Reviews of Free Sci-fi - O

Reviews of free sci-fi with titles beginning with O

One World – J. Buchanan

** Sex = 0, action = 0, Prose = 5

This is called a novella but it is really an essay, since there is no dialog or action. It is about a planet that is an attempted utopia based on coercing everyone to become part of a collective mind. One treatment they use to make that happen is putting them into a machine that makes them dream they have lived a full life on Earth. How THAT would make anyone beleive they should all become one is beyond me, but that was what was written. The fact that a lot of the narration sounds like rap lyrics is the only other thing that stood out in this story.

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Our Extraterrestrial Neighbors – Shelton Ranasinghe

** Sex = 0, action = 0, Prose = 5

This is called a novel but it is really a mocumentary in print. Be warned, the premise is pretty cringe worthy, that there is a very extensive cave system on the moon in which a copy of Earth's biosphere resides, including people. They have an ancient and very traditional world-wide cvilization and so on. There is some data on the moon to support this, some of it is real. There is a lot of imposibility, perpetual motion and other junk science in it.

Be patient, this is all a means to have an object for a first-contact story. The bulk of the book is a report on how SETI and NASA deal with a first contact. It is not a general first contact story, as if SETI had picked up a real interstellar transmission. That is going to be hard to write an action thriller about when each step takes 152 years or something like that. When the first contact is on the moon it moves along much faster.

This is not a story of the first contact with an alien species, it is a story of first contact with an isolated human tribe. The Moon People's civilization is different from ours, not quite as different as that of the plains Indians, but as different as an isolated human tribe would be. For a story of first contact with a true alien, see The Aldeb Wars.

There is not even any real dialog, no hint of sexuality, not even a cold clinical mention of any difference in the Moon People and humans. There are lots of missing words, not as many wrong words as some, but quite a few grammatical errors that cause some confusion. There is no action or violence, it reads like a history text for the most part.

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