Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Book Report: An Alien Heat by Michael Moorcock (1972)
In stark contrast to the long, well thought out and meticulous Gor books I've been reading, here's a short (140ish) paged book that's the start of a trilogy. Set in the far future in a Utopia where man can bend matter and time to his whims, an indulgent and decadent playboy decides he's going to court a recent arrival from 19th century England. As he tries to woo her with poorly-remembered and rendered gifts and all the luxuries the id can provide, she tries, as a Christian, to teach him virtue.

Then he goes back in time to retrieve her after one of his contemporary friends sends her back, and he meets his friend there as a judge who sentences him to death in 1896, but he's spared and returned to the future for some purpose to be revealed in the next book. Good luck with that, protagonist. You're on your own as far as I'm concerned.

Certainly, there's some allegory in this remnant of 60s sensibility. I don't think I'll bother with it when I can pick up another Gor book instead. Perhaps I could spin some allegory of my own, where I generalize that certain segments of the population envisage a world of self-indulgence, lax moral standards, and whims catered to by forces whose details are so forgotten they might be magic, and that some segments of the population read books where evil exists and sometimes a man has to pick up a sword and chop at evil. But that's too hasty a generalization for me, and besides that, no one cares thirty four years after these books might have met head-to-head for the soul of science fictiondom. Man, who would have expected me to read another Moorcock two and a half years after I read The Black Corridor? Well, anyone who knows how books get off of my to-read shelves, I reckon.

And in closing, non sequitir, this is the 67th book I've read this year. Boo-ya!

Books mentioned in this review:


To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."