Argonaut Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Argonaut

Tor, Jul 2002, 25.95, 336 pp.
ISBN: 0312877269

In the twenty-first century in New York State retiree Lester Ordway enjoys spending time in his garden. However, his repose ends when a weird bug stings Lester right between the eyes. Lester becomes dizzy and sees his memories flash past him before grabbing the insect.
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Lester regains consciousness in a hospital where he releases the bug, which has multiplied into several insects. Medical lab technician Pilar Ramirez grabs one of the bugs so that entomologist Maybelle Terwilliger can study it. Maybelle declares that the insect is mechanical and probably otherworldly gathering information about humans. Soon a stranger comes after Pilar planning to silent her and her cohorts before they can persuade a skeptical government that an alien invasion is imminent.

Few stories start as creative as Argonauts begins with its intelligent but strange alien invades the earth premise. The story line bites the audience from the moment that the weird bug stings Lester through Maybelle's pronouncement that the bug is a form of a listening device. However, the tale loses its sting when it becomes standard “David/Davidettes” saving a disbelieving world from an alien invasion. Though overall unique and intriguing, fans will feel a bit disappointed that Stanley Schmidt turns this distinctive tale into typical sub-genre fodder.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Argonaut

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   unraveling a conspiracy Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   scientist Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Argonaut

Stanley Schmidt Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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