A master of science fiction introduces a world where everything is large and the problems of survival even larger in this exciting new novel.
Hella is a planet where everything is oversized—especially the ambitions of the colonists.
The trees are mile-high, the dinosaur herds are huge, and the weather is extreme—so extreme, the colonists have to migrate twice a year to escape the blistering heat of summer and the atmosphere-freezing cold of winter.
Kyle is a neuro-atypical young man, emotionally challenged, but with an implant that gives him real-time access to the colony's computer network, making him a very misunderstood savant. When an overburdened starship arrives, he becomes the link between the established colonists and the refugees from a ravaged Earth.
The Hella colony is barely self-sufficient. Can it stand the strain of a thousand new arrivals, bringing with them the same kinds of problems they thought they were fleeing?
Despite the dangers to himself and his family, Kyle is in the middle of everything—in possession of the most dangerous secret of all. Will he be caught in a growing political conspiracy? Will his reawakened emotions overwhelm his rationality? Or will he be able to use his unique ability to prevent disaster?
Hugo and Nebula Award winner Gerrold (The Martian Child) showcases his powerful storytelling skills with this outstanding tale of interstellar intrigue. Hella is a planet of extremes, so named because its oxygen-rich atmosphere causes everything from the trees to the leviathans that inhabit it to grow "hella big." The barely self-sufficient human colonists who call Hella home flee its blistering summers and harsh arctic winters in a biannual migration. Among these colonists is Kyle, a neuroatypical 13-year-old with a chip implant meant to regulate his emotions. This brain chip, which he calls "the noise," allows him direct access to the colony's vast computer database of information. As the colony prepares for a new crop of colonists to arrive from the ravaged remnants of Earth, Kyle's outsider status and special access to the database lands him in the middle of a political conflict that threatens the future of the struggling colony. The worldbuilding is masterful, with hard scientific explanations for Hella's many abnormalities and rich descriptions sure to keep the attention of even the most casual reader. The effortlessly diverse cast, complex political machinations, and heartfelt coming-of-age themes combine to create a fleshed-out vision of the future that is intense, emotional, and immersive while still maintaining a sense of rollicking fun. Sci-fi readers should snap this up. \n
A book about an alien planet and giant dinosaurs. Seemed like a great setup, but while the writing is very good the plot is pointless. Spoiler alert: nothing happens! Not the worst novel I’ve read, but certainly among the top five “bad books”.