The Terraformers

Hardcover, 352 pages

English language

Published Jan. 22, 2023 by Tor Books.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

From science fiction visionary Annalee Newitz comes The Terraformers, a sweeping, uplifting, and illuminating exploration of the future.

Destry's life is dedicated to terraforming Sask-E. As part of the Environmental Rescue Team, she cares for the planet and its burgeoning eco-systems as her parents and their parents did before her.

But the bright, clean future they're building comes under threat when Destry discovers a city full of people that shouldn’t exist, hidden inside a massive volcano.

As she uncovers more about their past, Destry begins to question the mission she's devoted her life to, and must make a choice that will reverberate through Sask-E's future for generations to come.

A science fiction epic for our times and a love letter to our future, The Terraformers will take you on a journey spanning thousands of years and exploring the triumphs, strife, and hope that find us wherever we make our home. …

1 edition

the more things change, it seems they don't

2 stars

Plenty to like here in environmental, more-than-human kin, queer and anti-capitalist themes in a fairly comic presentation. And yet it's really off as a paced story, as characters jut in or out or beep past, or as a deeply considered world or future confronting injustice, and the incoherence just built for me as emotions rose towards the end.

reviewed The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz

The Terraformers

4 stars

This is a novel about a corporate-run terraformed world and the struggle of the people building that world to push back on their awful corporate owners and ultimately become self-governing.

Chapter one of this book really gripped me: a park ranger on a terraforming planet (who can connect to sensors in nearby trees and grasses) and her texting/flying moose buddy stop a rich camping tourist hurting the local ecosystem. Here's a small handful of other delightful worldbuilding details that I enjoyed, just for flavor: new people are built/decanted rather than born; sentient worms solve NP completeness; there's an endearing cat/train relationship. I think there's something fun about a novel that sets itself extremely far in the future and stuffs itself with neat ideas.

It's hard not to feel the echoes of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy in this whole book. Aside from the obvious bit that it's about the terraforming …

Ökologische SF weiter gedacht

5 stars

In The Terraformers erzählt Annalee Newitz die Geschichte eines gesamten Planeten und der Personen, die auf ihm leben. Das Unternehmen Verdance verdient sein Geld damit, ganze Planeten über Jahrhunderte und -tausende hinweg zu terraformen und dann das gewonnene Land an Investoren zu verkaufen. Das ist auch der Plan für Sask-E, dessen Geschichte das Buch in Ausschnitten begleitet: von den allerersten “menschlichen” Siedlern bis hin zu der entstehenden Gesellschaft und ihren Folgen.

Im Mittelpunkt von The Terraformers stehen die Personen, die die Verwandlung des Planeten steuern und begleiten – entsprechend bestimmen sich auch die thematischen Schwerpunkte des Romans: geht es am Anfang besonders um die Stabilität des Ökosystems, kommen später die Perversionen eines galaktisch-libertären Kapitalismus hinzu und schließlich Faschismus und Rassismus.

Der besondere Twist dabei ist, dass Newitz das Konzept der Person weit ausdehnt: So ist in der Welt des 50. Jahrtausends Intelligenz nicht mehr auf hominide Körper beschränkt, sondern auch …

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5 stars