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I just read the "offical" reviews of Heavy Time, and the Reviewers, for the most part, really missed the boat! This story arc is about what happens to humans when they are removed from the womb of mother earth. The contrast between the Earth born Morris and the the space rat Ben is the central drama of the story. The plot is just a vehicle to drive it home; which, by the way, has been a feature of Cherryh's work since The Faded Sun. Starting at the barely comprehensible Downbelow Station, she explores what could happen to our species when we are taken completely out of our native context (at the bottom of a gravity well under a planetary atmosphere, with "down" and "up" having cell-deep meaning to us).
"Heavy Time" refers to the concession to our earth-orginated physiology which still requires a certain amount of time in gravity or a similar mass-based force field to keep the organs and skeletal system from collapse. Each spacer must spend a certain amount of time in a simulated gravity environment periodically (referred to as "Heavy Time"). It is their last true tie to earth.
Morris tries to "humnaize" the kid (Ben) by reading Shakespear and telling him stories, bringing to his attention the cultural norms we take for granted, but are completely out of context for a kid raised in the Belt.
The contrast in viewpoint and the resultant contrast in ethics is highlighted when they end up rescuing Dekker, since the kids sees nothing wrong with claiming the salvage rights to his ship, but is reigned in by the older and more sympathetic (more socialized) Morris. The Women are old hand planetside revolutionaries with their own moral systems,and of course there are other moral systems. or lack thereof, involved with the faceless corporate entities. Dekker is just a "normal" Earthling caught in this web of varied value systems, trying to make sense of it all, and thereby providing us with a viewpoint to understand it.
The point, is, summarizing this book by a plot synopsis is not summarizing the book at all. I had actually completely forgotten the plot (I read it when it came out in paperback, almost 20 years ago) but the nature of the characters remained etched in my memory. Read it for the implications of life off of mother Earth, no the old evil corporate empire plot line.