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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
The Rapture Effect

Copyright 1987 by Jeffrey A. Carver

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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 1990 and most recently on the 3rd August 2006.

Sage, Pila and Kyd work in the Art Division of the government Public Affairs Department. It's year-end and they have a little grant money unspent, so Pila decides to spend it on a pet project. She wants a giant kinetic sculpture and it'll need artist Ramo Romano along with Sage and Kyd to make it a reality. Something of this scale and uniqueness is going to need lots of computing power just to design it, and that's where all the problems start.

Meanwhile the alien Haryddart is near death, floating in space in a distant star system. He's the sole survivor of a fierce battle with the Earth's space forces. He's hiding in the shade of an asteroid, waiting for his air to run out.

To their surprise and horror, Sage, Ramo, Kid and Pila are going to find themselves trying to stop this space war while on the run from the authorities,

I have to admit that I quite enjoyed this novel. The premise is great fun - you're planning to create an unusual abstract sculpture to soak up a some leftover funding, and your computer tells you that there's already something based on similar principles. You enquire more and it proceeds to show you a Stargate and then goes on to explain that this is used by robot spacecraft as part of promoting a space war against an alien civilisation. I can't count the number of times that I've waited for something like that to happen, instead I get a message about a security update requiring a reboot.

The dance stuff is weak (it was the early 90s) but it is not painful as, for example, the dancing in Spider and Jeane Robinson's "Starmind".

All in all this is a good book.

What's it got: shy but brilliant computer programmers; crazy but talented Brazilian dancers; aliens; stargates; spaceships and more aliens (these ones being evil subterranean monsters).

Loaded on the 25th January 2007.
    
Cover of The Rapture Effect