The Voices of Heaven by Frederik Pohl

 

Science FictionThe Voices of Heaven by Frederik Pohl

The Voices of HeavenFrederik Pohl; TOR 1994WorldCatBarry di Hoa was an anti-matter fuel master on the Moon. He was settled, was in love with Alma Vendet, and liked his life. Unfortunately, so did one of Alma’s past loves. After being set up, Barry wakes up from cryosleep 18 light years from the Moon at the human settlement on Pava.

Because of the time folding that happens when traveling at near light speeds, Barry has only been asleep a year and a half or so. But if he were to return to Alma and the Moon, almost 50 years would have passed by the time he got back. He found himself adjusting to Pava whether he wanted to or not. To make it more interesting, Barry has a manic depressive gene that is controlled on Earth. But the treatment needed repeating every few months, and could not be done on Pava. That meant Barry could once again go crazy.

Society is governed by the different religions on Earth and the Moon. Man took their religions with them when they settled new colonies on planets further away. Different governmental parties and beliefs have disappeared as religion denominations take over. These religious beliefs are central to this novel as the different societies are explored. Barry di Hoa is charged with explaining people and human society to an alien species that thinks very differently.

When on Pava, this book moves along well. But earlier parts get tedious, especially as Barry describes his life on the Moon. More explanation is given about the factories, the people and motivations than I feel is needed. Although part of it is needed to help set up the rest of the story, it could have been tighter in my opinion. The religious beliefs and discussions could bother some people. There are some fascinating characters here, but the religious fanatic was not explained well enough.

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