Copyright 2003 by
I first read this on the 15th July 2003.
Omo Originale, Original Man, is the race of superhumans created by the famed
scientist Kuno Gunnarsson. They were engineered to be better, stronger and brighter
than normal humans. However, Original Man has not built a new and better society.
Instead, there is a military hierarchy, where clones are grown to predetermined
roles, grown to physical adulthood in just ten years, denied recreation or
any hint of individuality. Original Men are dedicated to the destruction of inferior
humanity, whom they regard predictably as their rather untidy inferiors.
Piers Rameau, lapsed buddhist and brilliant scientist is doctor to the captive
gene-engineered, low-gravity dancers on the colony Varuna. He is in love one of
these dancers, the beautiful and gracious Dakini. It can never work, he only has
to hold her fragile body too tightly to break her bones, and anyway she is not
exactly the woman he would like to believe her to be.
Now Original Men invaders have attacked and destroyed
the colony. Dakini is dead. Dr Rameau alone has survived. Now he is a prisoner
on the invader's ship and it will be a lifetime sentence. Now he is the captive.
There is fast-moving action as the Doctor begins to realize that he does indeed
have a chance to fight back against these powerful clones, and the novel ends with
some excitement as he and his supporters struggle to take over this warship.
There was a moment of shock when the novel introduced me to the Rukh, a
rather larger and more dangerous version of Original Man. For a dreadful moment I
thought I was reading a sequel to the appalling "Saturn Rukh" by Robert L. Forward.
However, it all turned out OK, these Rukh were neither alien, nor from Saturn,
and I relaxed again, and enjoyed this action novel.
Loaded on the 1st August 2003.
Cover art by John Dismukes