Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Phoenix Without Ashes

by Edward Bryant & Harlan Ellison

Ads for the Syfy miniseries Ascension, about a generation ship launched into space in the early 1960s, reminded me of this book, the novelization of the pilot for the series The Starlost. Actually, it's a novelization with a rather lengthy introduction by Mr. Ellison who explains why the series sucked even though he had created it. Upon rereading it, I'd have to say that the introduction is the more entertaining part.

The main story is about a generation ship, the Ark, that had been sent from Earth to save a remnant of the human race from the destruction of Earth. The Ark is a collection of biospheres, separated from each other in an attempt to preserve Earth's cultural as well as genetic diversity. Unfortunately there was an accident that killed off the crew and the multitude of communities are now drifted blissfully unaware that anything is wrong, the earth pretty much forgotten. The hero of the tale is Devon, a young man from an Amish-like community. He's a bit of a rebel, and by accident discovers an access port out of his biosphere into the ship at large. It's an interesting set up for an ongoing series, but Devon's own community is somewhat two-dimensional. 'Tis all strictness and punishment, a trope that I've come to find a bit tired.

But I suppose it will keep you occupied in the waiting room.
LibraryThing link

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