Sunday, October 12, 2008

Steve White Exodus

I showed my wife the cover and asked what she noticed about the alien babe on the cover. She immediately noticed that she had three eyes, and tentacles where her fingers should be. I have to admit that it took me a while to notice her eyes and hands. I guess men and women just look at different things.

The book deals with the exodus from a doomed planet that is inhabited by a race of empaths who more or less resemble that space babe shown above. Communication among the aliens is by means of telepathy/empathy, and appears to involve the communication of emotion as well as thought. The aliens encounter a mix of humans and other races who communicate verbally. This leads to an interstellar war.

One human in the cast of characters is Ian Trevayne, who has been preserved in cold storage for 80 some years. It is proposed to revive him, and to perform a brain transplant into an anencephalic clone. There are good and valid reasons to object to human cloning, biological and moral, and I don’t know if an anencephalic baby can be maintained and nurtured for any length of time. There is a bit of discussion about the ethics of the proposal, but I doubt whether I know enough to make a really good comment about the issue. The issue of brain transplantation was given a fictional treatment by Heinlein in I Will Fear No Evil. There is no comparable treatment of identity or gender issues in Exodus.

The conflict centers on the war between the aliens and the humans and their allies. The war spurs the development of new weapons technology. There is also the beginning of an attempt to establish alien-human communication. All of this appears to be leading up to a continuation.

Next up, Hesiod and Theognis.