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Salt Paperback – 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Gollancz; paperback / softback edition (2001)
  • ISBN-10: 0575068973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575068971
  • ASIN: B002C0DA6C
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,717,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The strength of the novel lies in Robert's ability to write, not his story or plot.
FilWi
There is no feudal empire or choam company (no minerals worthwhile exploiting), no fabulous sandworms, no Mentats, and no Bene Gesserit here.
Mr. K. Mahoney
The fourth Roberts I've read, his first novel, and my second favorite after Gradisil.
Jacob Glicklich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Toppin on February 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Adam Roberts, with SALT is a great read. Roberts assumes the reader has an IQ above average room temperature; is over 17 years old; and can pay attention to details. Salt is a could-not-put-down book. In brief, a string of deep space habitats and colonists, literally hitching a ride behind a comet, set off to a distant planet, one that according to data was much like Earth. Misunderstandings develop during the long journey, planting seeds of mistrust among the ideologically differing colonial groups. Their destination is not Earth-like. It is covered with salt and contains an atmosphere of chlorine gas. It's impossible to return to Earth and the colonists have no choice but to deal with the alien atmosphere, and ultimately, with each other. I think Roberts' story could have gone on for a few more thousand words and hope that his next book will pick up the saga.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Glicklich on June 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Intense, disturbing and prophetic. The fourth Roberts I've read, his first novel, and my second favorite after Gradisil. Ambitious themes, and complex implementation of them. The setup is the relativistic travel to and colonization of an alien planet, the titular Salt with all the material difficulties attendant on that. The main story is two first person narratives of people from two city states of differing ideologies and daily norms. The two communities have built up tensions, and eventually all out war.

One of most interesting things about this is the political parallel. There's a prosperous and plutocratic regime that undergoes a war in the desert to subdue another society, using the justification of faith as well as a recent and galling terrorist attack. It begins its reprisal with a major bombing to break the spirit of the populace, then moves in at force. Overt opposition is easily crushed and victory seems secured after a short time, but then it turns into a long occupation, attritional guerrilla warfare, and a slow disillusionment that causes political unrest. The invading country specifically paints all resistance against it as terrorism, insists such fighters are not legitimate soldiers and reserves the right to counteract such resistance through extraordinary and extrajudicial means. The reason I find this parallel good rather then eye-rolling is because Salt was written in 2000. Roberts had no way of knowing how much his scenario would resemble the reality of 9/11, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War. Here I'd say is a good example of SF's ability to be thematically predictive, and have a continued relevance to understanding the way we operate now and the way we might in the future.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Gitlits on December 27, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Salt' is a story of colonists on a distant planet. But in this common SF setup Adam Roberts tells an uncommon tale. The science is there, but while he gives us the practical aspects of making a planet habitabal, Roberts drives us towards another tale. This is a tale of two human societies, who are so different, that they can hardly understand each other. And from these differences a conflict rises, that grows from heated talk to bloody raids. The novel has two narrators, representing both sides of conflict. From their subjective stories we can try to get an objective picture.

The ending is a bit of a letdown, but it is still an impressive work.

The book was written in 2000, and it is chilling how it seems relevant to the current situation in the world, particularly in Iraq. 'Salt' shows how the worldview of one society can be completely different from that of another. And how unwillingness to understand and blind faith in your way of life being the only right way of life leads to terrible consequences for both sides.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liviu C. Suciu on September 30, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The debut of Adam Roberts which I've had for many years but never found the mood to read; a dark and somewhat depressing novel written in alternate first person narrations from two very different pov's - with an exception at the end that adds a lot - and who resembles an extreme take on The Dispossessed.

A very good debut that presages the awesome later novels of Adam Roberts that made him one of the best current sf writers
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By Nicki Stevens on October 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll try to write this with no spoilers. I have enjoyed other books by this author but was disappointed by this one. This book started very well and I liked the way the voyage was described and set up. But the political events after arrival on the planet just seemed overly drawn out, and then the part about the inferred 'mistaken' rape due to a cultural misunderstanding was hard-going and treated cavalierly in the subsequent narrative. If I could give this book less than one star I would.
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