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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
ORA:CLE

Copyright 1983 by Kevin O'Donnell Jr.

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Superb (4/5)

I first read this in 1986 and most recently in April 1996.

In the 22nd century, our gentle protagonist, Ale Elatey, studies South Asian history and keeps spider plants. One day he steps out onto his balcony and is attacked by an alien pterodactyl. Now this shouldn't have happened - he'd carefully checked the proximity alarm beforehand, and these devices don't fail. Then he discovers that his fellow scholars are dying at an unexpectedly high rate.

This is still such an excellent book. It's got an Earth ruined by global warming and colonised by aliens. It's got a benign artificial intelligence controlling a global internet (and this was written in 1983!). It's got domestic teleportation, It's even got a dash of martial arts. It's just chock full of great ideas.

Between each chapter, headlines list the "Top Ten News Stories of the Hour". The only two times I have really enjoyed this sort of stuff (rather than skipping it to get on with the plot) is in this book and John Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar".

By the way, here's a helpful tip: If you're buying this book, I assume it's best to pronounce "ORA:CLE" as "Oracle", but of course, this is your choice.

Classic SF. Top notch!

Loaded on the 17th February 2001.
    
Cover of ORA:CLE
Cover by Chris Foss

Reviews of other work by Kevin O'Donnell Jr.
Mayflies
War Of Omission



Other reviews with covers by Chris Foss
The Patterns Of Chaos
The End Of Eternity