A futuristic love story with a backdrop concerning the civil rights of artificially-created humans is at the center of "Mortals All" (Shaman Press), but there are many layers to this book. On the surface, the plot, which involves "Blade Runneresque" tracers who hunt rogue "andrones," and a religious figure with political ambitions, may seem rather pedestrian. But whatīs special about this novel are the characters, which are real down to their smallest insecurities and quirkiest habits, even when theyīre artificially created andrones. The scenes when the on-the-make human, Zachariah Starr, teaches the female androne, Mary 79, about sex are both sensual and humorous. The entire book is actually tinted with satire--though the humor is subtle, not overt. When this pairīs relationship evolves into something greater than lust, this story really begins to grab you by the soul. Mary learns from Zach what it means to be human, while he learns from her what love is, and, more important, can be.
|Author: ||Bruce Golden|
Golden (writing his first novel after a long journalism career according to his bio) deftly uses first person to take us inside the heads of each character. Itīs an unusual style, but one that works-partly because of his gift for writing dialogue. He also shows his mastery of the language with the creation of just the right amount of futurespeak slang.
Besides the whodunnit aspects of the book, its most interesting facet is the way the author deals with the idea of human rights for these artificially created humans. Itīs the age-old issue of slavery seen in a creche tank light. However, though he poses many questions related to the civil rights of these sentient beings, he doesnīt answer them all. (Could this mean a sequel? The ending is set up to provide one.)
This is not a book for hard scifi fans. Other than the andrones, some minor futuristic inventions, and travel within the solar system, thereīs not a lot of scifi hardware here. This is a character study that happens to take place more than a hundred years in the future. Much of it is reminiscent of Heinleinīs works. Some may read it and think "Well, this and this have been done before." True to an extent, and maybe there are no great innovations in this novel, but I donīt think what is here has been done quite this way before. This is science fiction with heart, and a story that will make you think as it entertains. I know I couldnīt put it down, and when it ended, I wanted still more.