17 Washington, DC
‘Sorry about the weather’, said George Washington. ‘We used to have local climate control, but gave it up after an Indepence Day parade was blocked by snow.’
Duncan laughed dutifully, though he was not quite sure if he was supposed to believe this.
‘I don’t mind’, he said. It’s all new to me. I’ve never seen rain before.’
That was not the literal truth, but it was near enough. He had often driven through ammonia gales, and could still remember the poisonous cascades streaming down the windows only a few centimeters before his eyes. But this was harmless – no, benificent – water, the source of life both on Earth and on Titan. If he opened the door now he would merely get wet; he would not die horribly. But the instincts of a lifetime were hard to overcome and he knew that it would require a real effort of will to leave the protection of the limousine.(…)
(Pan Books, 1977)
Colonists from the entire solar system converge on the mother planet for the 2276 celebrations.
Duncan Makenzie, scientist-administrator from the underground colony of Titan, one of the outer moons of Saturn, has a delicate mission to perform – for his planet, his family and himself…
One of the many great sf novels I inherited from a younger brother of mine.