Somehow the Earth people must have found a way of making heavy things fly. But how? Well, I had no more idea than Jeffo or anyone else. I was no different from the rest. We knew so little, and Earth knew so much. We might as well be blind for all we understood about things. No wonder we longed for Earth.
As ever, the BSFA shortlist continues to deliver good reading, with this story of an accidental human colony on a distant, cold world, decided from two survivors of a lost expedition, and now subject to politics and splintering. It's of course reminiscent of Tunnel In The Sky (Heinlein) or The Face of Evil (Doctor Who), but Beckett brings a nice dimension of rebellious, factionalised youth, of control of history and culture, of the power of new ideas in an alien environment. I really liked it, and a couple of trailing plot threads indicate that there is room for a sequel.