Saturday, June 06, 2009
Weekend Book Review - The Octagonal Raven
Charles Sheffield and L.E. Modesitt. It's Octagonal Raven by Modesitt we will be looking at this week.
The Octagonal Raven takes place on earth in the distant future. It is full of technological innovations most of which are not really hard to imagine with what we know now. As we have seen technology is not without moral dilemmas, pitfalls and unintended consequences. That's really what this science fiction thriller is all about.
Genetic engineering has reached the point where anyone with enough money can pre-select the characteristics of their offspring. These "pre-selects" make up about 10 percent of the population but hold about 95 percent of the wealth and most positions of authority. As one might expect this has created an atmosphere of resentment among the 90 percent of the population who are "norms". For some of the "pre-selects" the status quo is not enough and they lust for even more power. The result is a plot to overthrow the existing order by the already powerful along with social unrest among those who who are not. The main character, a enlightened "pre-select" from a very wealthy family, becomes involved after a number of attempts on his life.
A really exciting read with lessons that we can identify with today.