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Jumping Off The Planet (David Gerrold, The Far Side of the Sky #1)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Jumping Off The Planet attempts to meld a dysfunctional family drama with a hard sci-fi analysis of the ramifications of creating a space elevator in a very dysfunctional world.  Unfortunately, the drama feels manufactured and hollow, and the characters are so maudlin, uninteresting, and unlikeable that the book soon becomes a chore to read.  The sci-fi elements relating to the space elevator seemed all right to me, although I am by no means an expert on the subject, but the dour picture of the dysfunctional world economy either displays a profound lack of knowledge about fundamental economic principles or relies entirely on mechanics not explained within the book.  I was predisposed to liking this book due to my fascination with the concept of space elevators and the great amount of space devoted to writing about them, but the feeble characters and odious melodrama made the narrative laborious to get through, and the economic issues proved too distracting for the good space elevator bits, so I can’t really recommend this book to anyone. I declare it a failure in both concept and execution.
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