I was so hopeful when I read Floating Worlds, having seen it compared to the work of Ursula LeGuin, amongst others. I was deeply disappointed. It is one of the very few books that I have started and then thrown away. The characters are one-dimensional and there is, perhaps deliberately, no sense of personality, environment or introspection to explain their actions. Anyone familiar with speculative fiction will know that different philosophies, societies and technologies are represented with greater panache, verve, enthusiasm and insight elsewhere. There is none of that impression of internal consistency, of the author's creation being a real world, that is evoked by other celebrated authors of both SF and fantasy. Floating Worlds is a polemic, inspired, I think, by the disillusion of the 1970s and stuck in its time in ways that stories by Jules Verne, HP Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Ursula LeGuin, Larry Niven and, perhaps, even Iain M Banks are not. It's certainly not the future, but it doesn't really seem to be the Twentieth Century either. The anarchist Earth, totalitarian moon, synthetic and technological Mars and the barbarian Styth are all unconvincing, their inhabitants ciphers rather than characters.