Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson [5/10]

A sci-fi superstar with around twenty novels over three-plus decades, Kim Stanley Robinson used to be a reliable go-to for hard science fiction with a heart. He always adds something to the canon in terms of science extrapolations but in the past he also told smart stories with believable characters. Not so with “Red Moon,” which accrues some credit for fascinating details of what a colonised Moon would actually be like, but falls down badly on plot and characterisation. “Red Moon” revolves around a young American moon neophyte who stumbles into Chinese intrigue on moon and earth, a high-ranking minister’s daughter agitating, and a famous travel reporter. Their combined story shows promise at the start but fades into tedium, and all three characters are as alive as coffins. What a disappointment.

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