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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Wave Without A Shore

Copyright 1981 by C. J. Cherryh

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

I first read this in June 1990 and most recently in April 2007

In the capital city, Kierkegaard, of a small but very odd colony world, there is a University. Attending the University are two students Herrin Law and Waden Jenks. The intelligence, imagination and sheer brilliance of these two students will allow them to change their world forever.

However, it's not going to change in the way they imagine. For one thing, they will have to start seeing the invisible strangers living in their community. Some of these invisibles are their own ex-citizens. Furthermore they'll have to start communicating with the alien natives that have inhabited this world for millennia.

The novel takes about half of the book to get going - up to then it is mainly rather artificial and erroneous existentialist discourses on the nature of reality. But after Herrin gets his comeuppance it gets on track, and then when Waden Jenks in turn gets his comeuppance, it's rolling along quite nicely and ends up with a satisfying conclusion, with the aid of Sbi the alien Ahint.

It's clearly a moral tale, but the what the moral is sadly escapes me. I suppose it is something about sculpture.

What's it got: grass eating aliens; a dribble of Kierkegaard, a philosopher I'd completely ignored. However, I've just spotted that Wittgenstein thought Kierkegaard was the bee's knees. Now I rate Witty so it might be worth spending some time on Kirky. Or not, of course.

Not a brilliant book, but mildly entertaining. It moves faster than "Downbelow Station" and immeasurably more swiftly than the interminable "Cloud's Rider".

Loaded on the 25th January 2007.
Cover of Wave Without A Shore