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Marseguro by Edward Willett

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2008 at 4:13pm

An asteroid dubbed the Fist of God has turned aside another, potentially planet killing asteroid, averting an Earth wide extinction event. But not before panicked souls take to the stars fleeing from both the asteroid, and the fundamentalist theology of the Body Purified.

The Body Purified rises from the ashes of the fall of Earth's governments to become the controlling theocracy of the planet. Their dogma teaching that genetic modification had angered God, and that man had no right trying to improve upon His creations. Geneticist Victor Hansen, the source of much of the Body's ire, was always a man of vision. When he knew he couldn't defeat the dogma of the Body Purified, he fled to the water planet he dubbed Marseguro, with his creations the Selkies, modified humans with the ability to breathe water and engineered to survive at great depths.

Regina Author, Edward Willett has filled his second novel with both memorable characters, great world-building and interesting science. The planet of Marseguro becomes a character itself under Willett's stewardship, and the Body Purified, a frightening yet believable antagonist. Each of Marseguro's point of view characters face hard choices when the Body Purified finds Hansen's hidden refuge, choices that serve to define both them, and the future of their worlds.

Willett has crafted a grand science fiction story that manages to pay tribute both to the galaxy spanning empires of Space Opera, and the examination of technologies just out of our current grasp. Dedicated SF fans will even spot some homages to one of science fiction's most venerable franchises, and to one of Canada's famous genre practitioners. Marseguro is well worth the read, and its sequel Terra Insegura, is due in May 2009. A release I am hotly anticipating.

Categories: Reviews, Staff Pick, SciFi & Fantasy, Saskatoon

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Lost in Translation

- Edward Willett

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A thrilling sci-fi novel of communication and learned trust between human and alien

Kathryn was a human empath whose world and life had been destroyed when, as a young child, she watched helplessly as the alien S'sinn slaughtered her parents before her very eyes. Only the Translators, an elite guild of empaths, were able to free her from the trauma and give her a new life.

Jarrikk was a young S'sinn, an unproven warrior who saw his flight mates slaughtered by the humans who sought to colonize his world. Crippled so that he could never fly again, he would have chosen death, but he wasn't allowed a choice. Instead, he too was trained to be a Translator.

As humans and S'sinn find themselves poised on the brink of a war that could not only destroy their own species, but also disrupt the delicate balance of the multiracial Commonwealth, these two Translators--who have every reason to hate one another--must work together to find a common ground and avert catastrophe. But whether their Translators' oath and training can overcome the enemies leagued against them remains to be seen.