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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Orphans Of Earth

Copyright 2003 by Sean Williams and Shane Dix

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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 on the 17th March 2003.

This is the sequel to "Echoes Of Earth" and continues that story. We have the same exhilarating vision of the future:

A thousand spacecraft have begun humanity's exploration of the galaxy. The craft are peopled by computer copies, engrams, of the same few people. These engrams can clone fresh bodies when a physical presence is necessary. However they cannot correct the creeping damage to their own personalities caused by imperfections in the engrams themselves. Their personalities, their own selves, are doomed to degrade into insanity as time goes by.

Out among the stars they've found two alien species. The benevolent Spinners briefly visit human colonies to leave vast structures and wonderful technology as gifts. The second aliens, the Starfish, follow closely behind the Spinners and destroy colonies foolish enough to have used the Spinners' gifts.

The engrams have learnt how to use the gifts with some degree of safety. However, in other respects issues have become more complicated. Peter Alander has meet a new alien species, the Yuhl, and begins an alliance with them. Axford has formed his own private army and is secreted away, preferring that others take on the Starfish. Hatzis struggles to maintain her command of the various and widely-distributed spacecraft. She's willing to struggle against the Starfish, and she is not averse to spending a few lives to do it.

In my incisive review of the previous book I said "Pretty cool. No sex though". Sadly this time even the cool was gone. The writing was stolid, new ideas were uninspiring, only the last few exciting pages showed what it should have been like.

And what's all this with the secret group "Congress Of Orphans" that, except for making FTL transmissions, never appear to actually do anything? What a waste of time. I suppose they're being saved for the final volume, like Axford.

Boring. Even the cover's crap.

Loaded on the 1st July 2003.
Cover of Orphans Of Earth
Cover art by Chris Moore and Judy Morello

Reviews of other works by Sean Williams and Shane Dix:
Echoes Of Earth
Heirs Of Earth

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore:
Absolution Gap
House Of Suns
The Star-Crossed
The Winds of Altair
Forty Thousand In Gehenna
The Dragon's Nine Sons
The Visitors
Alien Sex
Preferred Risk
Good News From Outer Space
The Stone Canal
Only Forward
Broken Angels
Echoes Of Earth
Across Realtime

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore and Don Puckey:
When We Were Real

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore and Judy Morello:
Heirs Of Earth

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore and Richard Carr:
Revelation Space
Chasm City
Redemption Ark