Watson, a British science fiction writer of Some originality, goes in for much throwing about of Major Themes and Recurrent Image-Patterns, rather to the exclusion of narrative nuts and bolts. He begins with a manned American mission heading into space with a plan for terraforming Mars just as a returning Soviet probe crashes into the Andes with a set of Martian soil samples aboard. It is at once apparent that the Martian soil contains micro-organisms of bizarre mind-altering potential. Thenceforth events in remote Bolivia and aboard the good ship Frontiersman proceed with grotesque symmetry. Watson never stops delving through mighty motifs of oneness and multiplicity, self and other, perception and action. . . but oh, how sloppily and pompously these worthy questions are integrated with the fates of the Bolivian villages and the Frontiersman crew. A talky, annoying flop with just enough real merit to make you grit your teeth and keep reading.