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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1998 by Mona Clee

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 4th December 2002.

The world has been heading straight for an ecological disaster and by 2032, it is in the thick of it. With the climatic collapse, there's a matching collapse in government and society.

We find our geriatric protagonists, Moira, Rhiannon, Loki, George et al, struggling to survive in their secured enclave, with their diminishing retirement resources, as society degrades around them.

They like most others have been able to see the inevitable disaster creeping up on them, but like almost everybody else, felt that they could do nothing to prevent it. Now they are in the midst of it, and there's no hope for any of them, no real expectation of even living out their last few years, albeit in increasing discomfort.

But then Rhiannon stumbles across a global conspiracy, codenamed 'The Green Man', that seems, if it can be taken seriously, to have plans to save the world.

I enjoyed this. It was interesting, thought-provoking and at times exciting. Clee's argument about exponential growth leaving one insufficient time to react struck home with me and I very nearly refused a plastic bag at the supermarket, although in the end I accepted it as I needed something to carry the frozen food and champers to the taxi.

I liked the characters and how they developed (or as often died, bearing in mind their age). I liked the age of the characters and that I frequently forgot their ages. I don't know if this novel accurately depicts how the aged think and act, but it's not impossible. There's an eighty-three-year-old in my apartment building who's so full of energy that he bounces around like a ping-pong ball in a Bingo blower. His older mate, a more mature and settled eighty-six, still teaches some variant of Tai Chi Chuan to his class.

Even though one knows from early in the novel that things will turn out alright in the end one's still gripped by the plot. In fact one is rather taken by surprise as various ancient actors doff their mortal coils.

So all in all it's a pretty good read but, and this is an annoying but, for all of the clearly-apparent effort put into this book, you get the feeling that now and again Ms Clee skipped on her research. Events are mentioned without dates or papers without authors perhaps because she didn't know the relevant data. Now that's OK, there are several things that I don't know, off the top of my head, but with this novel you get the feeling it's because she couldn't be bothered to find out the information. But this is only a minor and occasional annoyance.

Loaded on the 27th December 2002.
Cover of Overshoot
Cover art by Diane Fenster

Reviews of other works by Mona Clee:
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