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  • TITLE: A Million Open Doors
  • AUTHOR: John Barnes
  • AWARDS: Shortlisted Nebula, Clark Awards

    Humanity has expanded out from Earth and into the stars on colony worlds loosely federated and called the Thousand Cultures. Starships have given away to “springers”, which are instantaneous matter transformers similar to those showcased in movies like Stargate or The Fly . Isolated colonies have developed quirky and unique political, economic, and social systems, but are now faced with forced absorption into all the other independent variants of humanity's colonization through trade and immigration. This “galaxization” is the futuristic projection of our present globalization due to the rapid technological advances in communication and propulsion. The novel focuses on the clashing cultures of two worlds through a 1st person protagonist emissaried from one to another. It is thoughtful yet somewhat dry, as plot heroics evolve from action to dialogue in a very anti-space opera direction. Unfortunately, Giraut Leones' creed, that “ Art —pure raw disturbing art—is the only thing people should fight about” ( Tor , ISBN 0812516338, c.1992, 3rd PB edition, p.124) is not really heartfelt by the author. It is merely a device to pry open the clockwork-like formulations of his imagined political and economic models and see how they tick with the new cadence of Springer Changes and Connect Depression (p.23). That said, A Million Open Doors is a provocative, insightful study of the very important problems of homogenization, especially that of racial and social prejudice, that plague our planet today.

    But, personally, my priorities when experiencing Art are different than this author's. So, let me re-direct you to criticism that covers this subject far better than I can:

    In conclusion, let me note that this novel is the first in a series of currently four excursions into this construction.


    © copyright 02/07/2007 by Larry Crawford

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