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Cold As Ice Mass Market Paperback – June 15, 1993

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The war between the inner planets and the asteroid belt is 25 years in the past; travel is common throughout the solar system, and human interests have spread as far as the moons of Jupiter. When a handful of very special people find themselves drawn by apparent circumstance to the underground colony on Europa, the seeds of a conflict long thought to be ended begin to bear unexpected fruit. The author of "The Heritage Universe" series combines a wealth of expertise in theoretical physics with a gift for storytelling to create a novel of hard science and political intrigue that belongs in most sf collections.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Buzzing, expansive medium-future space drama from the physicist-author (see below). Toward the end of the 21st century, after a space war has devastated Earth, Mars, and the inhabited asteroid belt, development centers on the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. Keen to develop the ice-moon Europa is Cyrus Mobarak, genius inventor of portable fusion power units; opposing him is the reclusive brilliant researcher Hilda Brandt. And caught up in their almost imperceptible power struggle are fusion scientist Camille Hamilton, undersea researcher Jon Perry, and brilliant composer Wilsa Sheer- -all three of whom have extraordinarily augmented abilities. After an accident on the surface of Europa, Camille apparently freezes to death, only to revive without ill effects; Jon and Wilsa, trapped in a submersible in the deep water beneath Europa's icy surface, run out of air, but they revive too. Turns out that all three are survivors of wartime biological experiments aimed at creating super-talented humans--experiments directed by Hilda Brandt. The various plot elements take a while to come together, and there are one or two bothersome holes in the logic thereof. But this is certainly Sheffield's best effort to date. Watch for sequels. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cold As Ice (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st edition (June 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812511638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812511635
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Hanniver on July 23, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For years Charles Sheffield has been one of my favorite science fiction authors--right up there with current "wouldn't miss" authors like Greg Bear, Orson Scott Card, Ursula LeGuin, Robert Sawyer and Gene Wolfe--and this will be as much a eulogy as a review of COLD AS ICE. I looked forward to a Sheffield novel or novelette every year or so. Some say he wrote space opera--but if so, it was a superior kind. COLD AS ICE, set in the near-future solar system and something like a sequel to THE JUPITER PROJECT, is less of a space opera than, say, Sheffield's "Convergence" tales. I read it years ago and reread it last week before going on to its 2002 sequel, DARK AS DAY. Sheffield's last book is quite good after a somewhat frivolous start, grows better with each chapter, and I genuinely recommend it, but COLD AS ICE remains my personal favorite of all his longer fiction.
Sheffield had the mind of a scientist, a waggish wit, and the soul of a poet--a rare combination in science-fiction, which has been able to attract writers of significance like Ted Sturgeon, humorists as prolific as Ron Goulart and Terry Pratchett, and scientists like Gregory Benford, but seldom has the genre had an author whose elements were so mix'd as in Charles Sheffield, enabling us to shout, "This was a writer!" Sheffield's poetic diction and irrepressible wit probably emerged from his own temperament. He seems to have been a glorious romantic who had next to no male supremacy hangups. "At the Eschaton," a novelette that whirls us, a la Olaf Stapledon, from our time to the far distant future, is the most genuinely romantic work ever to emerge out of science-fiction, a mind-blowing exploration of "eternal love.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By KR Bridges on November 4, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is set in the near future after a major war between sects of humans that occupy the asteroid belt region and those on Earth and Mars. The plot revolves around a new weapon that one side hopes will tilt the war in their favor. Unfortunately for them, events turn sour, they attempt to cover their tracks, and we are left with a mystery.
The book is well-written and easy to read. The plot does not create a great deal of suspense, and the resolution involves violations of biological principles that lack a real SF cover. As such, the stage is SF with interplanetary travel, frozen worlds that have been terraformed and the like. The plot, however, is fantasy involving biological responses beyond any norm. The mix is more than mildly annoying.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christopher S. Gerlach M.A. C.F.A. Oxon on October 10, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cold as Ice is a very fine work, by one of the best science fiction writers of our time. I am sorry indeed to hear of Charles Sheffield's passing last year. I enjoyed the wit, humor and hands on realism of this book, and others of his. Of the works of his I have read, this is the best yet. The story line keeps one engaged, the background of the Great War that is now over, leaving humanity bruised and battered, and the space lanes strewn with lost hopes and ghost ships is a engaging and believable background indeed. And the characters are real, human and they invite us to follow their efforts in many ways.
The issues of science in service to politics, war and social needs is raised in subtle ways, and the sacrifice and challenges faced in many ways in this story evoke and raise questions for contemporary contemplation.
I would urge any who have encountered Sheffield's work to read this as one of his best, and congratulate those other readers who already know and appreciate the fine qualities of this superior work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For some reason the publishers like comparing this author with Asimov and Clark. Surely by the late 90s this puts off more people than it encourages. I can see similarity with Asimov in that there are central characters engaged in a bit of detective work and its mostly a battle of brains rather than brawn. Thankfully it doesn't have 95 pages of dialogue where you are supposed to spot the clue. Anyway... this book is fun to read. He's taken the same universe as the Ganymede Club and selected the one of the same characters, but not the one you might expect... Bat. Mostly set in space, or underwater, or under planets .. good escapist stuff
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AntiochAndy on October 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I found COLD AS ICE a little hard to get into. It starts with an engaging scenario, then jumps forward 25 years and presents the reader with a number of seemingly unconnected characters. Not that the characters aren't interesting, but it takes quite a while before connections begin to be established.

Overall, the alien locations are well-drawn, there are some unique and intriquing characters, and the action moves along satisfactorily once it gets going. On the downside, the plot was a bit transparent and it never devoloped much suspense. I never had the feeling that I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

Perhaps the number of high ratings here are partially a comment on the state of the scifi genre these days. To my mind, this is really a mediocre book, but I still find it one of the more enjoyable scifi books I've read lately. Maybe I'm just not making great choices. In my younger days, I read a lot of what I still think was outstanding scifi. Books like DUNE, DOUBLE STAR, the FOUNDATION series, RITE OF PASSAGE, LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, RINGWORLD, etc. I'm just not finding books of that calibre in this genre anymore, and it's not for lack of trying. So, whether it's a commentary on me or the state of scifi, I'm giving this a four-star rating. It's a weak four, more like 3.7 (a B- in letter-grade terms), and a very mild endorsement. Rip-roaring scifi it's not, but it will have to do until something better comes along.
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