Salt by Adam Roberts

Ahh, a good recommendation from my local SF bookstore owner.
Hadn't heard of this British author or any of his books before....
according to ISFDB, he doesn't have any short fiction.

Salt, a planet covered in salt, is a 37 year trip away from Earth
and it's being colonized by a collection of religious sects.
The trip out involves mounting rockets on a comet, anchoring
a string of pods to it and accelerating to about half the speed
of light.  The comet is used to protect the pods from particles
(or larger) they might encounter and for some raw materials.
I loved this part of the book; really well worked out and told
from two different viewpoints.  The viewpoint characters are
both important people in two radically different societies: one
heirarchical the other seemingly anarchic.  The cultures are
worked out nicely and believably.

When they arrive on Salt, water turns out to be more scarce than
they had expected. That and culture clash lead to conflict.
This is handled perhaps less well, but I got into it.  This book
covers some deep issues but is still a fun read. He worked out
the technical stuff in a cool manner -- it's worth reading just
for that.  About 250 pages and worth your time.

There are some pretty violent scenes near the end but in the
context of the cultures involved it's not as revolting as it
normally would be.

%A Roberts, Adam
%T Salt
%I Gollancz
%D 2000
%G ISBN 0-57506-897-3
%P 248 pp.
%O trade paperback, UK 9.99 | atlanta | pkd | fusion | recipes | email