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REVIEW: "Moon flower", James P. Hogan

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKMNFLWR.RVW 20080703 Moon flower , James P. Hogan, 2008, 978-1-4165-5534-6, U$23.00/C$26.99 %A James P. Hogan jamesphogan.com %C P. O. Box 1403,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2008
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      BKMNFLWR.RVW 20080703

      "Moon flower", James P. Hogan, 2008, 978-1-4165-5534-6,
      U$23.00/C$26.99
      %A James P. Hogan jamesphogan.com
      %C P. O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
      %D 2008
      %G 978-1-4165-5534-6 1-4165-5534-X
      %I Baen Publishing Enterprises
      %O U$23.00/C$26.99 jim@... www.baen.com
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/141655534X/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/141655534X/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/141655534X/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n+ Tech 1 Writing 3 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 308 p.
      %T "Moon flower"

      James P. Hogan is one of the few authors of fiction who can be counted
      upon to get technology "right." He's done a great job with "Bug Park"
      (cf. BKBUGPRK.RVW) and others, although "The Immortality Option" (cf.
      BKIMMOPT.RVW) made some mistakes with computer viruses, and "The
      Multiplex Man" (cf. BKMLPXMN.RVW) was a disappointment, in technical
      terms.

      His writing seldom disappoints. It's fairly simple, but clear and
      with sympathetic characters. Personally, I'm simplistic enough that
      the reliability of a happy ending is relaxing.

      "Moon flower" has little technology that is real. We have a working
      "hyperspace" star drive, and some reliance on being able to detect
      events in the future. This last does lean on some recent models of
      quantum physics, although the ability to build a working crystal ball
      is still a ways off, if it's possible at all. Fortunately, the author
      doesn't have to deal with the difficulties of the physics or
      engineering involved, since we have the titular flowers to do that for
      us.

      What is interesting about the book is Hogan's view of the type of
      society that would result if everyone had a bit of an insight into
      what would work out "best" for them. People who could (admittedly
      fuzzily) foretell the future apparently would be fairly socialistic.
      They also would have no interest in religion, although they would
      appear to have a reason for not caring about it that would seem to be
      as faith-based as any religion. Oddly, they also seem to have a
      belief in, and reliance upon, the benevolence of The Great Being-Ness-
      Iddity-Hood. It's all rather NewAge.

      No, being a professional paranoid, and, of course, not having access
      to the fortune-telling ecosystem, maybe I don't understand these
      things. However, I'm just a wee bit concerned. Maybe the flowers
      aren't really concerned about the best outcomes for us homonids.
      Maybe the flowers are, possibly, more concerned about what actions are
      best for *them*. Should we *really* be taking advice on how to govern
      our lives from them? After all, they end up prospering along with us-
      -for the moment. But what about when we come into contention?

      Maybe we'd better listen to the words of wisdom from the musical
      "Little Shop of Horrors": whatever they offer you, don't feed the
      plants!

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKMNFLWR.RVW 20080703


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