Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Bio of a Space Tyrant - Piers Anthony - Part 1

This is a six part series that follows the Tyrant of Jupiter, Hope Hubris. The first five are written as journals by Hope each detailing an important part of this life. Each of these introductions and conclusions by Hope's daughter. The sixth book details a story line from Hope's sister Spirit and covers details when the siblings were apart.

Refugee - Begins with the Hubris poor family and there conditions on Callisto and follows their escape to Jupiter. The group is attached several times and most of the adults are either raped or killed by pirate raiders. The children are left to fend for themselves and try to survive.

LinkPiers has created a mirror to the world of the mid 1980's in space. Many of the planets, moons, asteroid belts and locations represent different parts of the world (in the then) today. Wikipedia has a full listing of the locations and there worldly counter parts. He deals with many of the issues that are prevalent in the world, poverty, rich versus poor and even the Cold War.

In this first book we find our protagonist caught up between the rich and poor of the moon Callisto. His family are forced to move to the working dome after Hope and his sister Spirit defend there older sister Faith from the unwanted advances of a rich son. Choosing to escape to the prosperous Jupiter (based on North America) the family go on a daring trip across space in an over crowded bubble.

This journey is reminiscent of the current trips refugees take to get to Australian shore and probably more dangerous in the cold vacuum of space.

Piers details a new (to me) propulsion device a gravity drive - not great on the science but basically a field is created around the bubble giving that mass it's own gravity apart and separate from the gravity around it. Thus the bubble can be propelled through space using only a small amount of energy (thrust) from a simple drive. The bubble also spins which is important for some of the action in this book and boy is there action.

For those weak of stomach or not into violence then maybe skip some parts of this book - however in it's defence the violence and rape is about overcoming adversity and how the human condition can cope with tragedy and pain. It is about survival and the sacrifices people will make for family and friends in order for some to survive.

This book is well written and you move through it quickly, well paced scenes and insight into the mind of the boy who will become the Tyrant.

One thing you don;t have the any knowledge of the Tyrant and what he will become as these notes are written from the perspective of the boy at the conclusion of this book not from some faraway grandfatherly figure. At the end I wanted to know more about how this boy/man a refugee from the outer limits becomes the Tyrant of Jupiter.

Great read 4/5
I read the Kindle version available at time of writing for $2.99

2 comments:

David Delaney said...

I read this series years ago.

I think I still have all 6 in paperback if you want to borrow the rest (but after a few months of using the Kindle, I think I now prefer to read on it than an actual book - this really surprised me).

I found it to be pretty pulpy overall from memory but not a bad read - maybe its time for a revist.

Dr Dalim said...

I have them all on Kindle and agree it is pulp but it is easy to read with action and sex - so a great little book to lose yourself in without any fuss.