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I read this book back when I was in high school, anywhere from 2008-2011. I found it in the library - it was old, that much was obvious, probably from the 60's-80's, though possibly from the 90's. It didn't have a cover but the book itself was red.

It was a science fiction novel that took place on an ice planet that had been partially terraformed. An artificial moon focused the sun's light around the equator so there was a habitable belt of land suitable for farming and cities. The rest of the planet had an arctic-like environment. Most people lived in this belt of land but there were people who lived in the tundras, sometimes in small towns or sometimes in tribes.

The people of the tribes believed that the brilliant multicolored light from the artificial moon gave them powers and mostly eschewed the rest of the colonists on the planet, who thought they were nuts. Though the powers were never really showed in the book itself I think the people were right and did have powers.

I think the story took from the POV of a person (I think it was a woman) from offworld. They may have been from a planet named New Terra, but even if they weren't that planet was mentioned.

Part of the plot involved the daughter of someone from one of the equatorial cities running off to the barren ice to the north and falling in with one of the tribes. Apparently impressed with their abilities she decided to stay. I think the protagonist was investigating her disappearance. I know the protagonist stayed in one of the northern villages on the tundra along the ocean at one point.

I'll try to scour my brain for more information but it's hard to recall, since I don't think I completely finished the book. I'd really like to find this book again because I remember really liking it.

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  • could it have been Mars?
    – Seeds
    Jul 27, 2016 at 21:31
  • Was definitely not Mars
    – E. Moore
    Jul 27, 2016 at 21:39

1 Answer 1

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The Snows of Jaspre. Been looking for this book for years.

Front cover of The Snows of Jaspre

An artificial sun awakens psychic powers on an ice planet. The original Finnish settlers, who thrived on the frozen wastes of Jaspre, resented the new settlers who arrived when parts of the planet's surface were warmed by power satellites. But they also knew that satellite radiation leakage enhanced their powers of telepathy, prescience, and telekinesis--and that if their regions were warmed by a second artificial sun, those powers would be wiped out. When Morgan Farraday arrives with her family to administer Jaspre's schools, she is caught in the conflict between townspeople who want a second satellite and the original settlers who don't. Morgan's interests become personal when her daughter, Dee, seeks out Anders Ahlwen, the leader of the psychic commune; Morgan finds herself torn between Dee, who believes in Anders, and her own husband, who thinks he is a charlatan. A plausible scientific premise, well--drawn characters, and a swiftly moving plot make this superior science fiction. Although the tensions between governmental authority and the original settlers are only lightly sketched in and the conflict too easily resolved, the strains within the family are believable, and even the 100+-year-old, Gandhi-like figure of Anders seems real as well as sympathetic.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. You should add some description of the book to your answer so the asker can tell if it matches.
    – DavidW
    Mar 25, 2023 at 22:57

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