Icehenge

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9780006482550: Icehenge

At the north pole of the planet Pluto there stands an icehenge created out of slabs towering 200 feet above the crater-pocked surface. The first mission to Pluto must ask themselves, is it an alien message? Or could it mark a human mystery left by a crew who might have passed decades ago?

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Review:

Voted one of the best science fiction novels of the year in the 1985 Locus Poll, Icehenge is an early novel by Kim Stanley Robinson (author of the trilogy comprising Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars) and takes place in the same universe. The story is part mystery and part psychological drama, divided into three distinct sections.

In the year 2248, Mars is ruled by a Politburo-like committee that actively discourages dissent as well as travel and exploration of other planets. Scientist Emma Weil becomes involved in a covert plot to convert a stolen ship into a self-supporting spaceship. She turns down a chance to accompany the starfarers, and returns to her beloved Mars where she joins the revolution already in progress.

Three centuries later, archaeologist Hjalmar Nederland unearths a governmental cover-up of the true facts behind the old revolution. At the same time, a Stonehenge-like monument is discovered on the north pole of Pluto, and Nederland sets out to prove his theory that the monument is connected to revolutionaries and their contemporaries who left for the stars. Seventy years later, his great-grandson Edmond Doya becomes convinced that Icehenge is a hoax, and attempts to disprove Nederland's theory.

In addition to futuristic issues such as interstellar travel and the terraforming of Mars, Robinson's characters grapple with politics, careers, families, and aging. Icehenge is a worthy introduction to the author's winning combination of hard science and believable characterization. --Bonnie Bouman

From the Back Cover:

On the North Pole of Pluto there stands an enigma: a huge circle of standing blocks of ice, built on the pattern of Earth's Stonehenge--but ten times the size, standing alone at the farthest reach of the Solar System. What is it? Who came there to build it?

The secret lies, perhaps, in the chaotic decades of the Martian Revolution, in the lost memories of those who have lived for centuries.

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