Book Review: Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds

Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds
My rating: πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ (4 stars)
Publisher: Tor.com

This is my first read of 2020 and it was a good one! The world has gone through something called the Scouring where environmental upheaval leads to almost complete societal collapse and pretty much an extinction event and that has left humans with a final generation and one plan to save the future. There are two timelines that play out and converge here and I thought it was well done (and I'm not usually one for time travel stories). I felt the beginning was a bit slow but near the middle things really picked up and by the end, I wanted to know what happens next.

As this is a novella, there's not a lot of time to get deep into the characters but there was enough here for me. I was pulling for Valentina, Tatiana, Antii And Vikram, I felt the weight of Dr. Cho's project and I'll forever wonder what was going on with Miguel.

I've read other books by Reynolds that I've enjoyed so I was fairly sure I'd enjoy this. Recommended.


Summary: Fix the past. Save the present. Stop the future. Alastair Reynolds unfolds a time-traveling climate fiction adventure in Permafrost.
2080: at a remote site on the edge of the Arctic Circle, a group of scientists, engineers and physicians gather to gamble humanity’s future on one last-ditch experiment. Their goal: to make a tiny alteration to the past, averting a global catastrophe while at the same time leaving recorded history intact. To make the experiment work, they just need one last recruit: an ageing schoolteacher whose late mother was the foremost expert on the mathematics of paradox.
2028: a young woman goes into surgery for routine brain surgery. In the days following her operation, she begins to hear another voice in her head... an unwanted presence which seems to have a will, and a purpose, all of its own – one that will disrupt her life entirely. The only choice left to her is a simple one.
Does she resist... or become a collaborator?


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