Friday, February 27, 2009

Climbing Olympus, a novel by Kevin J. Anderson

Climbing Olympus (1994), a novel by Kevin J. Anderson

At left: Paperback (New York: Warner Books, 1994), 297 p. Cover illustration by Mark Harrison. A tale of betrayal on the Red Planet, here’s the blurb from the back cover of the book:

“They were prisoners, exiles, pawns of a corrupt government. Now they are Dr. Rachel Dycek's adin: surgically transformed beings who can survive new lives on the surface of Mars. But they are still exiles, unable to ever again breathe Earth's air ... And they are still pawns. For the adin exist to terraform Mars for human colonists -- not for themselves. Creating a new Earth, they will destroy their own world; their success will kill them. Desperate, adin leader Boris Tiban launches a suicide campaign to destroy the Mars Project, knowing his people will perish in his glorious, doomed orgy of mayhem. Unless embattled, bitter Rachel Dycek can find a miracle
to save both the Mars Project -- and the race she created.”

Climbing Olympus was voted the best paperback SF novel of 1995 by Locus magazine.

According to author, reviewer, and longtime science fiction fan Don D’Ammassa, Climbing Olympus is “A very mature, serious, even solemn examination of the possible consequences of the human drive to expand its sphere of control, even at the cost of some finite part of our own humanity. Anderson's Mars is a living world in more than one sense, and even his less admirable characters have an inner strength that we cannot help admiring."

SF megafan Blue Tyson has a different opinion: “This book was not quite bad enough for me to not finish, although it came close 3 or 4 times. Pedestrian basic economic/political struggle. Not really worth wasting your time on. What happens when humans are altered, to in turn alter a world for others to live on. What do they do when it is all finished? 2 out of 5.”

A portion of Climbing Olympus appeared in Full Spectrum 4 (1993) as the short story “Human, Martian – One, Two, Three” (1993).

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