THE DIAMOND DEEP
Cooper makes her real-life model, Argentina’s Evita Perón, a clear presence while declining to be mindlessly constrained by her inspiration. Interestingly for a genre that often glorifies “lifeboat rules” and contrived hard choices, Cooper’s protagonists err on the side of mercy; violence has its place but they do their best to bring change through law. Similarly the studied indifference of the rich and powerful to the weak and poor is condemned, not praised. A sequel to 2012’s The Creative Fire, this is a worthy conclusion to Ruby’s story.
Millennia after launching, the generation starship Creative Fire returns to Adiamo, its system of origin and hence to the vast space station Diamond Deep. There the starship’s inhabitants are relegated to the lowest levels of society by a civilization made alien by the passage of time and by technological advances the small population of the starship could never match. Hopeless primitives by most measures, Ruby and her companions do have one secret Adiamo’s immortal oligarchs would kill to suppress: a burgeoning people’s revolution. (PYR, Oct., 480 pp., $18.00)