Empress of Eternity
L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Tor, Nov 9 2010, $25.99
When the moon shattered, a 2000 mile long canal ripped through the earth splitting the continent apart.
In 1351, Unity of Caelaarn. At a remote weather station, married scientists Maertyn and Maarlyna observe glacial activity that threatens the world as splinted bergs increase the danger. They are hoping to find clues to the great canal, but a budget crisis may end their research
In 2471, R.E. MetStation scientists Eltyn and Faelyna study the great canal trying to learn its secrets before the great drought destroys the continent. Confronting the encroachment of the desert, they are caught in the middle of a civil war as the hive splits into two conflicting mindsets.
In 3123, Vaniran Hegemony. Another ice age is coming as glacierization threatens the continent. Researchers Duhyle and Helkyria study the great canal at a time when local rebels want to splinter away from the one nation world government.
These three eras star scientists (and the canal) struggling with geological disasters threatening a way of life; while their leaders prefer ignoring the immense problems by kicking the issues to the future for someone else to cope with the confrontation. Rotating perspective, each entry is well written and fascinating but takes adaptation as the communications change over the two millennia. The dedicated researchers come across as heroic while government leaders are avaricious and want to maintain or gain power only. This is science fiction at its best as L.E. Modesitt Jr. condemns those who either politicize, believe or pretend that potential catastrophes (like global warming) are scientific frauds rather than take hard unpopular resolve sooner than later in this deep commentary.