Reading the extended edition of Stephen King’s massive novel THE STAND was a reminder of why I never took up reading his books when I was younger: his writing style was flat and uninspiring. Now that I’m older I’ve returned to reading his books and recognize his mastery of two very important fiction elements:
The scale and scope of the operation are huge. Hundreds of crew are sent in deep sleep while a smaller “first shift” prepares the massive ball of ancient ice for human habitation. The authors think through the physics and the logistics of such a massive operation and make you believe — almost — that something like this might really work.
It’s over 1,000 years since the events described in Pandora’s Star. Investigator Paula Myo is still around and is tied into the fractious digital overmind that thinks it rules the galaxy. Unfortunately her personality is more cryptic than ever and she contributes little to the story.