Maret: A Novel of the Future
by Robert I. Katz
Paperback - 260 pages (January 15, 2001) Willowgate Press; ISBN: 1930008007
Review by Ernest Lilley
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If this book had been published 50 years ago, it would have been timely. If this author writes another few novels, he may yet be decent.
Edward Maret mistakenly bills itself as "a novel of the future", mistakenly because the future it depicts went out with the golden age of Science Fiction...many moons ago.
The author may be racking his brain for a suitable explicative to hurl at this point, and I sympathize...but I'm not saying it's without merit, more that I think it foreshadows better things to come.
I talked to Robert Katz, at Albacon. He's a bright, knowledgeable guy who is, if memory serves me correctly, an anesthesiologist in his non-writing life. I suspect that's something you should not confess to a reviewer. Inevitable comments are liable to follow. Robert is also a fan of early SF. No sin in itself, I hope, as we share a fondness for E.E. "Doc" Smith and Robert Heinlein, but a bit too much of it has leaked out in the form of Edward Maret.
The story itself is as fairly well worn. A young man, wealthy, healthy and about to be wed to the most wonderful girl in the world is shanghaied off to life as a robo-cop type cyborg by those who envy him either his money or romantic prospect. He wasn't supposed to be as thoroughly ruined as he turned out to be, but happened to get caught in political crossfire that sealed his fate.
So he becomes a killing machine for the government, fighting in a war against aliens with others like himself and no memory of his former life. At least until an alien with a twisted sense of humor or something (twisted even by the standards of his race) torments him until he remembers who he is and leaves him to crawl back to humanity...sure to wreak havoc on his human tormentors.
He works his way up from the dregs of society, amasses a fortune and installs himself, with a new and humaniform body, into the society he was torn from. Will he destroy his cousin, who wanted his wealth? Will he tear the heart out of the man who stole his one true love? Will he wreak revenge on the politician that engineered his apparent death and subsequent life in hell?
Sigh. You'll have to read the book to find out.
|© 2001 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu|