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Comment: Very good condition. Pages are clean and free from markings and highlighting. Cover is in good shape with minor wear & tear due to storage & handling & possibly small creases. Ships direct from Amazon!
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Icehenge Paperback – May 15, 1998

3.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Voted one of the best science fiction novels of the year in the 1985 Locus Poll, Icehenge is an early novel by Kim Stanley Robinson (author of the trilogy comprising Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars) and takes place in the same universe. The story is part mystery and part psychological drama, divided into three distinct sections.

In the year 2248, Mars is ruled by a Politburo-like committee that actively discourages dissent as well as travel and exploration of other planets. Scientist Emma Weil becomes involved in a covert plot to convert a stolen ship into a self-supporting spaceship. She turns down a chance to accompany the starfarers, and returns to her beloved Mars where she joins the revolution already in progress.

Three centuries later, archaeologist Hjalmar Nederland unearths a governmental cover-up of the true facts behind the old revolution. At the same time, a Stonehenge-like monument is discovered on the north pole of Pluto, and Nederland sets out to prove his theory that the monument is connected to revolutionaries and their contemporaries who left for the stars. Seventy years later, his great-grandson Edmond Doya becomes convinced that Icehenge is a hoax, and attempts to disprove Nederland's theory.

In addition to futuristic issues such as interstellar travel and the terraforming of Mars, Robinson's characters grapple with politics, careers, families, and aging. Icehenge is a worthy introduction to the author's winning combination of hard science and believable characterization. --Bonnie Bouman

Review

“Unforgettable.” ―The Baltimore Sun

“In a genre not often distinguished by strong characterization, Robinson is a welcome exception. Yet even the memorable community of his The Wild Shore did not prepare us for this brilliant triptych in which the monolithic artifact of the title and the events surrounding it are described and examined from widely different points of view. The distinct, personal voices of the narratives, as they construct and deconstruct their elegant theories, are a pleasure rare in SF.” ―Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; New edition edition (May 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312866097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312866099
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Battaglia on January 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Kim Stanley Robinson debuted with this book and The Wild Shore practically in the same year, something that doesn't happen too often. Even rarer, it turns out that both book are key works of the authors and deserved to be read years after they were first published. The Wild Shore gets most of the glory because it's slightly better and part of a trilogy (all three of which are highly recommended) and also because it's less "SFish" than Icehenge. Icehenge has a similar structure as Asimov's The Gods Themselves in that the book is made of three distinct pieces with three distinct characters who all further the plot without ever meeting . . . sort of. There is some crossing of stories here, but not directly, but Robinson's charactizations are what shine through. All of the parts are written in the first person and each character has an individual voice, uniquely showing different views of a future society where life is good but not great, where you can live for hundreds of years but forget about the place where you were born. The plot partially concerns some monoliths (shades of 2001!) being found on Pluto, with the pervading theory that they were built by humans . . . the only question is by who and why. The first story sets up everything else and might give clues into what happened but the other two sections are what deal with the formations proper. The first guy has one theory, his great-grandson years later has a totally different one and both go about proving them. In the end though it's impossible to say and this is a book that will have you considering a lot of aspects of the plot long after you've put it done. Robinson didn't take the easy way out and give a neatly pat ending, which some readers may not be too fond of. But considering the themes of the book, of memory loss and forgetting the past, it fits in perfectly. It's not his best book but if you've enjoyed anything else he's written there's no reason why you shouldn't give this a shot.
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Format: Paperback
OK, I know this book was published before the Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) and before "The Martians" but it was the last of the Mars books I read. This book brought Robinson's whole Mars reality back vividly into my mind.

I don't know if I would have enjoyed this book as much as I did had I not read the Mars trilogy first. Having the background of the trilogy allowed me to focus on the story unfolding in this book.

If you like Robinson's examination of society through the fiction that he writes then you will like this book.

The aspect of the book I found most enjoyable is its examination of how history is created and how a search of facts and historical objects can lead to many different interpretations of the same data. The book seems to me to be saying that we can't ever truly know what happened in the past; we can only examine the available information and take a guess. We should never forget that the victors make the history whether they were in the right or not.

The book itself is a triptych surrounding the creation of a monument near the north pole of Pluto. It is set in the future in the same fictional universe as the Mars trilogy and The Martians. I'd say it is most like The Martians in that it is a collection of three short stories that all deal with the same theme and build one upon the others. Each of the three stories could be taken individually and be interesting but they are related and the relationship between them is what gives this book it's unique quality. In the first part of the triptych Robinson provides an account of events in the form of a journal written by one character. In the reading of this journal one identifies with the character writing it and in a sense becomes her friend.
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Format: Paperback
Having saturated myself in Robinson's excellent Mars Trilogy several years ago, Icehenge ended up being one of those purchases that sat on my shelf for some time. Picking Icehenge up several years after its publication has not detracted at all, as the author's easy creation of a realistic solar society still remains on course and, given the advances in genetics over recent years, all the more plausible.
Icehenge is a story set in three parts told by three connected people over several hundred years. Robinson seeks to take archaeology into the future to demonstrate that the provision of primary written evidence is inevitably biased and that written evidence of what we will do will become too distorted and too historically complex for our future generations to be in any better position to understand than our archaeological techniques can today.
The opener, narrated by Emma Weil tells of her unwitting participation in a somewhat idealistic attempt by the underground Mars Starship Association to set off for pastures new beyond our solar system. Her love affair is woven in as both a motivator and an explanation for the links between Weil and Davydov, giving us a story of a group of people determined to leave the solar system to colonize pastures new. Heavily influenced by the political situation on Mars at the time it culminates in Emma's return to Mars to be part of the uprising and final destruction of New Houston. A voyage in both the physical and mental sense, part I is intensely reflective and demonstrates the struggle between idealism and reality, between fact and perception.
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