Probability Moon

Posted by : atcampbell | On : March 18, 2003

Probability Moon by Nancy Kress

This meeting at Willie and Charles’s home attracted fourteen people, including one first-time participant. Our topic was Probability Moon, a science fiction novel by Nancy Kress. The story involves a delegation of scientists from Earth who travel to a distant planet (via newly discovered “space tunnels”) to make first contact with aliens. The story is told via several viewpoint characters, including humans and aliens. Nine of us had started the book, and eight had finished it.

We enjoyed reading a traditional science fiction novel. Kress’s polished prose and well-developed characters led most of us to a fast, enjoyable reading experience. The alien society with a “shared reality” was vividly portrayed. We were able to see the alien characters as distinctly different from humans. The human scientists were all believable characters. We were curious about aspects of this book’s future human society, particularly a series of mental and spiritual exercises called “The Discipline.”

There were things we disliked. One of the young scientists was so arrogant and unlikable that some of us had trouble getting through the pages on which he appeared. A few of us felt that the speculative science was not rigorously thought out. One person felt the details of the alien shared reality didn’t hold together, which bothered him so much that he was unable to take the story seriously.

We generally liked Probability Moon, and most of us plan to read its sequel, Probability Sun. After the meeting, we had a nice dinner at Threadgill’s.

— A. T. Campbell, III