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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Cradle Of Saturn

Copyright 1999 by James P. Hogan

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SOJALS rating:     
no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (0/5)

I first read this in March 2001.

Oh dear why do I keep giving in, against my better judgement, and buy these books?

Hogan packs these books full of exciting ideas, drama, carefully constructed plots and what comes out? A book that I have to force myself to read just to see if any of the good ideas pan-out into something thought-provoking, and all the time fighting the urge to just close the book and give it to someone I donít like. Look at this:

"While it was still morning in California, a train of meteorite impacts stitched itís way like a gigantic bombing run over the tip of South America and across the southern Atlantic to beyond the Falkland islands"

Now this is stirring stuff and I should have been gripped tight with tension, shotting Tequila, smoking furiously and with some loud rock blasting away in the background. But no, Iím laying on the floor the radioís playing some anonymous J-pop, Iím wondering whether there might be something on the TV and should I just check, and my arm is getting really tired turning the pages.

So whatís wrong with Hoganís books? Beats me, Iíve read half a dozen since the Ď70s (canít remember the Ď60s, of course) and they never quite make it. I never believe in the characters, Iím never convinced by the plot and I never enjoy them. Well, itís either me or the writing. So itís the writing.

Having said all this, I do vaguely recollect that they didnít seem quite so bad when I was a young teenager, under sixteen, so that age group may enjoy them. But Iíd recommend reading Larry Niven instead.

Ok, thereís one small saving grace: a nice quote. The President is just announcing to the public the full scale of the imminent disaster . To her surprise the First Lady is asked whether she and children will be escaping to some place safe from the destruction about to rain down on them. In reply she quotes the British Queen Mothersí response when asked if she would be moving her children out of London to escape the WWII Blitz. The then Queen replied:

"They wonít go unless I go. I wonít go unless the King goes. And the King wonít go under any circumstances whatsoever."

Loaded on the 16th May 2001.
Cover of Cradle Of Saturn
Cover by Dru Blair