“Intelligent and engaging science fiction” set against the backdrop of an environmental apocalypse from the SF Grand Master (The Washington Post).
Not so very far in the future, the icecaps have melted and many coastal communities have been flooded out. The ozone layer is destroyed. Some areas are livable with breathing masks and injections that protect the skin from the now-deadly rays of the sun, but the only real refuge—for those who can afford it—has become the near-space orbital colonies built and run by private companies.
Valparaiso Nuevo is one of these colonies—a haven and a center of action for hustlers, conspirators, and people looking for an edge. It is also the target of a disillusioned group of humans who become embroiled in a scheme to overthrow it. Their goals are individually motivated but the deadly combination of ambition, distrust, greed, stupidity, and lust leads to a dramatic conclusion that replicates in miniature the history of man’s destruction of his own living space on the planet. A bleak picture of future Earth and a complex plot peopled with dark, rich characters, comes together as one of Silverberg’s finer novels.
“Silverberg focuses on his characters and their ruined world, providing a convincing portrayal of life in a greenhouse effect-cursed future. . . . [He] delivers powerful images of a world blighted by ecological abuse, and a satisfying novel as well.” —Publishers Weekly
“It’s definitely major Silverberg and as such deserves all the readers it will undoubtedly get.” —Booklist