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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Redworld

Copyright 1986 by Charles L. Harness

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (2/5)

I first read this in 1987 and most recently on the 30th July 2002.

There's an alien planet far, far away. The inhabitants live in a medieval society, ruled by the Church. Scientific research is strictly circumscribed with new discoveries being punishable by death.

Life is hard for the young Pol Randol. He was born into a comfortable middle-class life, but his father died and then his elder brother. His mother sold the house and, little by little, sold everything to take care of her son and to ensure that he had a good education.

Today, his mother's sacrifices will begin to pay off. Pol will start working, and the weekly salary will slowly lift them out of poverty.

So Pol is walking his way to his first day at his first job. On his way to the premises he'll have time to witness a public execution, time for the condemned heretic to involve Pol in her deranged beliefs, and still on his way to work, time to fall in love for the first time, with a deformed alien woman no less. It's a busy, but fairly successful day.

Of course, a relationship with an alien woman is not without difficulties, and as he finds out more about her and her friends, he'll uncover unpleasant truths about Redworld itself. He'll also have to go up against the religious establishment, follow up the brilliant scientific research of his dead brother, and take some time to fulfill a few ancient prophesies.

I have a soft spot for this book, in fact for anything by the author of "The Paradox Men" and "The Rose". It isn't a major literary work but it's well-written and rather good fun: interesting characters, great ideas, an entertaining plot and a particularly enjoyable ending.

So what's it got? spaceships, chemistry and powerful drugs, fundamentalist religion and talking to dead people, burgeoning science, aliens and yes, alien sex.

Loaded on the 19th August 2002.
    
Cover of Redworld
Cover by Angus McKie