the sequel to The Martian Race. I actually know that Benford was working on the science underlying this novel because when he was at a con here a couple of years ago, we discussed a chemistry question he was trying to resolve for this book. The issues of the life on Mars described in the earlier book are interesting ones. There was a good story to be told resolving that story. Cut for spoilers )

So certainly a book to read if you enjoyed the first one. There is only one lingering problem - Benford never did find a solution to that chemistry problem.

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