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Reviews of The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz

The Terraformers

by Annalee Newitz

The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz X
The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2023, 352 pages

    Paperback:
    Sep 2023, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Katharine Blatchford
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About this Book

Book Summary

From science fiction visionary Annalee Newitz comes The Terraformers, a sweeping, uplifting, and illuminating exploration of the future.

Destry's life is dedicated to terraforming Sask-E. As part of the Environmental Rescue Team, she cares for the planet and its burgeoning eco-systems as her parents and their parents did before her.

But the bright, clean future they're building comes under threat when Destry discovers a city full of people that shouldn't exist, hidden inside a massive volcano.

As she uncovers more about their past, Destry begins to question the mission she's devoted her life to, and must make a choice that will reverberate through Sask-E's future for generations to come.

A science fiction epic for our times and a love letter to our future, The Terraformers will take you on a journey spanning thousands of years and exploring the triumphs, strife, and hope that find us wherever we make our home.

Chapter 1: Pleistocene Fetishist


When in doubt, don't kill anyone.

-- Environmental Rescue Team Handbook

Destry could smell the smoke long before she saw its improbable source. There was some kind of person – possibly Homo sapiens – tending a fire at the edge of the boreal forest. She squinted, trying to make out details from half a klick away. The person's skin was so pale she guessed it had hardly met real sunlight, which meant they were definitely not a stray worker from one of the construction camps. When the intruder crouched next to the flames, she caught a glimpse of red beard merging into a tangle of hair. In their hands, a hare was speared and cooking on an expensive alloy spit. The sight was horrifying, and Destry flinched back reflexively.

"Let's stop," she whispered to her mount, a thick-barreled moose with red-brown fur and a crown of antlers spreading from his forehead like a pair of massive, cupped hands. He flicked an ear in acknowledgement as she ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

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Newitz has created an incredible setting, bringing to life a planet developed just as much by complex power structures and competing interests as by literal terraforming. The fascinating depth of the worldbuilding never overshadows the plot, and the beautifully written characters feel integral to the setting, shaping it just as it has shaped them. The choices they make don't just change their own lives, but are shown to profoundly alter the lives of generations to come. The Terraformers is sure to be a favorite of science fiction lovers, but I think it would also make an excellent introduction to the genre for readers looking to branch out...continued

Full Review (648 words)

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(Reviewed by Katharine Blatchford).

Media Reviews

Booklist (starred review)
Newitz's latest is far-reaching and ambitious but also surprisingly cozy and warm.... Newitz has a true gift for exploring the tweaks, movements, and decisions that keep history moving forward centuries ahead, and for digging into weighty issues while maintaining light humor, a delightful queer sensibility, and pure moments of joy.

Library Journal (starred review)
An incredibly emotional and action-packed novel deftly taking on personhood, corporate ownership, and terraforming.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Newitz performs a staggering feat of revolutionary imagination in this hopeful space-opera... With the ethos of Becky Chambers and the gonzo imagination of Samuel R. Delany, plus a strong scientific basis in ecology and urban planning, this feels like a new frontier in science fiction.

Author Blurb Martha Wells, author of The Murderbot Diaries
Brilliantly thoughtful, prescient, and gripping.

Author Blurb N. K. Jemisin, author of the Broken Earth trilogy and The City We Became
Newitz always sees to the heart of complex systems and breaks them down with poetic ferocity.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Discovery of Plate Tectonics

Wegener's depiction of PangaeaIn Annalee Newitz's science fiction novel The Terraformers, characters threaten to trigger the development of plate tectonics on the planet Sask-E as a form of political leverage. The theory of plate tectonics has revolutionized our understanding of our planet and its geological processes. This theory states that the outer layer of Earth, known as the lithosphere, is not one unbroken piece but many "plates," which shift around on the asthenosphere beneath them. The movement of these plates as they crash into each other, pull apart, or move past each other causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and over very long periods of time, forms mountains and oceans, and even moves continents.

Though there had been conjecture since the 16th ...

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Read-Alikes

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