By Kim Stanley Robinson
Global politics goes off-planet in Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest, which is set partially on the moon.
In the middle of the twenty-first century the moon has various settlements but remains largely “a Chinese place.” When a high-ranking lunar official appears to be assassinated by a visiting quantum engineer a diplomatic chain reaction is set off linking a diverse cast of spies, scientists, radicals, and an elderly celebrity poet who hosts a travel show.
As always with Robinson heady political ideas are mixed in with discussions of imaginative technology that really works. China is a one-party state with many factions, which is a point that drives much of the complex plot here. But also moving things along is the functioning of new types of communication devices, including quantum phones and a neutrino telegraph.
Finding out what’s really going on when truth is so endlessly fragmented poses quite a challenge even to nearly omniscient forms of artificial intelligence. Someone, however, is going to have to come up with answers before the world and the moon go spinning into chaos.