Cradle Of Saturn
Copyright 1999 by
James P. Hogan
I first read this in March 2001.
Oh dear why do I keep giving in, against my better judgement, and buy
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 don't like. Look at
"While it was still morning in California, a train
of meteorite impacts stitched it's way like a gigantic bombing run over
the tip of South America and across the southern Atlantic to beyond the
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, I'm laying on the floor the
radio's playing some anonymous J-pop, I'm 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 what's wrong with Hogan's books? Beats me, I've read half a dozen
since the '70s (can't remember the '60s, of course) and they never
quite make it. I never believe in the characters, I'm never convinced
by the plot and I never enjoy them.
Well, it's either me or the writing. So it's the writing.
Having said all this, I do vaguely recollect that they didn't
seem quite so bad when I was a young teenager, under sixteen, so that
age group may enjoy them. But I'd recommend reading Larry Niven instead.
Ok, there is 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 Mother's response when
asked if she would be moving her children out of London to escape the
WWII Blitz. The then Queen replied:
"They won't go unless I
go. I won't go unless the King goes. And the King won't go under any
Loaded on the 16th May 2001.