Red Moon

Thirty years from now, humankind has mastered the Moon. On the lunar South Pole, the pioneering Chinese have assembled vast underground complexes with thousands of residents. On the North Pole, latecomers (or late returners, in the case of an ailing United States) share crater ice and sunlight. Onto this divided satellite steps Fred Fredericks, a hapless American sent to deliver one half of a pair of quantum-entangled communicators. Unfortunately for Fred, someone wants to kill the target of his delivery--the head of China's lunar presence--and uses him to do it.

Meanwhile, free-spirited Chan Qi, daughter of the Chinese minister of finance, is likewise imperiled by internal political strife. Her father wants her back, her father's enemies want to use or hurt her, and she's gotten illegally pregnant on the Moon. When she and Fred are secreted back to Earth, it begins an adventure across a near-future China. It is a country deeply divided by the upcoming party congress, during which a handful of standing committee members, including Qi's father, will vie for ultimate power.

Red Moon is another star in Kim Stanley Robinson's constellation of successful science-fiction novels. Robinson (the Mars Trilogy, Aurora, New York 2140) is considered among the greatest in the genre and Red Moon shows why. Like many of Robinson's novels, this one is a vision of humanity's greatest desires clashing with our worst instincts. Robinson mixes plenty of heart, realistic technology and political conflict into another great story. --Tobias Mutter, freelance reviewer

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