The Highest Frontier

Joan Slonczewski
The Highest Frontier Cover

The Highest Frontier


Jenny, scion of a rich and politically connected family goes to college in an earth orbiting habitat. Meanwhile the earth's ecosystem is being destroyed by global warming and an invasive extra-terrestrial organism called an ultraphyte.

Although not classified as a YA this is definitely a YA. Rather reminiscent of Heinlein Yas with a touch of Stross and Harry Potter (the main student sport is something called slanball). Unfortunately Slonczewski doesn't have Heinlein's brevity and the pedagogic style quickly becomes tiresome. At first I thought they had made a mistake and that this was an outer space high school since the emotional age of the students seems to be about 15. I found it very difficult to identify with characters whose shallowness would make a Valley girl seem deep.

I skimmed/sped read through a lot of this book so I would have to waste as little time as possible with this book. Not recommended.