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Blind Waves
Steven Gould
Tor Books, 352 pages

Blind Waves
Steven Gould
Steven Gould has been publishing fiction since 1980 when his first short story, "The Touch of Their Eyes," was published in Analog. Since then, his stories have appeared in Analog, Amazing, Asimov's and various anthologies. His novels include Helm, Jumper, Wildside and Greenwar, written with his wife, Laura J. Mixon.

Steven Gould Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Helm
SF Site Interview: Steven Gould and Laura J. Mixon

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Donna McMahon

Steven Gould is emerging as one of the best writers of intelligent, adventurous SF, and Blind Waves, set in the aftermath of a massive rise in the sea level, is his best book to date.

It is the mid-21st century and the beaches of America are a distant memory. Patricia Beenan lives on the floating city of New Galveston, and makes her living doing underwater salvage in the ruined city 200 feet below. When she stumbles across a sunken freighter with a hold full of fresh bodies and finds clear evidence that it was sunk by US authorities, she has unleashed a world of trouble.

The INS (Immigration Naturalization Services) has gained immense power under emergency acts of Congress, patrolling the coastlines against a desperate horde of refugees from drowned lands to the south. Their detention facility in New Galveston alone holds half a million people with no citizenship, no rights, and nowhere to go.

Thomas Beckett, internal INS investigator, is called in to ferret out the truth about the sunken freighter. Beckett is all too familiar with petty corruption in the service, but this time he sees alarming evidence of organized, widespread criminal activity -- and perhaps treason. He needs to win Patricia's Beenan's trust and assistance with this investigation because he is no longer sure he can rely on his own colleagues.

Fast-paced, charming and with a very well written romance between Beckett and Beenan, this book is a page-turner. Among its many strengths are a lot of convincing (but not overwhelming) detail about subs and diving, and a considered look at racism and the politics of immigration. Don't miss it.

Copyright © 2001 Donna McMahon

Donna McMahon discovered science fiction in high school and fandom in 1977, and never recovered. Dance of Knives, her first novel, was published by Tor in May, 2001, and her book reviews won an Aurora Award the same month. She likes to review books first as a reader (Was this a Good Read? Did I get my money's worth?) and second as a writer (What makes this book succeed/fail as a genre novel?). You can visit her website at

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