Mars was harsh and unforgiving, but for the colonists who called it home, its future was as bright as the comets that hung in the night sky, for locked in those icy bodies were the water and gases that would make Mars live again, mined from the vast Oort Cloud beyond Pluto. Young Dekker DeWoe yearned to become an Oort miner. But when he finally arrived on Earth to begin training, the mining project was abruptly canceled. Then he began to hear rumors of a plan to force the restoration of the mining -- a plan that would result in the deaths of millions . . .
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Medium-future didactic novel about the terraforming of Mars and the human impulse to violence, from one of sf's longest-serving and most distinguished professionals. Cold, arid, airless Mars can be terraformed--for a hefty price--by bombarding its surface with comets captured from the Oort Cloud, a huge collection of dirty snowballs orbiting far beyond Pluto. Young Martian Dekker DeWoe longs to become an Oort ``miner'' as his father once was. Yet when his dream comes true and he travels to Earth to begin training, Dekker learns that the price Mars has to pay for Earthly finance may be decades of near-slavery while its product sales are undercut by new Earth-orbiting habitats. Schooled in nonviolence and cooperation, Dekker finds himself increasingly at odds with current Earth attitudes: armies have been banished; social-awareness training is required; but full-sensory ``virts'' offering intimate vicarious experiences are freely available--including those featuring violence and war. But just as it seems that the Oort project will be canceled outright, Dekker's training schedule is accelerated; soon he and his classmates join a Mars-orbit station whence they direct incoming comets. The proffered explanation for the speed-up doesn't wash, and gradually Dekker uncovers a conspiracy among his colleagues: Their monstrous purpose is to smack a small comet into Japan, whose financial dealings (coupled with their own racism) they blame for jeopardizing the Oort project. Pohl's message--that humans must be tutored in nonviolence; simply abolishing war is not enough--meshes flawlessly with the story. Otherwise, a professional recycling of mostly standard notions, with above-average characters and a rather thin plot. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Martian-born Dekker DeWoe's desire to become a miner of the Oort Cloud takes him first to Earth for rigorous training and then into space, where he collides headfirst with those who oppose his dream of terraforming Mars. Pohl is a master at the intricacies of space adventure, and his realistic detail and likable, if ingenuous protagonist make this a good choice for sf collections.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0002241730