Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Reading Michael P Kube-McDowell's Enigma

My impression from reading this book is that Mr Kube-McDowell wrote and sold an excellent proposal, including the remarkable opening chapters, and then coasted into the rest of the book. Just my impression.

Because the opening chapters of Kube-McDowell's Enigma are MAGNIFICENT! I mean, yeah, they are FI-INE. He sets up a scorching relationship between the mother and his hero, but then lets it lapse through the middle of the novel until a weak female character picks up the slack. The casual viciousness of the mother, Andra, is extreme and unjustified I think. Certainly he tries, but it is insufficient. And once the main character is in space, beyond the reach of earth, the relations on board become his world, with a kind of Orson Scott Card-esque intensity, in a most repulsive power struggle revolving around protocol versus reality. And sadly, compared with the moral significance of Card's work, that is not enough to compel your interest.

The knowledge that in Kube-McDowell you have someone who deeply cares about their work and pursues a moral end in it and through it, is sufficient to hold my interest to the end. But that is not enough to warrant calling this book strong throughout.


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