Monday, March 6, 2017

Up Against It, by M.J. Locke (author),Cassandra Campbell (narrator)

Audible Frontiers, September 2011

Geoff and his friends on the asteroid Phocaea, just graduated from school, pull of an epic technical hack. They successfully dodge the omnipresent camera remotes of "Stroiders, a reality show broadcasting the lives of the Phocaeans to the entire system. It's a triumph.

It's quickly followed by someone's shocking act of sabotage that kills Geoff's brother, wtih Geoff and his friends, as well as Carl's boss, arriving too late to save him.

And even that is just the start.

The sabotage that kills Carl starts a meltdown of a delivery of much-needed water and methane ice, vital not just to the colony's economy but its survival.

Jane, the colony's resource director, has a major disaster on her hands.

It's also a political crisis. The sabotage might be part of a plot by that Martian mafia to engineer a takeover of Phocaea. Jane has to juggle resources, technical issues, and politics to attempt to avert either mass death, or political takeover by the mob.

The worldbuilding is well thought out, and the characters are interestingly complex. The plot moves along, and is nicely intricate.

But what really hooked me on this one is that it has the feel of The Good Old Stuff, without the 1950s social dynamics. Gender equality and racial/ethnic equality are taken for granted. (Well, standard human ethnic/racial equality. This future sill has its issues. What Locke has done with the Viridians is really interesting.)

It's a great read or listen, and I look forward to more from Locke.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.