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SATURN’S RACE by Larry Niven


by Larry Niven & Steven Barnes

Pub Date: July 14th, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-86726-3
Publisher: Tor

Power struggles in a near-future world of privileged floating islands, desperate third-world billions, ninjas, intelligent dolphins, and sharks with arms and computer brains: from the authors of Achilles’ Choice (1991). Thanks to secret longevity treatments, Chaz Kato is his own grandfather, and about to join the powerful council of the floating artificial island Xanadu. Then he falls for genius researcher Lenora Myles, and, as proof of his commitment, gives her his top-level access codes into Xanadu's secrets. Lenora stumbles across a plot to sterilize millions of third-world females. The plot's mysterious leader, Saturn, discovers her and attempts to kill her; Chaz saves her life but to appease Saturn he's forced to excise a chunk of her memory. A year passes. As Lenore's memory disintegrates further, she seeks out her terrorist ex-boyfriend for help. He arranges to take her to India for treatment—coincidentally, Chaz is visiting nearby—but, meanwhile, the effects of the sterilizations begin to be felt and riots, orchestrated by Saturn, ensue in India and China. Jointly, the two countries attack and occupy Xanadu, executing several council members. Chaz and Lenore—her treatment's a success—escape India and, pursued by Indian and Chinese armies and ninjas sent by Saturn, take refuge with a Stone Age tribe in Java. But can they survive long enough to expose and defeat Saturn?

Inventive and wide-ranging, but cold-hearted and singularly spineless in terms of both structure and morality.