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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Hal Clement, the grand master of hard science fiction, has penned a novel reminiscent of his 1953 classic Mission of Gravity. But instead of taking place on a giant gas planet, this time the action unfolds on Kainui, a world covered entirely by water. Kainui is one of two planets circling a pair of binary stars. Although the planet's atmosphere is not breathable, humans have colonized the world by building floating cities and communal ships. Linguist/historian Mike Hoani has come from Earth to study the language of Kainui's isolated populations, to analyze its evolution since being settled centuries earlier by Polynesian colonists.
Mike lands in Muamoku, the planet's only city with a spaceport, and soon joins up with the crew of a small trader ship. After a few days afloat, Mike finds himself essentially in the middle of an endless, treacherous seascape and begins a journey that will take him around Kainui and teach him aspects of himself he never knew existed. From keeping breathing apparatuses functioning properly and avoiding waterspouts, tsunamis, and lightning strikes to avoiding pirates and harvesting enough water to survive, Mike soon realizes his academic study is quickly turning into the adventure of a lifetime.
Shout it from the rooftops! Clement's Noise is hard science fiction at its very best -- highly intelligent, powerfully sublime, and visually breathtaking. This novel reaffirms Clement's status not only as a first-rate storyteller but also as a master world builder. Paul Goat Allen