Regular readers will have gathered that I’m rather keen on Alastair Reynolds’ books, so it should come as no surprise that I got hold of Pushing Ice
as soon as I could. Of course, it took a while to get to the top of the reading pile, but the Christmas break was an ideal opportunity to deal with a nice long Reynolds book.
After a brief prologue set 18,000 years in the future, in which a plan is forged to send some form of message to “the benefactor”, someone whose actions influenced the founding of this complex future society, the action begins in the 2050s.
The crew of the Rockhopper are diverted from their mission of moving cometary ice to investigate an unprecedented event. Janus, one of the moons of Saturn, has left its orbit and is heading out of the solar system. As it moved, it began shedding ice, revealing it to be some incredible kind of alien spacecraft.
People being people, the pursuit of Janus is eventful. Divisions develop in the crew, and an attempt is made to return to Earth which is foiled by the captain, Bella Lind.
Rockhopper is trapped in a bubble of spacetime around Janus, which is accelerating at an enormous rate, heading for the star Spica, around which telescopes can just make out an enormous alien artefact.
After that, things start to get interesting. Janus is covered in incomprehensible, and dangerous alien machinery. Factions form in the crew, with power shifting between Bella Lind and her former friend Svetlana Barseghian.
Janus appears to arrive at the artefact, and remains inside it as the years and decades pass. Contact is made with alien species, and as you might expect, there’s plenty of Grave Peril, not to mention misdirection, misunderstanding and indeed mystery. Not to mention a mysterious cube…
To go into more detail would spoil the fun, so I won’t. All good fun, and well worth a read.
 And the occasional Goooooogler
 “Pushing Ice” is their business…