Eos, May 2004, 12.95, 304 pp.
Humanity defeats the native “energy” beings who populated the orb and establishes a colony on the planet with a Hindu like societal order. Using advanced technology, the crew of the ship transfers their minds into a new body when theirs is near death. They also develop other advances that enable them to form a group with god-like powers. Beneath them are the colonists and even further below in this pyramid of power are the natives. No one bucks the leadership as not only can they reincarnate but can convert others into animals.
One of these techno-Gods, preferring to be called Sam rather than Mahasamatman, feels that the mistreatment of others is morally wrong. He thinks that he and his peers should share their technology with the lower strata. His peers insist those beneath them are incapable of dealing with godlike powers and need their hand to guide them. Sam never claimed the mantle and though he hates what he feels he must do, heads a revolt against his ruling brothers and sisters as he wants to establish a different world order.
This is a deep science fiction novel with religious and social overtones. The story line is loaded with action, but also takes its time to defend critical arguments set forth by author Roger Zelazny. The cast fosters the concepts of the plot so that development is targeted more towards an idea than a character. Still with all that this is a cerebral tale that will have readers pondering a host of subjects from comparative religions to white man's burden to fostering American style democracy in Iraq, etc.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner
This is in my opinion one of the finest books ever written, it discusses the uses of religon, the inner thoughts of a messiah and the overthrow of a society that oppresses the technological advances and afterlife of everybody on the planet.
This report prepared by Ron