Monday, February 21, 2005

Review: Robinson Crusoe 1,000,000 AD by Terry Sunboard

I finished this book about a week or so ago. I quite enjoyed it up to a point. The basics of survivalism set against the remains of future technology made a very interesting contrast.

The story begins with the clone of Alex Kirk (no relation to James T ;-) ) waking up in an organic cloning vat aware that he is being eaten alive. A fight ensues and Alex survives his first trial of life. Alex's attacker turns out to be a mutated clone of himself - only semi human.

After leaving his birthing place, Alex has to learn to survive in a world that has literally gone back to nature. 1,000,000 years after the fall of civilisation there is very little trace of humanity or it's civilisation left. Even our great cities have been scourged from the earth by millenia of ongoing glaciation.

Alex (our would be Adam) longs for his Eve, and eventually comes across a woman's birthing cave, which produces a clone of his long dead girlfriend Marayan. They manage to make an idyllic life for themselves for a couple of years, until they encounter the evolved remains of humanity which has now created several sub species. In a desperate attempt to escape these proto-humans Alex and Marayan escape to orbit where the remains of an orbiting space station is still floating around in the Earth-Moon system's Lagrange points.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, apart from the final couple of chapters where Alex finds the key to using the ultra technology of the Moon to kick the asses of the proto-human Sirk back on Earth. This seemed completely out of character for the rest of the book, I mean, missiles against bows and arrows is hardly fair!

Overall though, I think I would rate it 8 out of 10. I even nominated this for the Hard SF Reading Groups April's Book of the Month. It got a reasonable amount of Votes, but Ringworld by Larry Niven won out with 10 votes..... yeah! (This is one of my favourite novels).

At the moment I'm currently reading Stephen Baxter's Deep Future. This is not a novel but a series of essays on the future of humanity in the solar system and how the various worlds around us could be terraformed or colonized. I've read all these theories many times before, of course, but it still makes interesting reading.



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