his is the second part of Empyrion, which started with The Search for Fierra. I’d finished the first monster part, and after wandering through a number of other books, came back to see where Orion Treet and his heroes had gotten to. As we left them, there was blood in the sand – Treet hiding in the evil colony of Dome, his girlfriend and another fellow traveler remaining with the elf-loving Fierrians, and former pilot Crocker (having been brainwashed) having pulled a Manchurian Candidate by tearing out the throat of their cute guide and going, literally, jungle, so yes, lots to pick up here.
Overall, it’s like this. The hero and three other people are sent by a corporation to find out what happened to an illegal colony placed on the other end of a wormhole. Turns out the hole isn’t really understood and they pop out, not a year after the founding, but some three millennium downstream. So now the folks on the planet Empyrion have split into two distinct collections of humans, the Dome (scheming bastards running a nasty enclosure of groveling peasants and nasty celebrations) and Fierra (a utopia in every sense of the word, where they don’t have money and everyone does whatever they want to their heart’s content).
Okay, a word about this – I had a hard time buying into it. I don’t care if two groups of humans split after a revolt and evolve in total isolation (well, outside of an evil-establishing nuking of the elves by the trolls); it’s hard to imagine that human civilizations end up so different. Yes, I could easily see things degrading to Dome, but I have a hard time understanding how they could elevate to Fierra. The same clay thrown in two different rooms will probably not produce a mud pot and a Ming vase – it just doesn’t feel right. Without any idea of how the Fierra came about, it’s hard to imagine it. Without Well’s comet gas or the high reaches of Shangri-La, it just rings false. I had a hard time passing that off as possible.
Also, in a closed society like Dome, when the final battle came and the rebels rise, Dome throws battalions of “Invisibles” (their secret shock troops) into battle. In a meek, closed society (literally under a dome) it’s hard to imagine anyway of maintaining thousands and thousands of troops in battle-ready status. And as the battle rages, the Invisibles die enmass and I’m left thinking, Where are all these guys coming from? Still, the end of the book was enjoyable and it didn’t quite go where I thought it was so there was that. Yes, just old eighties scifi with a little utopic moralizing, and fun action, and a lot of mind-bending mental games. A good enough read which will likely go back into the book box shortly, there to stay until I turn 90 and forget it all a third time.
>>>EARLY RETYRMENT I STILL REMEMBERER LIKE I WROTE IT ONLY YESTERDAY. BUT FIRE AND BRONZE, I’VE FORGOTTEN BIG PARTS. I MIGHTNEED TO READ IT AGAIN. IF YOU’D LIKE TO, FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE GIFT SHOP!<<<