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Old 03-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
GlenBarrington
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Book Report: Out From Edom. . .

by J. Patrick Sutton

An interesting Science Fiction read. A bit difficult to get into, but it gets REALLY good in the last third and has made me want to get the next 2 books in the trilogy. I seem to recall that I found out about this book on one of the forums here and I THINK it was a free epub download, but I don't recall where I got the epub file. It is available on Amazon at a modest price at any rate.

In the moderately far future is a universe that appears to be populated only by humans and genetically altered humans. There have been 6 "Empires of Man".

The 4th, and earlier Empires innocently enough started to modify humans to meet the needs of society while the 5th empire seems to have been ruled by a bird like human sub-species.

The 6th empire is a sort of rejection of the previous empires. It is believed that GM humans were a sin against God (A Technology God, now named VAS) and that technology in general is suspect. Yet, in a huge multi-planet empire, technology is required just to keep things going. So the founders of the 6th Empire had to come up with workable accommodations with technology. These accommodations seem to work well enough for the majority of the population of the empire, but after a period of dynamic consolidation, stagnation starts to settle in. Then too, for a minority of the population of the empire, things aren't quite so rosy.

It would be easy to turn this story into some sort of anti-religion, dystopian story, but Sutton rises above the easy way out. Religion and the faithful of the 6th Empire are treated respectfully as are the non believers. Also those who are 'impure' in their physical form are treated as respectfully as those who are 'pure'.

Sutton seems to acknowledge that the need for a spiritual life in addition to a temporal one is a common enough occurrence in human existence that it just can't be written off as some sort of evil aberration. Too many Science Fiction writers either ignore spirituality or treat it as a plague. I found this perspective refreshing.

This is not only a story of political corruption and intrigue, revolution, and semi-alien invasion, but a story of spiritual awakening and a search for the meaning in life by well meaning people who find themselves on different sides of certain issues.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a story with no villains. Nor is it a story of moral relativism, those who are in the wrong, are clearly in the wrong, but their motives aren't always constructed of pure, mean spirited evil.

If you are looking for something different, this might be it.
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