The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz (Speculative Fiction)

A new world with only 1,000 more years of terraforming left before becoming a human paradise;  a set of (remarkably long lived) “rangers” whose job is to terraform and protect the fragile environment; a money hungry (is there any other kind?) mega-corporation intent on capitalizing their investment a little early; and some “people” who were created to survive in the original (non human breathable) environment but shunted aside once the world could support “standard” human life.  This is the setting in which Newitz can explore just about every PC hot button that exists:  rich vs poor, a**hole right wingers vs right thinking lefties, eco sustainability, and the (more interesting)  sapient beings of all forms who have been decanted (created) in richly formatted  types — full sensory remote beings, flying moose who can text but not speak, and humanoid beings who can live in harsh (ie no breathable atmosphere) climates without technical support.  Plenty of gender/sexual preference diversity as well.

It’s well imagined, with lengthy descriptions of the world and diverse cultures that I really enjoyed.  Quite a lot of action and a little heavy on the (obviously) good guys vs (more obviously) bad guys front, and a little long winded on the battle / intrigue / angst for my taste, but overall some very interesting commentary and exploration of what it means to be human — especially when you have been “created” for specific (and not your own) purposes…

Thank you to Tor Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on January 31st, 2023.