The planet familiarly known as Blueheart is a world of ocean, settled some three centuries ago by humanity, and explored by humans adapted to live in the oceans. The strategy of settlement involves building up both population and knowledge to allow terraforming of the planet, eliminating the need for the modifications. Humanity, according to those who control the making of the adaptations, must not be subdivided. But the adaptives of Blueheart are not prepared to go gracefully into that good night. Many have refused to participate in development, or show any interest in technological society, and have built themselves a community in the seas. Some have gone beyond that, in an effort to secure their future.

Rache is an adaptive scientist and administator of an undersea research base, who has managed with more or less success to live between the two worlds – until the day he finds the corpse of a young woman in the seas. The finding leads him to a shattering series of discoveries about himself and the people around him.

Cybele is the daughter of a man whose religious convictions cause him to reject adaptation. Upon his death, she becomes enmeshed in conspiracy and counter-conspiracy, between adaptives and their opponents, and must chose where to place her loyalties.

Teal is the twin sister of Juniper, a charismatic advocate of the preservation of the seas who vanished in those seas over twenty years ago. Teal has come to Blueheart to discover the last traces of her sister, only to find that what happened twenty years ago is of great, and dangerous, consequence to the present day.

Much as these three people would dearly like to mind their own business and get on with their lives, they find themselves carrying responsibility for the future of their world.


Blueheart is out of print; however, copies can be had for the hunting. Try, for instance, Abebooks |

  • Millennium (Orion), London, November 1996. Hardcover ISBN 1-85798-458-7. Trade paperback ISBN 1-85798-459-5.
  • Orion Mass Market Paperback, December 1997. ISBN 0-75281-082-0. Reissue October 1998, Millennium, ISBN 0-75281-708-6. Cover by Chris Baker.
  • HarperPrism US, Mass Market Paperback, May 1998. Cover by Bruce Jensen. ISBN 0-06-105820-3.


On LibraryThing | On Goodreads | more … (bookmarked on Pinboard)

  • “… essentially a political novel on a traditional tragic theme: the conflict between those proponents of noble but incompatible ideals whose misfortune it is to have ties of love and blood with their opponents in a conflict that may escalate into total war … After the longueurs in the first half, BLUEHEART emerges as a complex and highly satisfactory novel …” (Chris Gilmore. Interzone, March 1997)
  • “Sinclair explores many topics here, from the morality of terraforming to the excesses of power … What makes the mixture work so well as drama, despite lengthy passages of analysis and philosophizing, is the authors almost Shakespearian sense of the intimate human impulses and emotions behind tragedy … a splendid combination of world-building touched with emotion.” (Faren Miller, Locus, April 1997)
  • Locus: List of New and Recommended, June 1998.
  • “That rarity, a far future novel of planetary colonisation that allows the reader to follow the science or ignore it at no real cost to the story … Sinclair skilfully fans the drama into one of the year’s more serious SF novels.”(Alan Blake. Scotland on Sunday, March 23 1997.)
  • “… an amazing epic of galactic exploration and settlement, full of exciting speculation and human conflict … Sinclair uses both biological science and computer technology suggestively to speculate about the ways in which humanity will slowly spread across the galaxy … simply a terrific novel.” (Douglas Barbour. Calgary Herald, July 19, 1997.)
  • Foundation, Summer 1997.
  • SF Chronicle, October 1997.
  • New York Review of Science Fiction. December 1997.